A new Sony 4K UHD Bluray player with HDR/Dolby Vision arrived early this afternoon, and so I took a couple of mildly frustrating hours to set it up. It’s a fine, first-rate unit for the most part, but all TV tech pisses me off in one way or another. It’s actually the TV that’s bothering me but I’ll work out the kinks.
I love Jenny Slate but I’m also inclined to duck movies costarring Zach Galifianakis. (Okay, Birdman excepted.) So this is an ixnay, I’m afraid.
To go by descriptions, David Wnendt and Rebecca Dinerstein‘s The Sunlit Night (Quiver, 7.17) is a total Sundance flick — “a twee running-from-romance-only-to-find-it comedy set at that far Northern remove…the kind of movie that Sundance audiences love (the opening-night crowd laughed in all the right places) but hardly anyone goes to see in general release…the kind of crowd-pleaser that will be lucky to find a crowd.” — from Peter Debruge‘s Variety review, filed on 1.26.19.
Poor Steve Bing, the 55 year-old film financier, political donor and philanthropist who ran Shangri-la Entertainment, has killed himself by jumping from a 27th floor Century City condo.
The guy was loaded and could have gone anywhere or done anything, but he was reportedly depressed by the same coronavirus isolation that we’ve all been coping with. This, at least, is a theory being reported by TMZ.
What a sad and inexplicable ending for a well-liked guy who certainly had options and remedies for whatever was ailing him.
Bing had been in a brief relationship with Elizabeth Hurley, and was the father of her son, Damian, who was born in 2002. (Bing initially denied paternity, but a DNA test proved he was the biological dad.)
Shangrila Entertainment films include The Polar Express (2004), Albert Brooks‘ Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005), Martin Scorserse‘s Shine a Light (’09), Barry Levinson‘s Rock the Kasbah (’15), Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply (‘16) and Matthew Vaughn‘s Kingsman: The Golden Circle (’17)
The six-foot-four Bing co-wrote the 2003 feature film Kangaroo Jack. He executive produced Sylvester Stallone‘s Get Carter (’00).
The grandson of real-estate tycoon Leo S. Bing, Steve — born on 3.31.65 — inherited $600 million while a Stanford University junior.
Hugs and condolences to Bing’s friends, colleagues, family. I’m very sorry.
Yesterday evening an HE commenter named “Jimmy Porter” brought up Jan De Bont‘s Twister, and said I reminded him of “Bill ‘The Extreme’ Harding”, the Tornado whisperer played by Bill Paxton. I never took that film seriously (who did?) and I never felt that Harding was much of a character. Twister is a bad film but “fun” in pieces. It’s basically a series of FX sequences strung together by a romantic triangle story (Paxton, new flame Jami Gertz, old flame Helen Hunt).
HE to Porter: “Thanks for the Bill Paxton analogy. (I guess.) The instinct guy, feels the tornado energy in his bones, etc. I can’t even recall Cary Elwes’ antagonist character in Twister. I saw it once 24 years ago at a Westwood all-media screening. (Critically pummeled but the second highest-grossing film of ‘96 with $495 million worldwide, Twister was a career peak for headstrong director Jan De Bont, who would gradually flame out with Speed 2: Cruise Control, The Haunting and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.). I naturally recall Paxton and Helen Hunt and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. And Lois Smith’s grandma character who fed them all steak and gravy and mashed potatoes in one downtime scene.”
I’ve been ducking Twister for 24 years, and now — oddly — I’m suddenly thinking of watching it again.
Joel Schumacher text message from heaven to Indiewire‘s Ryan Lattanzio: I don’t mind saying that in life I was a better-than-capable director and sometimes a first-rate one. The Client, A Time to Kill, Tigerland, Phone Booth, Veronica Guerin, The Phantom of the Opera, Trespass, etc. But my finest and most confident film — ask anyone — was Falling Down (’93), an angry-white-man drama starring Michael Douglas and Robert Duvall.
Falling Down didn’t have bat nipples or butt shots, but it was sly sociology and the most on-target, perfect-pocket-drop film I ever made — and one that connected with the culture in some kind of resonant and fundamental way. It came out 27 years ago and it feels like it was yesterday. Especially in heaven where there’s no sense of time anyway.
But then 2020 rolls in and I finally succumb to cancer and arise into the clouds, and the first thing I see when I arrive (they have iPads up here) is your Indiewire obit, and you don’t even mention Falling Down? Because…what, it’s not politically correct to pay respects to or even mention a movie about an angry white guy? Because middle-aged white dudes are regarded as bad news by wokesters, BLM-ers and #MeToo-ers…right?
I’m sure you’re a nice guy, Ryan, but this is why some people hate Indiewire. Because sometimes it tries to editorially convey a certain view of life. It observes but also instructs to a certain degree. Because it’s Woke Central, progressive to a fault, the People’s Central Committee, etc.
And on top of this your obit headline highlights three of my lesser achievements — St. Elmo’s Fire, The Lost Boys and Batman Forever? I don’t mind if people associate my career with the two Batman films and maybe have a laugh, but I don’t want to be “remembered” for them, if you catch my drift.
I did better, and I’m truly angry that you ignored my ultimate work. I’ve always held myself in check on earth and was certainly never one to lose my temper, but if I could come back to earth right now I would find the Indiewire offices and walk up to your desk and give you the dirtiest look imaginable. And I would hold it for a full minute.
“It really is important not to [try to] win. It’s like fighting with your wife,. You don’t win…you can’t win. Because you have to live with her. But maybe you can solve the problem and bring about peace.
“People from the radical left are 95% like you. Pull them out of the mob and they’re like your neighbor’s 19 year-old kid, who’s kinda clueless and rebellious.
“This is something I learned in part from Solzhenitsyn and in part from Jung…the way you set the world straight is by constraining the malevolence in your own heart.”
HE to Jordan Peterson: Tell that to Glenn Kenny.
The HFPA’s decision to air the 2021 Golden Globe awards on Sunday, 2.28.21 — the final day of Oscar eligibility per last week’s AMPAS announcement — is bold and shrewd. Obviously. It makes the Globes a major award season influencer as the Oscar voting process doesn’t begin until March 5 with final balloting concluding on 4.20.
2021 Oscar timetable: Nomination voting begins on Friday, 3.5.21, and ends on Wednesday, 3.10.21. Nominations will be announced on Monday, 3.15. The Final voting occurs between 4.15 and 4.20. So the Golden Globes will be over and done with ten days before Oscar nomination balloting finishes and seven to eight weeks before final Oscar voting.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the 2.28 GG ceremony. The Golden Globes are typically held on the first or second Sunday of January. The 2020 edition was held on Sunday, 1.15.
The Ansel Elgort + Gabby unhappiness reminded me of a basic romantic truth. No matter how you slice it or divvy it out, breakups are always painful on both ends. There’s no gentle way to break the news. No sentiment ever made me recoil or flinch as much as “I’d still like to be friends…I really would.”
During my hormonal heyday I lowered the boom as much as I was cast aside, and I’m ashamed to admit that I was occasionally like Ansel in that I wasn’t especially caring or compassionate when the moment arrived. I almost always took the passive-aggressive approach by not calling or ducking their calls — of basically letting the relationship die from a thousand cuts or omissions.
Yeah, I know — deplorable cowardice.
Breaking up almost always involves lying. No one ever tells the truth. No one ever says “I’m sorry but I’ve come to regretfully realize that you have personality flaws that are too much for me to deal with, and so I think it’s best we go our separate ways.”
Every time I was told “I’m sorry but I need to be on my own journey for a while” or words to that effect, it almost always meant “I’m starting to see someone else that I like better, and I have the right to make choices…we all do…and my choice is to cut you loose.”
To be completely honest, back in the randy ’70s I was so terrified of being dumped that I routinely had three or even four romances (call them ardent flirtations) going at the same time. That way if one cut me loose I’d still have the other two or three to fall back on. I know what this sounds like. It sounds like I was a cad, and I guess I was.
But it didn’t seem that way from my perspective. It was the early to mid ’70s, and I was a kid in a candy store. I know — that’s a Jack Lemmon line from Some Like It Hot, but that’s how it was. Or, you know, how it felt.
So COVID-wise we’re nearly back to April…right? The big cities flatlining or declining, but with serious infection spikes in the hinterland, particularly in the southeast, Sun Belt and portions of the west.
I’m so sick of this. We all are. I’m still living like a cloistered monk for the most part, not counting trips to the market and weekend hikes (plus two recent dental trips to Mexico). I feel so deflated, so gloomy.
Three or four weeks ago I was nursing this fantasy that things would gradually level off for the most part, followed by a modest fall surge sometime in late September or October. I’m telling myself that the spikes have mainly been caused by careless red-state bumblefucks, and that’s probably true for the most part. If they’d only been stricter with themselves for a bit longer! The European union nations lived and behaved in a fairly hardcore fashion, and now they’re experiencing a serious decline across the board.
But not your rough-and-ready, whiteside-wearing Americans! We reserve the right to be assholes, to fart upwind, to go mask-free, to throw fat grandma off the train if need be, etc.
From “Coronavirus Cases Spike Across Sun Belt as Economy Lurches into Motion,” a 6.14 N.Y. Time story by Julie Bosman and Mitch Smith: “The spikes in cases bring leaders in these states to a new crossroads: (a) Accept the continued rise in infections as an expected cost of reopening economies or (b) consider slowing the lifting of restrictions aimed at stopping the spread or even imposing a new set of limits.”
COVID spike map stolen from N.Y Times.
I despised Prometheus, of course, and thought that The Martian was way over-praised, but the following Ridley Scott films are totally approved and seriously admired: The Duellists, Alien, Blade Runner, Black Rain, Thelma & Louise, Black Hawk Down, American Gangster, the directors’ cut version of Kingdom of Heaven, The Counselor and All the Money in the World. Oh, and the 1984 Orwellian commercial for the new Macintosh computers. So that’s 11.