The Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell has passed along a clip of the only completed footage of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the 2000 Terry Gilliam project with Johnny Depp that folded after a week of shooting. It runs about six minutes: Neither Howell nor myself are sure if this ended up in Lost in La Mancha, the ’02 doc about the aborted attempt to make this movie, but neither of us remember it.
“It becomes theatrically important, after you die, what your last few days are like.
“For me, it was just like any other weekend in my life. I didn’t eat a last meal, I didn’t jerk off any more or any less, I didn’t climb a mountain or end up swinging from a noose with Mozart’s Requiem in the background. But suddenly it’s important exactly what I did, because they are the last few days, and what you do in the last few days, down to your last lunch, becomes a fairy tale.
“If you force me to make my last weekend a microcosm of my existence, and what my existence means to you, then I’ll tell you how it went and who I played. But first things first: It was an accident. I’m not some fucked-up star who couldn’t deal. I could deal; I just couldn’t sleep.” — from Lisa Taddeo‘s fictional, diary-like riff on Heath Ledger‘s final days, written as if it came from the “other side” (i.e., William Holden-in-Sunset Boulevard-style), in the new Esquire magazine.
McCain lite is a pretty good retort to Hillary right now. So is “what the hell did she really actually do during the ’90s that involved 3 am courage”? So is “where are her tax returns”? For anyone with a modicum of perspective, the fact that Clinton is not only willing but eager to play it butt-ugly and burn the house down in order to take the Democratic nomination is ample damnation.
[Photo montage borrowed from Huffington Post]
The dynamic will change — it’s already changing — but I can’t shake this godawful sensation I have in my stomach that Pennsylvania’s Reagan Democrats have bought into the fear card that Hillary has thrown into the center of the table, and that the die is cast The older white women love her, and their shlumpy husbands — in Pennsylvania and perhaps elsewhere — may be thinking it’s better to have a combative battle-axe with a fierce glare and puff-bags under her eyes than the other guy with a new, turn-the-page hymnbook.
It’s awful — a downer of massive proportions — but Obama is in a situation now and something has to happen. He has to somehow get it on with the Pennsylvania lowbrows and make the vote in their state close…or there may be trouble. He has to at least keep a strong edge in the overall popular vote or certain spineless superdelegates could fold and Clinton could storm the convention and make a tough case, despite the delegate math that she can’t win on.
God save us from the timidity, sluggish thinking and pathetic malleability of the Dunkin’ Donuts Democrats.
Is there not a certain analogy between the older white women who are standing by Hillary and the “downtown” jury that found O.J. Simpson not guilty in his 1994 murder trial? Did the mostly African-American jury not set a murderer free out of logic-free loyalty because they felt they had to stand by a black man in order to defy, for once, decades of prejudicial handling of African American defendants by a one-sided justice system? What is the difference, deep down, between this and millions of older women standing by Hillary despite her contentious cat-scratch vibe and monstrous negatives that will give not only pause but indigestion to millions of voters in the general election out of a sense of profound loyalty to a woman candidate, regardless of her brief?
I missed a buried lead in Variety‘s Anne Thompson 3.3. item that seemed to debunk that strange IMDB posting that has the Coen brothers Burn After Reading playing the Cannes Film Festival on 5.14.
Thompson wrote that (a) while Cannes honcho Thierry Fremaux “will want it [although] he hasn’t screened it yet” and (b) Working Title says “it probably won’t be finished in time.” Wait a minute — a movie that began shooting last August and wrapped sometime in late October — over four months ago — isn’t in some kind of viewable form yet? Given the announced September 12th Focus Features release date, a showing at the Venice Film Festival feels more likely.
The guys at West L.A.’s Laser Blazer told me today that while regular DVDs of Into The Wild have sold fine since arriving two days ago, not a single copy of the HD-DVD version has gone home with a customer. Not surprising, but aren’t there hundreds if not thousands of Los Angeles residents who own HD-DVD players?
What this suggests, obviously, is that they’re thisclose to throwing their players into the garbage dumpster and heading out to buy a Blu-ray player. I saw a 46″ high-def flatscreen on sale at the West L.A. Best Buy yesterday for $2000. That plus $333 for the Blu-ray player. I’d love to have that stuff in my living room, but it still feels pricey. I want a 46-incher for $1200, say, and a Blu-ray player for $175. $1500 all in — that’s more my speed.
One reason I’ve been slow to post today is that I’m scanning old articles for the “Yellowing With Antiquity” section that will be viewable on the newly designed Hollywood Elsewhere, which will hopefully be live by the end of the weekend. In any event, I just scanned my only surviving copy of a 1992 Movieline piece I wrote called “Ten Interviews That Shook Hollywood” and realized to my horror that I’m missing the final two jump pages.
In the unlikely event that some packrat out there has old Movieline issues sitting in their garage, please get in touch. The issue that contained this article had David Bowie on the cover.
The piece offered summaries of the juiciest celebrity interviews I could find back then. The copy I just scanned features five — Truman Capote vs. Marlon Brando (“The Duke in His Domain,” The New Yorker, November 1957), Rex Reed vs. Warren Beatty (“Will The Real Warren Beatty Please Shut Up?,” Esquire, October 1967), Robin Green vs. Dennis Hopper (“Confessions of a Lesbian Chick,” Rolling Stone, May 1971), Tom Burke vs. Ryan O’Neal (“The Shiek of Malibu,” Esquire, September 1973), and Julie Baumgold vs. David Geffen (“The Winning of Cher,” Esquire, February 1975).
Here’s the cover page, page 2, page 3, and page 4.
The opening graph reads, “In view of all the recent bad press Hollywood publicists have been getting for their attempts to control access to celebrity clients, we thought it would be instructive to take a look back at some of the stories published over the years that scared these spin doctors into their current defensive posture.”
Newark Star-Ledger critic Stephen J. Whitty, writing in an e-mail, feels that Phil Villarreal‘s 10,000 B.C. revew “is funny but too kind. A lot of the photography, especially in low-light situations, is rough and grainy.” He also feels that Villarreal’s take is “kind of blind to just how offensive the movie is.” In a culturally reflective, racial-commentary sense, he means.
“I mean, a bunch of nice pretty Northern folks (who speak English) lead a coalition of the willing (include several African tribes, who didn’t know what to do until a white guy show up) against a lot of evil hook-nosed Southern folks who speak some strange language, wrap rags around their heads, prostate themselves in prayer and build pyramids in the desert?
“There’s always a lot of us-vs-them xenophobia at work in these epics (much as the 300 crowd hated to see it) but I thought Emmerich, who has kind of a reactionary streak to begin with, was a little too obvious this time around. Think you should see this one for yourself.”
Whitty’s full review (no URL yet, but here’s the page) will be up Friday. I guess I’ll be paying to see this sucker sometime on Friday night.
Roland Emmerich‘s 10,000 B.C. (opening Friday) is tracking at 84, 42 and 27….very heavily male (particularly younger male), rated PG-13, has to do at least $30 million. No one trusts tracking after after last weekend’s Semi-Pro debacle, but trust me — a 27 first choice means that that all the young animals will be out in force.
Roger Donaldson‘s The Bank Job (also this weekend) is running at 42, 32 and 8. A general awareness rating of 42 is extremely weak for a film opening in two days (Owen Wilson‘s Drillbit Taylor isn’t out until 3.21 but has a general awareness level of 45). Lionsgate is probably confining its run to 50 major urban markets and therefore not reaching every Tom, Dick and Harry.
The presumably contemptible College Road Trip is, of course, looking fairly good with an 83, 24 and 4. Family audience, bring the tots, spillled drinks and popcorn on the floor..
Doomsday (opening 3.14) is running at 47, 24 and 2. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who (also 3.14) is at 77, 40 and 9. Never Back Down (same weekend) is tabulating 32, 34 and 3. As mentioned, Drillbit Taylor (3.21) is 45, 26 and 2. Shutter (also 3.21) is at 30, 22 and 1. Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns is running at 47, 25 and 5 — a low figure for a Perry film at this stage (i.e., two weeks out).
21 (opening 3.28) is at 39, 34 and 4. Run, Fat Boy, Run (ditto) is at 35, 15 and 1. Kimberly Peirce’s Stop-Loss (3.28) is at 26, 20 and 1. And Superhero Movie (same) is at 37, 20 and 1.
“Watch 10,000 B.C. with the right mindset and you can appreciate it as a fairly effective comedy,” writes Arizona Daily Star film critic Phil Villarreal. “As funny as Juno, even. [And] the picture quality is excellent. Beautiful, even. The only problem is whenever it talks, you get really annoyed and want to cover your ears and scream for it to stop. But overall the movie isn’t that bad for a bunch of cavemen, who were much stupider than all of us living today.
“The one way 10,000 B.C. and Juno differ is a small story point. Instead of focusing on a wise-cracking teenager who’s looking for someone to adopt her baby, 10,000 B.C. is about a caveman (Steven Strait) who’s cavewoman (Camilla Belle) is kidnapped (i.e., adopted) by a traveling group of supercavemen who are looking for slaves to build their pyramids.
“The picture quality is excellent, though. Beautiful, even. The only problem is whenever it talks, you get really annoyed and want to cover your ears and scream for it to stop. Just like Nanny from that TV series The Nanny. But overall the movie isn’t that bad for a bunch of cavemen, who were much stupider than all of us living today.
“I can’t figure out exactly Roland Emmerich’s film is set, but it’s definitely ancient times. Like before they had cars, guns or tabloid blogs. And definitely before they had cohesive plots or dialogue that made sense.
“But at least there were sabertooth tigers, mastadons and togas, and at least most of the people knew how to speak English, even if they did so with medieval British accents. The tribes which were too dumb to have invented English yet speak their own crazy gibberish languages, but at least the filmmakers translated it with subtitles, so we could learn ‘Agllabogatttarangaba!’ means ‘Oh, no! I’m being impaled by a sabertooth tiger’s saberteeth!’ Which is really helpful.
” Emmerich surely must have cheated in making his special effects by using actual footage from whatever time it was the movie was set. I’m onto you, Roland. No way your fancy computers and puppets can make mastadons look so real.
“The beasts look more true-to-life than the people, in fact. And are mostly better actors. And have more interesting things to say. But oh well. Complaining about stupidity in an action movie is like whining about wild cherry flavoring in Wild Cherry Pepsi. You just accept it and roll with it, and even try to appreciate it a little.
“The one thing those supercavemen weren’t counting on was that three people from a tribe they just marauded would track them down and topple their entire empire. If you look it up, I think you’ll discover similar oversights were made by the Roman Empire and the Giuliani campaign.
“The funniest part of the movie involves a witch doctor lady who sits in Dahlsim’s Yoga Flame pose and channels the emotions, sights and sounds of the heroes’ journey, flipping out whenever they encounter an enemy or recite painful dialogue.
“Why she does this I’ll never know. Maybe because this was before the days of DVD back then and all they had was VHS, which were such a hassle because they’d wear out too easily and if you didn’t rewind the tapes before you brought them back to Blockbuster you’d get charged an extra dollar. Plus the picture quality sucked.”
Tina Fey bad, Tom Hanks good. Except for his line about being bored by the election and that he wishes it was over. So do a lot of other people, but did Henry Fonda and Ward Bond talk about how bored they were when the Indians were climbing over the walls of the fort in Drums Along the Mohawk?