The Eye is tracking at 72, 35 and 12 — on a normal weekend the Jessica Alba thriller would be looking at something like $15 million, but tempered by Sunday’s Super Bowl it may dip down to the $11 or $12 million range. Over Her Dead Body is at 65,25 and 4. Strange Wilderness…36, 25 and 2. For whatever reason the significant indicators that the Hannah Montana concert film will be extra-big (as indicated by yesterday’s Fandango report) aren’t showing up in tracking…79, 15 and 4..
Fool’s Gold, opening next week, is now at 81, 33 and 7….decent. Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show…28, 11 and 0. Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins…59, 29 and 5. Definitely Maybe (2.14) is now at 35,29 and 1. Jumper…52, 39 and 6….not bad. Vantage Point (2.22) is at 44, 38 and 4…it could pop.
How will Warner Bros. and the Dark Knight team handle Heath Ledger‘s unrecorded looping sessions? Slate‘s Kim Masters is reporting that “it would be unusual for director Chris Nolan to have all the sound that he wants at this early stage [for a film coming out in July], and that on a big-budget franchise picture like The Dark Knight, a producer opines, “looping would be the norm.”
The obvious solution would be to use a voice artist “and there are rumors that the studio will do that,” Masters writes. “If so, the studio’s denials would be understandable: Warner wouldn’t want the public to be listening for variations in the voice when the movie is released. But the producer assures: ‘With a good voice artist, you would never know the difference.'”
“Feb. 5th isn’t going to decide anything for Obama or against, and tomorrow night isn’t the American Idol finale. Remember [that] the Democrats don’t play the ‘Winner Take All Game’ with delegates that the GOP does. I expect Obama to lose California, but lose close. At the end of the day though, he’s going to come away with a huge chunk of delegates from California. And Feb. 12th isn’t going to settle much either. In a way, look to April…Ohio, Pennslyania.
“Obama just got himself 170,000 new contributors after N.H. Those people aren’t going to be voting for Hillary. I’d bet that a majority of Edwards Supporters (particularly here in California) are going for Obama.
“Also, Florida was very interesting. 59% of the votes cast in Florida were done through early voting. Hillary creamed Obama among early voters. But among voters deciding late, among voters who decided at the polls the day of the primary, they split 50-50. (This is a concern in California as well as more and more people vote early).
“The bottom line is that Obama is in it to win it. This is no joke. The needle is moving in his direction.” — HE reader Malcolm Johnson.
The usual February dog days aren’t as canine as they could be. Screenings of City of Men, The Eye, Young at Heart, Diary of the Dead, The Hottie and the Nottie, Cover, The Witnesses, Snow Angels. (What about Vantage Point?) In Bruges, The Band’s Visit and Fool’s Gold (HE favorite Matthew McConaughey!) opening on 2.8; Be Kind Rewind, The Counterfeiters and Vantage Point on 2.22; Chop Shop on 2.27 in NYC; Chicago 10 (limited); City of Men and The Other Boleyn Girl on 2.29. Plus the will-they-or-won’t-they-happen Oscars, special screenings, script reviews, next week’s DVD of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, etc (which, of course, will be bare-bones to allow for a subsequent “director’s cut with extras” version down the road.)
How does a neutral observer square “more WGA progress” and “things are looking very good” (posted two days ago by the WGA-friendly Nikki Finke) with Michael Ceiply‘s 1.31 N.Y. Times report about Phil Alden Robinson‘s United Hollywood 1.29 post saying the DGA deal is wrong for the WGA and calling for a toughened bargaining position?
I’m not getting a conciliatory let’s-build-upon-the-DGA deal, things-are-starting- to-coalesce vibe at all. (Consider also this Alan Rosenberg/Doug Allen letter to SAG membership letter.) Feels like the same-old digging in the heels. Ceiply concludes with a paragraph that says that Robinson and Jeff Hermanson, the writers√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢ strike coordinator, recently met with Academy chiefs “to hear their case for allowing the Oscar ceremony to proceed without interference by strikers. The guild officials told academy leaders they believed the strike might be settled by 2.24, when the ceremony is scheduled for broadcast by ABC. If not, they said the ceremony would be picketed.”
Imagine the complex thoughts and emotions being experienced by those ten L.A. motorcycle cops as they roared down Coldwater Canyon last night (actually this morning), accompanying an ambulance carrying the permanently fried, baked and scattered Britney Spears, the ultimate meltdown/basket case of our times, along with two squad cars and a handful of SUVs on a trip to a medical facility at UCLA. (Her psychiatrist apparently felt her frazzled state of mind demanded a lockdown evaluation.)
You’re vrooming along on your bike and saying to yourself, “This is my life…look at this! I get paid either way but this is embarassing. I’m an officer of the law by day but right now I’m a paid goon, like a buffed-up spear-carrying guard in a Cecil B. DeMille Biblical spectacle…I’m part of a deranged psychiatric circus. I’ll be reading about myself in the supermarket tabs this weekend. I feel used, abused. The sickness…the madness!”
Paying the least bit of attention to this grotesque spectacle is like glancing at Medusa; one look and you’re infected.
Tomorrow night’s Barack-vs.-Hillary debate at Hollywood’s Kodak theatre will be a political version of an American Idol season finale. Moderated by Wolf Blitzer, questions from L.A. Times reporter Doyle McManus and Politico‘s Jeanne Cummings, no time limits — 5 to 6:30 pm Pacific. Invited guests will be let in at 2:30 pm, doors close at 4 pm; cameras, cell phones and PDA’s verboten. This column will shut down around noon or so.
There’s a sublime tension and at the same time a kind of coming together in Lindsay Anderson‘s This Sporting Life (’63), which was re-issued last week on a Criterion DVD. A 1963 kitchen-sink drama about a somewhat loutish, emotionally needy rugby player (Richard Harris) blundering his way through an unexamined life, it has the usual elements — British working-class despair, rage, sex, banging into furniture..
But there’s such balm and tranquility provided by Denys Coop‘s black-and-white cinematography that it all seems strangely beautiful. Monochrome as luscious as Technicolor, sometimes moody and murky or fog-lit, sometimes pierced by odd shafts of light or reflections of same. A rough-and-tumble world lit and captured with tonal perfection.
“Barack Obama has now cut the gap with Hillary Clinton to 6 percentage points among Democrats nationally in the Gallup Poll Daily tracking three-day average,” today’s Gallup summary reads. “And interviewing conducted Tuesday night shows the gap between the two candidates is within a few points.
“Obama’s position has been strengthening on a day-by-day basis. As recently as Jan. 18-20, Clinton led Obama by 20 points. Today’s Gallup Poll Daily tracking is based on interviews conducted Jan. 27-29, all after Obama’s overwhelming victory in South Carolina on Saturday. Two out of the three nights interviewing were conducted after the high-visibility endorsement of Obama by Sen. Edward Kennedy and his niece Caroline Kennedy.”
The Weinstein Company will distribute Woody Allen‘s atrociously-titled Vicky Cristina Barcelona sometime later this year. Figure late summer/early fall. The romantic roundelay costars Javier Bardem, Patricia Clarkson, Penelope Cruz, Kevin Dunn, Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Messina.
In the Jan. 14 issue of Maclean’s, the Canadian news magazine, Allen says this the following during a three-page interview: “I finished a film in Barcelona this summer that’s a romance. It’s serious in the sense of like Hannah and Her Sisters, [but] it’s not heavy at all, there’s no killing or life-and-death issues in it. It’s a relationship picture.”