It’s not nostalgia, and it’s not a refrain of the “old films are better than the new” crap that the sentimentalists run up the pole from time to time. The fact is that this King Kong vs. T-Rex fight sequence (found about halfway through this clip) is better choreographed, more thrilling and generally more kick-ass than any mano e mano, big monster vs. big monster sequence made since the 1950s — including, I would add, the battle between the Ed Norton and Tim Roth bulkazoids in The Incredible Hulk.
As part of a discussion of John Horn‘s recent L.A. Times piece about a visit to the set of Oliver Stone‘s W, Patrick Goldstein posted a page from Stanley Weiser‘s script. Noting Horn’s observation that the film “is heavily focused on the current president’s relationship with his father,” i.e., ex-President George H.W. Bush, Goldstein chose a scene in which Bush, Jr. tries to comfort Poppy on the night of his electoral loss to Bill Clinton in 1992.
The gist of Eric Lundegaard‘s 7.1 Slate piece (“”Why We Need Movie Reviewers”) is that critics are more in synch with moviegoer tastes than you might think. The key is to look at how critical favorites have done on a per-screen basis. If you look at things this way, the fog lifts and the blinders come off!
Going by Rotten Tomato ratings, Lundegaard notes that “while there were fewer ‘fresh’ films (i.e., pics that critics liked) that showed on fewer screens and took in less overall box office, they tended to make almost $1,000 more per screen than ‘rotten’ movies (i.e., pics critics didn’t like). So, on a per-screen-basis, more people are following critics into theaters than not.”
The Hollywood Reporter‘s Thomas K. Arnold has rewritten a Paramount Home Video press release about the forthcoming Godfather trilogy Blu-ray four-disc package that’s coming out on 9.23, and again — as noted in my riff on Peter Bart‘s 6.23 Variety blog piece about the package — no mention of the fact that the restoration guru Robert Harris (Vertigo, Spartacus, etc.) supervised the frame-by-frame digital restoration of all three films. The last time I looked the Harris brand meant blue chip, top-of-the-line, etc. The PHV press release mentions Harris and his credits right up front (i.e., in the second paragraph).
In this stammering Tony Kaye video about his regard for the films of Stanley Kubrick, he talks (at the very end) about an encounter with a friendly payroll consultant. As a way of stirring empathy between kindred souls, the guy told Kaye “he played the ape in 2001…the one who picked up the bone and threw it into the air.” As Kaye puts it, “The friendliest person I ever met when I was going bust was the ape in 2001.”
I knew in a flash upon watching this morning that Kaye had spoken to Dan Richter, whom I interviewed 15 years ago for an L.A. Times Calendar piece. Here are three scans of the original — #1, #2 and #3.
My second favorite Kaye line in this video is his repeating what New Line Cinema’s Bob Shaye said in an argument over American History X, to wit: “‘Look..who do you think you are, Stanley Kubrick or something? You don’t have a track record, you haven’t done anything, you can’t tell me what you want.” In response to this, Kaye says, ” I was stood up, very reactive, and stormed out and proceeded on a direct road to hell. ”
Three reactions to Eddie Murphy telling Extra‘s Tanika Ray that he’s considering retirement from film acting with comments like (a) “I have close to fifty movies and it’s like, why am I in the movies?,” (b) “I’ll go back to the stage and do standup” and (c) that he “doesn’t want to be a part of” Brett Ratner‘s Beverly Hills Cop 4 because “the movie [isn’t] ready to be done.”
Eddie Murphy; Frank Sinatra.
One, Murphy may be feeling deflated about the tracking on Meet Dave (7.11), which has been fairly abysmal for the last couple of weeks. The first-choice numbers have recently improved (they’re up to 2 or 3) but the signs are unmistakable that the bloom is off the rose and that people have finally understood that the odds of a Murphy comedy being gross or sloppy or not funny enough are pretty good so why bother in the first place? Murphy has since quashed the retirement talk, but that’s only because he’s moody fuck who feels what he feels when he’s feeling it. The bottom line is that he’s in a lousy place.
Two, he’s talking about a “Frank Sinatra retirement” which really means an extended “fuck all this” adventure that’s about shedding the old skin and finding new sources of vitality or what-have-you. A soul-seeking, soul-recharging exercise that every high-stress creative person goes through once or twice, usually in their 40s or 50s. In short, a bout of the middle-aged-crazies.
Three, it’s obviously a healthy thing or Murphy to be thinking about getting out of the rut and get back to his stand-up roots. I used to love the guy in the old days (late ’70s to ’83). I saw him perform live twice back then — once at a comedy club in Manhattan, once at the Universal amphitheatre. But the hip industry people haven’t been with him for 20 years. His loss of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Dreamgirls confirmed that, and then people really didn’t like his graceless ass when he bolted out of the Kodak theatre 90 seconds after Alan Arkin, the winner, took the stage.
All I know is, the guy used to be really funny, and that he needs to get back to that place again if he wants to matter again. Or feel anything again. Right now he’s a dead man.
A 30-minute iPhone 3G video tour starring that same dweeby-looking Apple guy in his 40s with the conservative haircut and the glasses — the same guy who’s been hosting the how-to video on the Apple site since the iPhone first appeared last summer. Except it’s not a quick tutorial for experienced users showing what’s new and different. It’s a basic tutorial about everything. Oh.
There are two PUMA PACs — one run by founder and Massachusetts mom Darragh Murphy that stands for People United Means Action, and one run by Will Bowers that stands for Party Unity My Ass. But they’re both are about rallying Hillary Clinton supporters believe she lost due to media sexism and who won’t support Barack Obama (who, PUMAS believe, were the principal agents of said sexism) are perhaps inclined to vote for John McCain.
Here‘s a New England Cable News report on Darragh that ran yesterday, and here’s a report by Pandagon’s Amanda Marcotte contending that “PUMAS are Swiftboats” and particularly that Darragh was a McCain contributor in 2000 (based on a donation record found on Open Secrets.com) and that there’s reason, therefore, to wonder about her true motives. Apart from being dead set against Obama, that is.
“I would like to argue that this PAC was not formed to support Clinton,” Marcotte writes, “but to support the media narrative about hysterical feminists, and to help the McCain campaign with (a) creating the illusion that McCain is moderate enough to attract the votes of feminist Clinton supporters and (b) reinforcing the narrative about how feminists are just hysterical bitches with no common sense who subsist on outrage, can√É¬¢√¢‚Äö¬¨√¢‚Äû¬¢t act in their own self-interest because of their feminine-addled brains, and can safely be ignored.”