I guess there must be a lot of Southland Tales to tell because, as the official Cannes Film Festival website proclaims, Richard Kelly ‘s apocalyptic drama-supplemented-with-music-by-Mobey runs two hours and 40 minutes. That in itself implies sweep, longing, ambition. Ron Howard‘s The DaVinci Code, which is showing out of competition at the beachside festival, runs eight minutes shorter, or 152 minutes.
Merissa Marr‘s Wall Street Journal piece about how Tom Cruise has lost his footing with women fans (and what his people are doing to tryin and get some of it back) echoes what the Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell told me a while back, which is that women went cold on Cruise last summer, which was perhaps due more to his attack on Brooke Shields over post-partum depression issues. “At that moment, he moved from the realm of acceptable eccentricity to something scary and cruel,” comments Martin Kaplan, director of the Norman Lear Center, in Marr’s piece. “It’s easier to forgive his joking about placenta than what is perceived to be an attack on a vulnerable woman’s real problem.” Marr comes to more or less the same conclusion I came to in an earlier piece about Cruise’s image problems, which is that they aren’t bad enough to hurt Mission: Impossible III in a serious way, but they may be bad enough to shave at the profit margins. Enough so that Paramount number-crunchers may slide their glasses down to the bridge of their nose and go, “Hmmmmm…yeah.”
Stephen Colbert‘s Bush-lacerating address before the recent White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — an extremely dry riff on the power and persistence of denial — is worth a looksee.
Thanks for the supportive, encouraging comments about the newly designed main page, which is simultaneously a default home page as well as a kind of parallel-universe home page, since “Elsewhere Classic” — or the good old Hollywood Elsewhere — is alive and kicking and just a click away. The next move is to create a click-thru “comments” template that would link to each item. In fact, I’m trying to figure how to set this up right now.
The biggest flop of the summer? I liked Poseidon and all, but financial prospects for this Warner Bros. release (5.12) are not good. It cost $160 million to make. To be regarded as a seriously performing hit, a movie of this sort needs to bring in $35 or $40 million on opening weekend. Right now, 10 days from opening day, tracking indicates perhaps a $15 million opening weekend at best. Having decided against a nationwide sneak last weekend, Warner Bros. is now trying to jack up interest with big ad buys. A 90-second
The latest NRG numbers on The DaVinci Code are huge — 94% general awareness, 58% definite interest and 25% first choice. Ron Howard’s film (and I have to say that David Poland’s nickname for this film — Opie’s Dae — is inspired) may be the biggest film of the summer because it seems to have the broadest advance interest among the four quadrants. It doesn’t appear to be as big with under-25s as, say, Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest or Brett Ratner‘s X-Men: The Last Stand but still…
This morning marks the launch of what I’m calling “Elsewhere Now“, which is the new default version of Hollywood Elsewhere. From here on, the front page of the column will be a series of items all running the same length, most of them WIRED-type quickies (which can be read in their entirety on the main page or, if they’re longer than 105 words, will require a jump) with a thrice-weekly feature story thrown in with a little clapboard icon signifying this. For those of you who hate change in any form, this isn’t as big a shake-up as it might seem. If you don’t like the new design just click on “switch to Elsewhere Classic” and you’ll be taken to the standard page with the “old” design (i.e., the one I started with in September 2004). There may be one or two more tweaks or touch-ups over the next day or so, but nothing much. Two designers co-created this new look — one of them is Team Elsewhere’s Jon Rahoi — and if you ask me a beyond-splendid job has been rendered. (Rahoi, a San Francisco-based programmer and web design professional, lists Amazon, Hewlett-Packard and Lucent among his clients.) In any case, sweating out this new design plus being in Houston and travelling on Continental Airlines is why I haven’t posted as much as I usually do the last three days, but it’ll be the usual-usual from here on. I mean, it won’t be the usual-usual because now there are two (clap!), two (clap!)…two Hollywood Elsewhere’s in one.
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