Speaking as an admirer of John Stockwell (and particularly Crazy/Beautiful and Blue Crush), I regret to say that Code Name: Geronimo look kinda grade-B-ish. I’m sorry but it does. I’m sensing a rote, by-the-numbers thing. Is this why the Weinstein Co. bypassed theatrical and sold it to the National Geographic channel?
“Snuggle 4“, the Gold Derby correspondent who predicted 88% of last year’s Oscar winners (which was 8% ahead of predictions by Deadline‘s Pete Hammond, Fox News’ Tariq Khan and Awards Daily‘s Sasha Stone), is predicting a “monster sweep” for Tom Hooper‘s Les Miserables.
O’Neil describes this guy as a Hollywood hotshot “who’s seen the film even though he acts coy when I ask him.” So you don’t know for a fooking fact that he’s seen it, Tom? “No, I don’t know that he’s seen it,” O”Neil replies, “but he hints that he HAS — and that’s good enough for me to make a news story out of this.”
I don’t know, man. I don’t like the sound of this. O’Neil has never identified this character in any way, shape or form — he’s never burned him — so why isn’t Mr. Hotshot simply telling O’Neil in the privacy of their correspondence that he’s seen this Universal release? What’s with the little teasing games? This tells me at the very least that the guy is a candy-ass, which indicates he might have overall character issues. Pussitude is a cancer that spreads all over the place.
“This guy is a fooking genius,” O’Neil insists. “He nailed the Emmys too while competing against thousands of award fanatics at Gold Derby. He wouldn’t send me an email like this unless he’s sure of himself. I wrote back to ask if I could quote him. He said yes — that’s how confident he is of his call. In other words, he wants me to spread the word, and he wants to take early credit for calling this on October 6th.”
Here’s an excellent Maureen Dowd column in which West Wing president Jed Bartlet bawls out Barack Obama for blowing the Denver debate (“Were you sleepy? Was that the problem? Had you just taken allergy medication?”) and then schools him on the basics for debate #2: “Mr. President, your prep for the next debate need not consist of anything more than learning to pronounce three words: ‘Governor, you’re lying.'”
I would never have bought this song. I always thought it was a featherweight thing that you might enjoy in a supermarket aisle but that’s all. Bubblegum. But it was playing at the Argo party the other night (they were naturally sticking to late ’70s and early ’80s tracks) and somehow it sounded really good with the amplification and the poolside vibe and the pretty girls. (And without alcohol.) And later that night it became my latest ear bug. So I bought the damn thing so I could get it out of my system.
This doesn’t mean anything to me or anyone. It’s Saturday afternoon and where’s the harm? If I was serious I’d find a spirit-gum Lincoln beard and a shawl and a stovepipe hat and one of those awful 1860s bow ties. But the guy who did the left-side pic, Mark Frenden, is really fast and skilled. It could look better but he did this in five or ten minutes. Update: The pic on the right is by Zach Copeland.
On 9.19 an L.A. Times story announced a sea change in the fast-food realm. I’ve stopped wolfing down junk food at midnight (that got tossed out with the drinking) and I’m not one to keep track of fast-food industry stats. But Tiffany Hsu‘s story reported that McDonald’s, Burger King and Dairy Queen are over and that Five Guys Burgers is the new king of the hill, closely followed by Smashburger.
Unless Big Five and Smashburger are offering cash bribes or the services of beautiful underage girls, this is presumably about their food tasting better. Is anyone out there a Big Five or Smashburger convert?
The basis of the story was a survey by Market Force Information. 7,600 consumers were questioned. In every region, Five Guys was boss. Smashburger, as noted, was second in every category except overall value. Also popular are In-N-Out, Fuddruckers and A&W.
Dairy Queen ranked dead last in a group of 16 chains considered. Burger King, Hardee’s, McDonald’s and Jack in the Box rounded out the bottom five.
In short, your father’s fast-food world is yesterday’s news.
There’s a Five Guys right up the street from me on Santa Monica Blvd. near Huntley, but the closest Smashburger is way out in the West Valley.
Note to director-writer Peter Landesman: So Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman have hired you to direct your script of Parkland, which is basically about JFK’s murder on 11.22.63 as principally experienced by the staffers, victims and various onlookers at Dallas’s Parkland Hospital.
I haven’t read the script (anyone have a PDF?) but please, please just lock your movie down at the hospital from start to finish and don’t leave.
Please, please don’t show us the shooting at Dealey Plaza, and please don’t introduce us to Abraham Zapruder…none of that. It’s been done to death by too many other films and filmmakers. Don’t compete with that. Just stay at the hospital and wait for the world and its traumatic injuries to come to Parkland. It will soon enough. All you have to do is hang tight and introduce us to three or four doctors and nurses (you can make them up, if you want) and a couple of senior administrators and ambulance drivers and whatnot, and show them making the rounds and talking about Kennedy’s visit and so on.
I don’t care if you’ve written a lot of scenes that happen in other parts of Dallas. If you have, throw ’em out. Forget ’em, burn ’em. The only stylistic edge you’ll have to is to keep it all at Parkland. The ER rooms, the hallways, the offices, the parking lot.
Every so often I try to do the right thing by WordTheatre, the Los Angeles-based org that presents classy spoken-word shows in LA, NY and London. Every time I attend one I feel improved or upgraded on some level. Tonight’s show is an all-African-American thing called Storytales, and it’s happening this evening at the John Ford Anson outdoor amphitheatre.
You can take a picnic basket and a bottle of wine or sparkling water, or you can light up a joint and pass it around. I don’t turn on but it’s an outdoor thing so why not? These events take on a special quality when you’re ripped.
Thee or four of my favorite guys will be performing — Dennis Haysbert (who has one of the most beautiful speaking voices on the planet), Keith David (Crash, The Princess and the Frog, Platoon), Brent Jennings (the glum-faced Moneyball coach who also played the “schtupig” cop in Witness), Barry Shabaka Henley (the portly jazz-club owner who took three in the forehead from Tom Cruise in Collateral) and Tracie Thoms (a stand-out in Rent, Deathproof).
Here’s a recent L.A. Times story about one of the storytellers, Edgar Wideman.
Most of the commenters on this column could give a hoot about WordTheatre (every time I post something about it the reactiion is nil) but HE also reaches an educated, upscale readership so a shout-out seems worthwhile.