I’m sitting in a little joint on Second Avenue near 11th Street,
trying to do a little work and savor the warm mid-afternoon air.
But I can’t. I have to pack up and leave. A group of hysterical
shriekers sat down about ten or twelve minutes ago — okay, a
shrieking man and a cackling woman accompanied by two hee-hee-ers —
and all I want to do is see one of them choke to death on a piece
of ham. Or…you know, be garroted by one of the waiters.
It has to be said again because this trend isn’t ebbing — it’s
getting worse. There’s nothing quite as awful to me (and others, I
presume) as people who laugh like drunken coyotes
or wild orgasm dogs in restaurants. The key
component in any display of obnoxious public behavior is being
utterly oblivious to the possibility that you might be offending
others. Clearly such a thought hasn’t occured to the gang sitting
next to me now. It’s...
Harry Brown is “a movie about the one guy who did
something,” Michael Caine recently
said to Movieline‘s Stu VanAirsdale.
“The idea [in making it] was, If you don’t do something, then this
is what innocent people will do.’
“A reporter said to me yesterday, ‘Have you ever seen this with
a proper audience?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘When you kill those
people, they all cheered.’ And I said, ‘That’s exactly what I’m
talking about. That’s how far it’s gone.’ You’ve got to do
something, because people are cheering the killing.”
Well…c’mon. People have been cheering the right killings
for decades. If the bad guy is getting his,...
I just sent an important message to a friend who’s going to the
Cannes Film Festival for the first time, and I thought I’d share it
with anyone else who’s also going but has never been: If you don’t
bring an electrical adapter (i.e., adapteur) that looks almost
precisely like the one shown in these photos, then you are
dead in Cannes.
I’m not talking about a power converter, but an adapter. And it
has to be the exact same shape because all the French power
receptacles in walls and electric multi-plug strips are
recessed, so it’s not good enough to just have a
converter with those two rounded metal plugs — you need the kind
I’ve got here because the rounded white plastic base from which the
metal plugs extend fits into the recessed
Indiewire‘s Eric Kohn
agrees with my view that the highlight of the Tribeca Film
Festival “was Eliot Spitzer — or, rather,
Alex Gibney‘s wry, even-handed account of the
disgraced former New York governor’s rise and fall, which may or
may not be called Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot
Spitzer.” Kohn lists some of the attributes, which I’ve
This is probably the classiest and most generally appealing
one-sheet of the year so far, and it had better be that, given what
it’s selling. Debra Granik‘s Winter’s Bone, which I caught at Sundance 2010, is a
straight, earnest and well-honed backwoods tale…but occuring within
a grim and scuzzy atmosphere. Joe Popcorn is going to take one look
and say, “I work hard all week for insufficient pay at a place I
don’t like, and then I’m supposed to watch this when I
want to be entertained?”
Aside from Jennifer Lawrence, who plays a
steel-backboned 17 year-old trying to fend for her family as he
tries to locate her errant...
Two days ago I wrote
that Gregg Kinnear‘s decision to play President
John F. Kennedy in an allegedly
right-wing-friendly History Channel miniseries called The
Kennedys “means [he] isn’t all that worried about liberal
Hollywood establishment types frowning at this decision, and is
willing to risk offending those (like documentarian Robert
Greenwald and former Kennedy confidante Theodore
Sorenson) who’ve sounded alarms about the tone and
political leanings of the forthcoming epic.”
Sure enough, Greenwald
went public yesterday with a challenge to Kinnear and
Katie Holmes (who’s signed to play Jackie
Kennedy) to “insist on a historically...
I wonder what persuaded CAA, River Road Entertainment,
Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi to
cut a deal for Summit Entertainment to distribute Doug
Liman‘s Fair Game? Favorable financial terms, I’m
sure, as well as a strong p & a commitment and a promise of
marketing vigor when it opens. I for one would have had second
thoughts in view of Summit’s half-hearted track record with The
Hurt Locker, and to a lesser extent The Ghost
The bottom-line impression (as opposed to whatever the reality
may be) is that while Summit is proficient with Oscar campaigns,
they haven’t been that tenacious with their theatrical releases.
They seemed awfully hesitant when it came to the distributing of
The Hurt Locker, taking forever to commit to a release
date after picking it up at the 2008 Toronto Film...
Recently dischargedVariety senior critic Todd McCarthy has
he’ll be authoring a new online column — Deep Focus — at
Indiewire starting on May 12th, or the first day of the
Cannes Film Festival. He was probably coaxed into this deal by
Indiewire columnist and old pally
Anne Thompson, and the benefits are clearly mutual —
Indiewire lands a a major brand-name critic and McCarthy
gets to play it a bit differently as a pick-and-choose sharpshooter
(instead of leading and coordinating a team of Variety
critics) while adopting a new bloggy-blog fluidity in his
Three days ago ScriptShadow’s Carson Reeves
posted a review
of an “early draft” of Jez and John
Butterworth‘s screenplay for Doug Liman‘s
Fair Game, which will be playing in Cannes quite soon.
Reeves says that the script doesn’t quite do one thing or the
other, which I find intriguing. This sentence caught me especially:
“It reminded me, in many ways, of Michael Mann‘s
The Insider, which is another film that demands a
lot from you.”
Here are the final three graphs:
“Whereas [the first] 60-70 pages [are] about the plot which led
to the invasion of Iraq, the script [then] becomes this personal
journey about how a CIA operative (Naomi...
I’ve noted many times in this space that I understand the plight
of Hollywood filmmakers who support Republican or conservative
causes. I got into this when I wrote a big piece for Los
Angeles magazine in early ’95 called “Right Face,” about how
it was easier in the liberal Hollywood culture of the mid ’90s to
say you’re gay than confess to being a rightie, which could put you
on what Lionel Chetwynd called a “white list.”
So I knew right away what Patrick Goldstein was
on about yesterday when he
quoted mystery novelist and screenwriter Andrew
Klavan, a leading conservative activist, to wit: “There’s
a culture in Hollywood where if you’re a left-winger, you can talk
very openly…. If you go in to sell...
Last night I scored a copy of the opening episode of
Bill Condon and Cynthia Mort‘s
Tilda — a recent draft with the words “Tilda_April” on the
top left corner. The cat ran out of the bag
eight days ago, of course, when Hollywood Reporter
columnist Matthew Belloni ran a
combination review and legal assessment piece based on a
reading of a February first draft, so there’s nothing to say that’s
strictly mine except to call it hugely entertaining and so on. I’ll
elaborate in a sec.
A longstanding policy at a certain studio has been to provide certain producers and production companies with box-office tracking reports as a courtesy. No big deal, been happening for ages. This morning the following e-mail was received from studio management: “Due to the ongoing debate about the potential trading of Movie Futures, [studio name] has instituted a policy that no one without a studio e-mail address will be receiving tracking reports from this department. Thank you for your understanding.” Thank you , Cantor Fitzgerald LP!
Julie Bertucelli’s The Tree, a drama about grief recovery and spiritual family nourishment, will be shown in Cannes following the closing ceremony on Sunday, 5.23. The Australian-based film, costarring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Martin Csokas and Aden Young, is an adaptation of Judy Pascoe‘s Our Father Who Art in the Tree.
If someone is in a position to forward relatively recent drafts of the first episodes of Tilda, the HBO series that will star Diane Keaton as a Hollywood blogger somewhat like Nikki Finke, please do so. Bill Condon and Cynthia Mort are in creative control.
It goes without saying, I presume, that Bill Condon allegedly agreeing to direct the final Twilight movie — i.e., Breaking Dawn — sounds weird. Like he’s slumming, I mean. We all have to keep body and soul together and I wish him the best. Maybe he can make something more out of a franchise that everyone turned on last November when New Moon was seen. It’s been rumored that the latest one, Eclipse, also smells.
To me, Gregg Kinnear
signing to play President John F. Kennedy in
an allegedly right-wing-friendly History Channel miniseries called
The Kennedys means one of two things.
One, Kinnear isn’t all that worried about liberal Hollywood
establishment types frowning at this decision, which some are
certain to do. Or two, he really needs the work and is willing to
risk offending those (like Robert Greenwald and
former Kennedy confidante Theodore Sorenson)
alarms about the tone and political leanings of the forthcoming
Rabid conservative Joel Surnow is exec
producing The Kennedys. The screenplay has been written
Part Two of Robert Welkos‘
article about Hollywood Blogger Wars, subtitled “Crackpot
Ratings – Nikki Finke, Sharon Waxman, David Poland, Jeffrey
Wells” — went up last night. Poland is deemed the
crackpot-wackiest (i.e., level 5), followed by the equally-rated
Harry Knowles, Tom O’Neil and Sharon
Waxman (level 4) and then myself (level 3), and then
Scott Feinberg and Sasha Stone
(level 2) and finally Nikki Finke (level 1).
In a USA Today piece about Robert
Redford‘s The Conspirator, Anthony
Breznican says it “follows the race to hunt down the small
band of Confederate sympathizers” who helped plot to murder
President Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet.
And yet Breznican decides against mentioning what I reported
on 4.16 after reading James Solomon‘s
Conspirator script, which is that (a) the plot and the
chase are handled in flashbacks and (b) the basic plotline of
The Conspirator involves a young attorney (James
McAvoy) being reluctantly assigned to defend Mary Surratt
in her conspiracy trial.
Due respect paid to Award Daily‘s Sasha Stone, who posted this Allocine-generated clip from Woody Allen‘s You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger before me. It’s not much, fairly standard, etc. Obviously Antonio Banderas is thinking about doing the nasty with Naomi Watts and vice versa.
Last night I finally saw Michael Winterbottom‘s
The Killer Inside Me. It’s not a “bad” film, but the
savage beatings of Jessica Alba and Kate
Hudson are certainly sickening and easy to loathe. Most of
the audience was in a lousy mood to begin with because the stars
arrived so late and spent so much time on the red carpet that the
film started 45 minutes late, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch
to tip over into animosity.
This is four days late, but here are four sequential videos I shot of Alex Gibney‘s q & a following last Saturday’s screening of his Untitled Eliot Spitzer Film. Here are part 2, part 3 and part 4. A fascinating discussion. And here’s my 4.24 review again. (Tribeca Film Festival honcho Geoff Gilmore is the one standing next to Gibney.)
Movieline‘s Stu VanAirsdale ran into
Fair Game‘s Doug Liman last night (i.e.,
at an event I missed due to seeing Michael
Winterbottom‘s The Killer Inside Me) and of
spoke to him about the film, which will show at next month’s
Cannes Film Festival:
STV: “It’s kind of a weird climate for this
film. There was Nothing But the Truth, which was kind of
mishandled. Then there was Green Zone , which audiences
were very cool toward. Where will Fair Game fall in this
political intrigue/spy thriller spectrum?”
Liman: “I think it’s in the spectrum of ‘it’s a
really great movie.’ And a lot of other movies
that have been about the war or...
N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott has
delivered one of his
perfect little sonnet pieces on James Foley
and David Mamet‘s Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). Except he doesn’t mention
Foley. No one who talks about this film ever does. Because
GGR is a show about one thing and one thing only — Mamet’s
“hard-boiled, lyrical mysticism,” as Scott puts it.
Low star and executive producer Robert
Duvall said during today’s junket that Crazy
Heart director Scott Cooper recently met with
Brad Pitt about directing The Hatfields and
the McCoys for Warner Bros….if and when Pitt decides to clear
a place in his schedule. An excellent script about the legendary
family feud of the 1800s has been written by Eric Roth, Duvall
said. Pitt’s Plan B would produce with Pitt playing “the main guy,”
Duvall said. Duvall would costar, and T-Bone
Burnett would do the music.
star/executive producer Robert Duvall during
this afternoon’s Four Seasons press junket —...
The Cinetic/Film Buff team today hosted a few
journalists for lunch at the Half King (23rd St. and 10th
Avenue) to discuss various new ventures. Big Kahuna John
Sloss and aggressive lieutenant Matt
Dentler discussed the basics, which is basically that
FilmBuff, the digital
distribution label run by Cinetic Rights
Management, will release Pelada, a doc about soccer
that debuted last month at South by Southwest, in June. And that
which has been among the top-ten iTunes sellers, will be released
on DVD on 6.15.
Matt Dentler, John Sloss at...