“Ratatouille is not only the best animated film of this year and the best animated film to land in American theaters since Spirited Away, it is the best work of Brad Bird‘s already legendary career, and the best American film of 2007 to date. If that is not enough, there are only a couple of films due this summer that have any hope of matching this film for quality.”
If the previous words were written by anyone but David Poland, I would be even more jazzed about Ratatouille (Disney, 6.29). But unfortunately they were in fact written by the man who couldn’t stop praising Dreamgirls, who told everyone that Quills was miraculous, who trashed Brokeback Mountain and United 93 and Zodiac, who banged the tin drum for Munich and who once wrote about shedding a tear (he may have mentioned more than one) over Finding Forrester.
Ratatouille may indeed be wonderful, but I’ll be the one to decide this yea or any after I see it this Saturday morning — five days from now.
Movie City News is saying that Google “seems to be policing the full, uncut, single-file versions of Sicko posted to their video sharing system, removing not only the one that was up all weekend, but another couple of new ones that cropped up this morning.” Okay, but what possible difference does that make when you type in “Sicko download” on Google’s search engine (as I just did ten minutes ago) and nine — count’ em, nine — sites come up offering free Sicko downloads?
Obviously pirates are pirates are pirates, but I’m also starting to consider a couple of scenarios: One, there’s a cabal of right-wing Moore haters who are behind the stealing and distributing of his film. Or two, that said haters, even if there was no political motive behind the original theft of the film, are at least relishing what’s happening and clapping their hands and fanning the flames any way they can.
A line from a recent news story about the YouTube offering of Sicko wasn’t used for obvious reasons, but the reporter passed it along. “While the motivation of the leaker(s) remains unclear,” it read, “one full copy of Sicko uploaded to a pirate website includes ‘suckourdicks’ in the file name.” Does that suggest anything to anyone? “Suck our dicks” as in “fuck you, Moore!!…and we hope this hurts as a kind of payback for stretching the truth and flim-flamming in order to push your cause in Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11“…or words to that effect.
I’m just thinking out loud and nursing a gut suspicion, but we all know how the right hates Moore. Would anyone be surprised if what I’m saying turns out to be even half-true?
Three links — a visual shot-by-shot analysis, an in-depth analysis on Gawker and another one from Bob Harris — that make a very strong (damn near unchallengable) case that Tony Soprano sleeps with the fishes. The guy with the Members Only jacket (curly haired, cold-eyed …looked a little bit like a young Phil Leotardo) came out of the bathroom and put a bullet into Tony’s right temple.
Tony Soprano’s killer takes a second look before heading for the john
Torture porn and the general gross-out horror flicks are running out of steam, but does that mean people are cool to any kind of scary movie, even an upscale, quality-level gothic horror flick like 1408? It’s tracking at 56 general awareness, 30 definite interest and 9 first choice — not bad but not a volcano either. The definitely-not-interested percentage is 12, which obviously indicates a turn-off element.
Paramount Vantage’s A Mighty Heart is only at 44, 22 and 6. There seems to be a feeling out there that people aren’t interested in anything Middle East-y or 9.11-ish. (Damn milquetoasts, ostriches, too-sooners.) This is Michael Winterbottom‘s best film ever in that it doesn’t seem to have been directed by him but by Michael Mann.
The reviews have been good-respectable-decent, but not that many critics have been saying “drop everything and see it.” Plus it’s being said that Angelina Jolie is “not that big a star, and never has been,” a guy says. Whatever that means. The knee-jerkers are going all “meh”? Jolie is a major name and (take this to the bank) she gives a first-rate performance here.
For a movie that cost more than $200 million (is it higher?), Evan Almighty‘s tracking isn’t looking all that great…89, 40 and 15. It appears fated to take in $25 million by Sunday night — that’s not big enough for a big-studio (i.e., Universal), super-sized gamble movie.
Live Free Die Hard (20th Century Fox, opening Wednesday, 6.27), the slam-bang Bruce Willis action tentpoler, is at 92, 36 and 5 — decent opening (maybe a better-than-decent one) but not through the roof….yet.
Dull-as-dishwater Evening (opening 6.29) is at 22, 2 and 1…forget it.
Disney/Pixar’s Ratatouille (6.29) is going to be huge. Word-of-mouth is soaring, and it wisely snuck last weekend across the country. It’s now at 78, 36 and 7…definitely on track to be the #1 picture that weekend.
Sicko (6,29) is at 38, 22 and 3. And yet 22 % are saying “definitely not interested.” Neg-heads, cynics, rightwingers, ostriches. “A lot of the country doesn’t want to see Michael Moore,” a friend told me. Except Sicko is a major eye-opener, it delivers basic real-world truths and (trust me) it makes you choke up at the end.
License to Wed (opening 7.3), the supposedly atrocious Robin Williams comedy, is at 69, 22 and 2.
Michael Bay‘s Transformers (7.3) is at 87, 41 and 12…good but not yet sensational. It has time to build so we’ll see what’s doing next week. Obviously has the highest definite-interest and first-choice numbers.
Five films opening this weekend (6.22 to 6.24) are, quality-wise, exceptional. It’s almost irritating that they’re bunched into a single weekend because one or more is sure to suffer from the competition, especially given the wrist-slitting likelihood that Tom Shadyac‘s allegedly lame-o Evan Almighty (Universal, 6.22) is going to get the crowds and make the most money.
I’ve seen three of the five goodies opening this weekend — Mikael Hafstrom‘s 1408, Michael Winterbottom‘s A Mighty Heart and Zoe Cassevetes‘ Broken English. (Click on titles for links to HE reactions.)
I can’t say anything definitive (let alone personal) about Jon Dahl‘s You Kill Me or Black Sheep (seeing them both within the next couple of days) but their respective Rotten Tomatoes ratings — 100% and 85% — are obviously encouraging.
Why couldn’t one or two of these five have opened last weekend, which was fairly dead by the standards of anyone with taste or a brain? What persons of consequence gave a shit about seeing Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer?
The Sicko pirating is spreading further…good God. Last week stolen Sicko‘s were being offered on priatebay.org and BitTorrent.com. (The pirate monikers were reported by Newsweek in this week’s issue.) And now the Hollywood Reporter‘s Gregg Goldstein informs that viewers “could find it easily on YouTube this weekend.”
The 124 minute health-care doc (Weinstein/Lionsgate, 6.29) was “posted by at least two users in 14 consecutive video chunks,” with one version receving “500 to 600 views per segment, with one of the first segments garnering nearly 1,700 views” and “another version uploaded Saturday garnering 200-300 views per segment, with the first 10 minutes getting more than 1,200 views.”
When Goldstein asked for an official comment from late Sunday, a Weinstein Co. spokesperson “was unaware that the entire film was on YouTube,” he reports. “A Lionsgate executive and a YouTube spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.”
Check out Moore’s 6.17.07 visit to Late Night with David Letterman.