One more round

Posted by · 4:40 pm · May 20th, 2010

Megan Fox may be an airhead and Shia LaBeouf may be a lightweight, but when it comes to speaking the truth, they deserve credit for having far more bracing honesty than most of the suck-ups who rule the business. Only in Hollywood is calling a lousy movie a lousy movie considered an act of sedition.

From Patrick Goldstein’s most recent Big Picture post.

→ 31 Comments Tags: , | Filed in: Daily

31 responses so far

  • 1 5-20-2010 at 5:12 pm

    James D. said...

    I get a kick out of Goldstein’s, and seemingly everyone else’s, revisionism of Crystal Skull’s reception. It got pretty good reviews.

    Actors or anyone criticizing a film is fine, but taking the role, and the money, and then doing it is dumb. I don’t care that it is disrespectful, it just reeks of insincerity. Refund people’s money or never be in the film at all. I am sure the monkey scene was in the Crystal Skull screenplay he should have read before taking the part. Anyone could have told you a Michael Bay movie about an eighties toy franchise would be terrible.

  • 2 5-20-2010 at 7:25 pm

    Chris138 said...

    I was entertained by Indy 4. I wasn’t expecting a great film like Raiders of the Lost Ark but it was a fun way to pass a couple of hours. It’s got a 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, anyway. Not too shabby, especially for a fourth film in a series.

  • 3 5-20-2010 at 8:42 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    “It got pretty good reviews.”

    True, the critic’s reviews were decent (if not enthusiastic), but audience reception was terrible. Now, if you’re arguing that critics did a 180 only after mainstream moviegoers saw it and hated it (a la Superman Returns), then I agree, but the idea that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was liked by most people before some insidious PR campaign crapped on its reputation is just – pardon the blunt expression – stupid.

  • 4 5-20-2010 at 9:28 pm

    Dean Treadway said...

    CRYSTAL SKULL was about 1/10th of a good movie. If they would have cut out 80% of the exposition and replaced it with actually memorable dialogue, it might have owned up to the series. Then again, there’s not one exciting set piece in it, either, so maybe it was doomed from the start (and I don’t remember reading a lot of great reviews for it). I’m sure the actors thought it would all work out in the end, much to their surprise. These days, particularly, it must be difficult to tell what the movie you’re in is going to be like, since they’re all standing in green screen studios anyway (and the scripts are being changed constantly, too). I agree with Goldstein; it’s time for actors who appear regularly in shit to call it shit. Eventually, filmmakers and executives will HAVE to make their films better, because they can’t blackball every actor out there. This pussyfooting around how bad a movie is is pure chicanery.

  • 5 5-20-2010 at 9:42 pm

    The Irishman said...

    I unapologetically like KOTCS. You’ll never get me to say it compared to “Raiders” or “Lost Crusade”, but I certainly didn’t hate it as much as people seem to. I think a lot of the broader complaints people have against it are valid, but the one that bugs me is the snickering at “nuking the fridge”. This is a franchise whose first film featured a box filled with ghosts that blows up Nazis. At the end of the day, maybe I just have this childlike sense that you have to do more than that to fuck up Indiana Jones. And for what it’s worth, I’d say KOTCS feels far more like its predecessors than the Star Wars prequels. Just my thoughts. Opinions, assholes, etc.

  • 6 5-20-2010 at 9:53 pm

    The Dude said...

    They “deserve credit for having more bracing honesty?” Sorry, I didn’t know bad-mouthing your director-boss was acceptable behavior. Sure, they may not have liked the final product of the projects they were involved in, but they should have been more respectful. I agree with everything James D. said…these two numbnuts read the scripts before filming, so they should have known these movies would turn out badly…and since they got paid an absurd amount of money for being in these movies, the VERY LEAST they could have done was back up the hard work of their co-workers (even if the final product was lacking). In every other occupation, the motto is “stand by your product,” and it seems these two never got the memo.

  • 7 5-20-2010 at 11:15 pm

    Leon said...

    In his youth Ford was never shy about his issues with the movies he did . Blade Runner was great, I think, in part because Ford kicked up such a fuss about some of the things he felt were just dumb. Also, who can forget his famous shot at Lucas’ writing skills during filming, ” George, you can type that s— but you can’t say it!”

    Shia’s comments were genuine and not mean spirited or coming from a place of hate. This may make his career going forward harder since he broke an “unwritten rule” in the eyes of bigwigs in the industry, but being outspoken didn’t hurt Harrison Ford in his early years.

  • 8 5-20-2010 at 11:39 pm

    Raichu said...

    If you watch the special features on Indy 4 you would be VERY surprised at how reluctant Steven Spielberg seemed to do this film. I really believe Lucas coaxed him the whole way and Steven was virtually hancuffed and neutered creatively.

    It really looked like Spielberg really didn’t want to be doing it. They had the ‘ride into the sunset’ ending in 1989 and he was done. he didn’t even like the aliens. (Who did?) It looked like he got sick of Lucas begging and said ‘What the hell? I’m not doing anything and it shuts him up’

  • 9 5-21-2010 at 1:27 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    And still KOTC was a better movie than any other summer shit out every year. Mostly.

  • 10 5-21-2010 at 6:59 am

    Cde. said...

    Leon, the difference is that Ford had his opinion heard during the production of those films, which is fair enough. A member of the creative team is allowed to give input. On the other hand, Shia LaBeouf saw the scripts, played along with them and then badmouthed the films after public opinion turned on it. Big difference.

  • 11 5-21-2010 at 8:15 am

    Estefan said...

    I actually recall LaBeouf defending Indy IV back when it was released that people are much more nit-picky nowadays than they were back in the 80s. I’m actually inclined to agree with him there. If Raiders of the Lost Ark was released today, people would nit-pick the hell out of it.

    There’s also the fact that people’s expectations were massively high for the new Indiana Jones and naturally, it wasn’t going to live up to the original trilogy. Personally, bar the CGI prairie dogs and Sam Winstone’s unnecessary role, I greatly enjoyed it for the B-movie serial the films are supposed to be.

  • 12 5-21-2010 at 8:30 am

    Gustavo H. Razera said...

    INDY 4 was hated by the masses, Robert? Yeah, sure, a film hated by the masses and still went on to become the highest grossing movie of the year overseas? Hated films tend to tank soon after a huge opening, and that was not the case at all. The film was hated by internet fanboys whose expectations would never be met anyway. That’s all.

  • 13 5-21-2010 at 8:31 am

    Gustavo H. Razera said...

    And by the way, it seems Goldstein and Kris have no idea of what ETHICS mean.

  • 14 5-21-2010 at 8:33 am

    Markku said...

    Yes! Yes! YES! Good point about Ford’s bluntness, too.

  • 15 5-21-2010 at 10:05 am

    Paul said...

    “Hated films tend to tank soon after a huge opening, and that was not the case at all”

    Transformers 2 made 400mil. Even hated films manage to make money, thanks in part to the LCD’s of the world.

  • 16 5-21-2010 at 10:17 am

    James D. said...

    But Transformers 2 is not hated by most people. It is hated by people like us, but we are the minority and somewhat insular. If you judge Transformers by what it sets out to do, it seems like a great product.

  • 17 5-21-2010 at 10:21 am

    James D. said...

    Robert Hamer: It is my opinion that the people who hated Crystal Skull were mostly old people who have distorted the original trilogy in their minds. It may not be as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, but Crystal Skull had many of the qualities that made the original trilogy so entertaining. Most people I remember seeing it with, both the first and the second time, enjoyed it, especially the girl who had never seen the original. It was the second highest grossing film of 2008, beaten only by the film that threatened to take Titanic’s spot. And if Indy 5 ever comes out, it will do the same type of business.

  • 18 5-21-2010 at 10:46 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I hated every frame of Crystal Skull and I’m not old.

  • 19 5-21-2010 at 11:33 am

    The Irishman said...

    More than twelve hours later and I just realized I referred to “‘Lost’ Crusade”. Sorry, had to self-correct or I’d feel like even more of a moron.

  • 20 5-21-2010 at 11:52 am

    James D. said...

    Chad, your bio says you are 26. Anything over 25 is old.

  • 21 5-21-2010 at 1:09 pm

    Dean Treadway said...

    So movies are now just for people under 25? Gimme a fucking break.

  • 22 5-21-2010 at 1:22 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    That bio is almost two years old too. Where’s my walking stick?

  • 23 5-21-2010 at 1:24 pm

    Dean Treadway said...

    I’m sorry, but I really have to comment again. Why is there this strange compulsion for people UNDER 25 to shit on everything that came before? Is it an ownership issue? Do you feel as if those things that were done before you hit the earth have to be subpar because YOU weren’t here to witness them? I mean, you state that “people who hated Crystal Skull were mostly old people who have distorted the original trilogy in their minds.” There’s no distortion. The first one was a masterpiece, the second a childish but fun followup, the third a creaky but fun followup, and the fourth–there was nothing fun about it. It just talked and talked and talked, and got loud, and talked again. And, by inference, I’m getting that you think it and anything that follows it might best RAIDERS because, after all, we’re all remembering it being a lot better than it actually is. All of us except hip young people, who really know what’s up. I’m 43, and while I can see where some people might consider that old, it isn’t. And neither is 26, 27, 28… I think you’re trying to piss on the values of experience, and knowledge, and trying to cover up for your laziness and closed-mindedness. I, for one, am always on the lookout for young talent and opinions. Do you always shit on that of those who have more years on you? God…

  • 24 5-21-2010 at 2:02 pm

    James D. said...

    Dean, I thought that saying people 25 and up were old was pretty obviously tongue-in-cheek. Chadigan seems to have gotten the joke, at least.

    The point I am making, though, is that with people in their late twenties, and especially someone in their forties, like you, you come from the original trilogy and Crystal Skull at different points in your life. If you are 43 now, then you were 14 when Raiders of the Lost Ark came out, 17 when Temple of Doom came out, and 22 when Last Crusade came out. You say that the first was the best, and each one lost something, but is it not likely that your film knowledge and cynicism changed as you got older. It goes even further when you come across something in your forties that you loved as a teenager. Sure, hiding in a fridge to survive an atomic explosion is stupid, but the original trilogy has all sorts of things that people would find cheesy today. The fact of the matter is that many young people enjoyed Crystal Skull the same way people enjoyed the original trilogy, even people who had not seen the first three films.

  • 25 5-21-2010 at 4:50 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    @ Gustavo: Ah, yes, the old “it made a lot of money” argument comes out. As if the movie WASN’T going to make a gajillion dollars at the box office, no matter how awful it turned out. Give me a fucking break.

  • 26 5-21-2010 at 8:32 pm

    Dean Treadway said...

    I didn’t get that it was tongue in cheek. Us guys in their forties can get a little sensitive about their age. Sorry to be mean. It’s hard to gauge intent online. Just to let you know, I thought the hiding in the fridge thing was the best and most memorable (and most fun) moment in SKULL. Generally, for most people, you’d be right about changing tastes, but such is not the case for me. What I liked as a kid is, for the most part, what I still staunchly defend on my website. I was seeing NETWORK and TAXI DRIVER at 10, and loving them. But I also loved TOMMY and GONE IN 60 SECONDS and even THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN. And I still do. Cheesiness has not entered into my love of any movie; only passion remains. Just to let you know: what I think of a movie when I see it, not matter what age I’m at, most often stands.

  • 27 5-21-2010 at 8:35 pm

    Dean Treadway said...

    By the way, the opening of TEMPLE OF DOOM may be the best scene in the whole series. Only the fight with the roaring airplane and the burning stream of gasoline in the first one could beat it.

  • 28 5-22-2010 at 1:48 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Temple of Doom is the best film in the series.

    There. Said it.

  • 29 5-22-2010 at 11:09 am

    Maxim said...

    Transformers 2 was a lousy movie. Indy 4 was at most a movie with screenplay bumps.

    But then Transoformers was a significantly louseier film than Indy 4. You don’t see Shia ragging that one. And you are an idiot if you don’t think that there is no difference between Indy 4 and Transformers.

    It’s not about Shia’s honesty. It’s the fact that his comments came about not from honesty but because they effect was precisely precalculated.
    As long as idiots cannot tell the difference and the path to internet credibility is made so simple then Shia’s “logic ” almost seems solid.

  • 30 5-22-2010 at 11:37 am

    Chad Hartigan said...

    I can tell no difference in quality between Transformers and Crystal Skull.

  • 31 5-22-2010 at 2:08 pm

    Jim T said...

    Chad, you watched both these movies? Now that’s what I call unpredictabitity!