MCN Commentary & Analysis

Why Write?

July 14, 2020

Review: Irresistible

June 24, 2020

Whys & Hows

June 15, 2020

What’s playing at the Roxy? Nothing’s playing at the gawd-damned Roxy. A video stream sharing revenue with an indie exhib that can’t pay the rent  That he rationalizes because they can see the film all the way in Biloxi. That’s what’s f-ing playing at the Roxy. What’s in the frickin’ trades? I’ll tell you what’s […]

Review: The King of Staten Island

June 8, 2020

This movie should have been called, “The Non-Graduate.” That’s what it is… a 2020 take on another era’s Ben Braddock. There is no Mrs. Robinson, because the faux stability of the suburban household is long gone. The closest we get to that character is the ex of our hero’s mother’s romantic interest… who our hero […]

Reviews: Trilogy of Shame (AKA Jane Roe, On The Record, Filthy Rich)

May 29, 2020

The horror of 100,000 American dead (and counting) from the Novel Coronavirus and the grotesquerie of watching a man murdered before our eyes by a white policeman applying the pressure of body weight and a knee to the neck of an already under control black man will certainly bring us a wave of documentaries to […]

“If Your Fall Festival Wants To Live, Come With Me.”

May 25, 2020

It’s almost June 1. And frankly, the festivals (Venice/Telluride/Toronto… and New York) are running out of time. What are they going to be in only three months? We all have the same desire. For the festivals to go on, safely, with people sitting in theaters, watching movies. But circumstances are circumstances. The situation is not […]

Quibi Review: Dummy

May 14, 2020

I never thought it would happen to me. I wandered through Quibi’s programming selections the week it launched. A few minutes here, a few minutes there. A laugh or two. Pun titles all over, like Gayme Show and Dishmantled and Barkitecture. But nothing I felt compelled to stick with. After jumping on the app a […]

42 Weeks To Oscar?

May 12, 2020

The single most significant public event in the possible Oscar season to come happened today. Disney and Lin-Manuel Miranda moved Hamilton into 2020. No, I am not saying that Hamilton is a lock to win Best Picture. It is possible that it won’t be nominated. It is possible that it will be nominated and lose. […]

Paul Schrader’s Call For Big Fests Online Exposes What Fests Mean… & Don’t Mean

May 11, 2020

Paul Schrader is a brilliant man. But… myopic. Festivals have a narrow value beyond the experience to be had at the festivals. And every one of the major festivals has a different purpose that extends beyond those events. Cannes is many festivals. There are two major competitions, a few other platforms, and then a major […]

Misunderstanding The Future of Streaming & Theatrical Exhibition

May 5, 2020

“Theatrical is over.” Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have been listening to this bullshit for decades. And if you read David Puttnam‘s “Movies & Money” (from 1997!), you will see that this line of gloom & doom and hipster pronouncements about The Future started coming up a century ago. This morning, Indiewire published a piece by […]

The Blue Mask Diaries: Episode Three – Netflix Does Love

May 1, 2020

Some of the greatness during this period has been coincidental to the previously scheduled releases of shows. And so has the absolute crap. It became a project during all this mess, driven by the insane amount of media coverage, to watch the worst of Netflix… which is also, apparently, the most popular of Netflix. No, […]

The Blue Mask Diaries: Episode Two – Some Good TV

May 1, 2020

Television is so much a part of this experience of being locked down… so I’ll skip to those adventures before getting back to movies. Let’s start by paying tribute to FX. Devs. Better Things. And Mrs. America. This is some of the finest television of the decade. For me, it’s Devs over Mr Robot. For […]

How Movie Windows Work

April 29, 2020

In light of the theoretical showdown between Universal Studios and the exhibition business and the many opinions thrown around, a simple guide to how the current exhibition/distribution relationship works, in the broadest terms, is called for. Movie theaters are brick & mortar outlets for a small percentage of the content produced by major studios. Via […]

Returning To The Church of Cinema: Part 1 – The Festivals

April 23, 2020

It’s April 23, 2020. New York seems to be over the COVID-19 hump. The, uh, president is encouraging “reopening” America while simultaneously hedging so that he won’t be blamed for encouraging this when people start dying in states that reopen too recklessly. The threat of a rekindling of the pandemic in America looms heavily over […]

The Blue Mask Diaries: Episode One

April 21, 2020

I’ve been in lockdown pretty much since March 9, when I returned from the great and glorious True/False Doc Fest. Thirty-seven days. It’s not really that much, but it feels like forever at times. But when I am on the couch/chair/bed watching something great, time stops and the world is my oyster. There has been […]

Fact-Based VOD Updates

April 9, 2020

As we head toward the premiere of Trolls World Tour tomorrow, a wholly different experiment than the rest of the adjustments that have been made to the VOD window in the last month, let’s get some idea of where we are. The number of titles that have been released in the change-of-plan direct-to-paid-streaming or window-shrinking […]

“Are We There Yet?”

March 26, 2020

Today, we are two-and-half months from the first death from COVID-19 in Wuhan. And things are beginning to start up again in Wuhan and across China. The first death in America from this virus was on February 29, in Washington state. California: March 4. New York: March 14. The arc will vary, but two-and-half months […]

A Little ******* Perspective, Please

March 19, 2020

You know how you were 12 and the entire world was going to notice that zit on your nose and never see you as anything but a troll forever and ever? That is the spirit that the authors of most of the coverage of Hollywood’s COVID-19 problem are embracing. I mean… yes, the entire world […]

Is The Sky Actually Falling This Time?

March 14, 2020

No. It’s not a complicated answer. COVID-19 isn’t a fart in the wind, which is about what it takes to get media to start screeching about the end of this or the end of that part of the industry. But this isn’t Armageddon either. Not even close. That is, unless it is literally Armageddon and […]

Review: Onward (spoiler-free)

March 4, 2020

There is something sad about a bad Pixar movie. Like so many things Disney, Pixar is going through a generational change in the post-Lasseter era. The place is still loaded to the gills with talented people. But when you see a movie like Onward, you realize that something or someone was missing. Onward is not […]

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

My Twitter Feed on Warner Media Th/Fri

David Poland | December 4, 2020

What Will Become Of The Movies?

David Poland | December 3, 2020

Thankful 2020

David Poland | November 26, 2020

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All

Twitter

Steven Zeitchik: "It's worth remembering -- because many people seem to have forgotten -- that before the pandemic U.S. movie theaters had their best two-year period ever, with a collective $23 billion in revenue. This isn't some dying model that digital needs to come in and save. Those sales, incidentally, likely include the many people who swear they will never go to a movie theater again. When the new Marvel or Jordan Peele or Mission: Impossible or Parasite comes only to theaters, I suspect they'll be lining up like they always have. What’s troubling is the false binary: streaming vs theaters. You can like both! Netflix is good and theaters are good! Institutions don't have to die just because something new is cool. And historically it takes more than one company in a strategically tough spot to kill a model. Of course ownership can change and experiences can change. We watched silent films and newsreels and serials in movie houses, and then we saw gritty crime films and pop films and dramatic films, and then 3-D films and franchise films. And there weren't showtimes and then there were showtimes, and seats weren't reserved and then they were reserved; we went from movie palaces to multiplexes to downtown dine-in rooms with reclining seats. And studios owned theaters and then families owned theaters and then entrepreneurs did and then big corporate chains and soon studios might own theaters again, and package movies as experiences or events or something new we haven't yet thought of. Of course it's theoretically possible an entire American institution just goes away. But given how durable it's been over the decades, I wouldn't bet on it. And certainly not because one company, for its own internal reasons, at one moment, needs to put its movies somewhere else."

Twitter | December 5, 2020

CNBC

"Stankey decided to use HBO as the centerpiece for a new mission: Build a true Netflix competitor, dubbed HBO Max. When Stankey took over as AT&T’s CEO, he passed that goal to new WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who previously launched Hulu. Stankey has dismantled the old Time Warner, spurring dozens of executives from all parts of the company to depart. He is attempting to funnel all of the company’s resources from cable, film, and HBO into HBO Max. Disney, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS are all going through similar changes now to prepare for a world where subscription streaming services overtake cable as the world’s primary form of television consumption. Stankey — the MBA-buzzword, deep-voiced phone guy — was ahead of the trend. Still, his vision irritated some veteran WarnerMedia executives, who question Stankey’s knowledge of media. The execution of his mission, which Kilar has overseen since May, has been marred by strategic confusion and culture clashes, according to more than a dozen high-ranking WarnerMedia employees, about half of whom have left the company in the past six months. For now, investors don’t like what they see. AT&T is trading near a 10-year low."

CNBC | December 5, 2020

Twitter

Nicholas Kristof: "I've spent the last few months reporting this piece about Pornhub. What most people don't realize is that it's infested with rape videos. I talked to child trafficking survivors whose rape videos the company had distributed and monetized. Unconscionable. Let's be clear: The issue is not porn, it's rape. Just as the problem with Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby wasn't the sex but the lack of consent, it's the same with Pornhub. Search "13yo" on Pornhub, and you get more than 100,000 videos. There are playlists called "Under Age." A special question for Canada, because Pornhub is based in Montreal. Prime Minister Trudeau, you are rightly proud of your reputation as a feminist. So why does Canada host a company that inflicts rape videos on the world? It's not just Pornhub, of course. Companies have enjoyed impunity, so even as we prosecuted individuals like Jeffrey Epstein we allowed corporations like Mindgeek (which owns Pornhub) to monetize rape videos. Pornhub is Jeffrey Epstein times 1,000. Solutions are difficult and complicated. I don't have perfect ways to solve the problem of online child sexual abuse. But I do outline steps that would help. These survivors risked so much to tell their stories."

Twitter | December 5, 2020

Screen Daily

World's Second-Largest Exhibitor, Cineworld, Pledges Reopening March 2021, Post-Vaccine

Screen Daily | December 5, 2020

The Video Section See All

Mrs. America, Uzo Aduba

David Poland | September 8, 2020

The Podcast Section See All