In Contention


Reitman, Cody reteam on ‘Young Adult’

Posted by · 9:02 pm · August 2nd, 2010

Jason Reitman announced shortly after last season’s “Up in the Air” bonanza that his company had acquired the rights to Joyce Maynard’s novel “Labor Day.” But it turns out that, while he’s hard at work on drafts of that adaptation, another original script from “Juno” scribe Diablo Cody is what’s on deck for the director.

Mike Fleming reports at Deadline that Cody’s “Young Adult” is being set up through John Malkovich’s Mr. Mudd production company for Reitman’s next gig behind the camera. 2007’s Oscar-winning “Juno” was also set up through Mr. Mudd.

Charlize Theron is set to star as “a ghostwriter of young adult novels who realizes she has no identity with her pseudonym and plots to reclaim her identity,” Fleming writes. “Her campaign involves going back and rekindling a relationship with her high school boyfriend–who’s freshly married, is a new father, and wants no part of her.”  Reitman, meanwhile, compared the material to “To Die For” when we exchanged emails.  Sounds exciting.  He plans to go right into production on “Labor Day” after this project.

Check out the rest of the story at Deadline.




→ 53 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

53 responses so far

  • 1 8-02-2010 at 9:14 pm

    James D. said...

    I had been hoping the failure of Jennifer’s Body would relegate Cody to television, but apparently not. Reitman made such strides with Up in the Air, it is sad to see him go back to her. Juno was the worst film of the decade.

  • 2 8-02-2010 at 9:23 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    “juno was the worst film of the decade”

    …if only that were true

  • 3 8-02-2010 at 9:45 pm

    DarkLayers said...

    really? Worst than widely panned Twilight, Transformers, Snakes on a Plane, Catwoman, etc.?

    Personally, I responded to “Juno” more affirmatively than many films I saw in the past 10 years. And I have a mixed-lean favorable view rather than an enthusiastic one. I respect, admire, and like it better than a lot of titles from 2001-2009: Chicago, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Spider Man 3, The Day After Tomorrow, War of the Worlds, X-Men 1 and 3, Wedding Crashers, supermajorities of romantic comedies…

  • 4 8-02-2010 at 10:07 pm

    James D. said...

    I generally have no time for films like Twilight or Transformers. They don’t get Best Picture nominations and screenplay wins. Chicago is pretty bad too, but The Diving Bell and Butterfly is a masterpiece about something, while Juno has nothing going for it. What about it is good? The character is the most unrealistic teenager put on screen in years, and the parents and surrounding adults are not much better.

  • 5 8-02-2010 at 10:12 pm

    Tye-Grr said...

    I personally enjoyed ‘Juno’, and I have no major problems with it. However, that screenplay is already dated sounding; a classic it is not. Anywho, I hope this turns out well. Maybe Cody is capable of more than peppy one-liners and ridiculously unrealistic teenage phrases.

  • 6 8-02-2010 at 10:35 pm

    BurmaShave said...

    “Juno was the worst film of the decade.”

    ah trollz.

  • 7 8-02-2010 at 10:46 pm

    Jacob S. said...

    That plot sounds very Reitman-ish, I’m looking forward to this.

    Also, I never understood all the accusations that Juno doesn’t speak realistically. Of course she doesn’t! She isn’t supposed to.

  • 8 8-02-2010 at 10:54 pm

    Colin Low said...

    YES! Looking forward to this re-teaming; they were good for each other, and their worst points glared even more when they were apart.

    “Juno” traces the arc of its lead character learning to STOP trying so hard to look and sound cool, so it makes sense that she seems so cynically affected for most of the movie.

  • 9 8-02-2010 at 10:57 pm

    tintin said...

    Juno was one of the best comedies of the decade.

  • 10 8-02-2010 at 11:21 pm

    Danny King said...

    Just finished reading “Labor Day” (a very good novel) in preparation for his upcoming adaptation. Oh well, this sounds promising as well.

  • 11 8-03-2010 at 3:42 am

    m1 said...

    1-WOW. And exactly what kind of taste in film do you have? Go watch ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks’, that’s the film for YOU.

  • 12 8-03-2010 at 6:30 am

    Estefan said...

    Now, come on. While I very much disagree with James D.’s comment, nobody should wish “Alvin and the Chipmunks” on anybody.

    As for Young Adult, the story does sound interesting and Reitman is 3-for-3 so far, so I will see it.

  • 13 8-03-2010 at 6:56 am

    James D. said...

    m1 and BurmaShave, don’t be thick when someone offers an opinion politely. Of all the films I saw in the last decade, Juno was the worst. It was inferior to Reitman’s other two films, as it was to the other four Best Picture nominees that year. It was inferior to disasters like Seabiscuit, The Reader, Across the Universe, and everything else I cringed at. Why waste time with comments like “go watch Alvin and the Chipmunks”? I would think it expected that commenters here have a good range of good film watching, so why attempt to denigrate when you could just defend the film?

    Jacob, Colin: If she isn’t supposed to be realistic, why not set the thing in the Death Star? Juno and her parents are not relatable at all because none of them exist in the planet. How can you make an emotional connection with a character if there is nothing to relate to? Dwight Schrute is insufferable in his cameo, and neither Bateman or Garner’s character garner the sympathy they are supposed to. How many times have we had to go through the overbearing wife-free spirit waiting to break out husband routine?

  • 14 8-03-2010 at 8:14 am

    The Dude said...

    Jacob S. : “That plot sounds very Reitman-ish…”

    I 100% agree. Whatever you think of Cody’s writing ability, I do have faith in Reitman. This sounds like the type of thing he can hit right out of the park.

  • 15 8-03-2010 at 8:56 am

    DarkLayers said...

    James D, I’m well aware of the plaudits for “Diving Bell” and I’ve heard that in other places. But, to the extent that I’m entitled to my opinion, I didn’t enjoy it. I found the combination of pompous and physical unappealing and I didn’t enjoy it very much.

    Juno is about the ideal that people, especially authority figures, can be kind and understanding. It’s about the difference that have the ideal support system makes in a situation like teen pregnancy. Juno gets to return to the kind of life she would have had otherwise.

  • 16 8-03-2010 at 9:25 am

    Matthew Starr said...

    DarkLayers it is one thing to dislike Diving Bell but how in the world did you manage to throw it in a group with Spider Man 3 and Wedding Crashers?

  • 17 8-03-2010 at 10:52 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Just added a note about the tone of the piece. Reitman compared it to “To Die For,” so obviously, this ain’t “Juno” (a film I think is fantastic…sorry if that makes me “thick”).

  • 18 8-03-2010 at 11:02 am

    DarkLayers said...

    I was trying to showcase the scope of what “worst movie of the decade” would mean and remain plausible. I mentioned “Diving Bell” to bring up a film that got big artistic plaudits.

    I’ll admit that was loose though. If given a choice I’d watch “Juno” again before watching any of them again.

  • 19 8-03-2010 at 1:47 pm

    Flosh said...

    this seems like a step in the right direction. i liked Juno very much, so his working with Cody again seems like good news. Up in the Air, for all its virtues, seemed designed to be an Oscar movie from the minute it was announced, and suffered for it. I think Reitman would be better served – or the quality of his work would be – if he just focused on the work and let the reception after the fact work itself out.

  • 20 8-03-2010 at 2:49 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    I liked both Juno and UITA (UITA a little more ) but Reitman has yet to make a 5/5 film for me yet.

  • 21 8-03-2010 at 3:18 pm

    m1 said...

    Up in the Air should have won adapted screenplay. This amazing dramedy wins one less Oscar than The Blind Side? Come on, Academy!

  • 22 8-03-2010 at 3:19 pm

    m1 said...

    16-Spider Man 3 SUCKED. Let’s NOT bring that film up.

  • 23 8-03-2010 at 3:39 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Still can’t get over the fact he didn’t win last year for “Up in the Air.” WHAT happened?

  • 24 8-03-2010 at 3:47 pm

    James D. said...

    Kris, I thought it was pretty clear I was referring to two specific posters as thick for suggesting I was a troll or that I may prefer Alvin and the Chipmunks. I referenced two poster specifically, in fact. I have never been one to accuse someone of being ill-informed due to a movie they like or dislike; that was what others did.

  • 25 8-03-2010 at 4:47 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I don’t think it’s out of bounds to scoff at such a hyperbolic statement as, “Juno is the worst film of the decade.” Perhaps you’re projecting, then, when you accuse others of being “thick.” Or maybe the original statement was and is nothing but bait anyway. Mission accomplished.

  • 26 8-03-2010 at 4:59 pm

    m1 said...

    Saying Juno was the worst film of this decade is like saying Inception will be the best of this decade.

  • 27 8-03-2010 at 5:51 pm

    James D. said...

    Why is it hyperbolic? Everything about it was wrong to me. Of the roughly 800 films I saw over the last ten years, Juno was the worst. There has to be a worst, just like people talk about what they think is the best. Why engage in critical fascism? You put Irreversible in your top three of the decade, and while I find such accolades crazy for what I thought was pornography, you provided reasons, as did I for why I hate Juno so much. I had to sit through Dear John on a plane two months ago, and that was more enjoyable than Juno.

    m1, hundreds of different films were called the best film of the last decade. I don’t know if Inception will make it that far in ten years, but there will be people who call it the best of the year. If they provide their opinions as to why, are they wrong?

    There were plenty of scathing reviews for Juno when it came out, so why is it such a surprise someone could hate it?

  • 28 8-03-2010 at 7:53 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Because calling it the “worst” is placing it below such tragically awful efforts as “Norbit,” “Phat Girlz,” “From Justin to Kelly,” “Date Movie,” “Epic Movie,” “Disaster Movie,” “Glitter,” “Son of the Mask,” “Battlefield Earth”… zzzzzzzzzzz

    Uh, ah! Fell asleep. But you get the idea.

  • 29 8-03-2010 at 8:03 pm

    Colin Low said...

    “If she isn’t supposed to be realistic, why not set the thing in the Death Star?”
    If this was an adequate rejoinder to Jacob’s comment, it wasn’t to mine. Juno is, in fact, a heightened portrayal of a certain kind of teenager who tries to act cooler and more aloof than (s)he is. And if “heightened” amounts to “unrealistic”, you can level that charge at pretty much any high school dramedy in the past fifty years. How likely is it that such an array of differing stereotypes is gathered for a Breakfast Club? What are the chances of some chick raised in Africa assimilating instantly into an American high school’s core band of Mean Girls? etc., etc. It’s the very conceit of the film that Juno’s world get reflected through some crayola-ish vision, because despite all the fake-cynical soundbites she isn’t prepared for other people (especially “grownups”) to have their own differing priorities and yearnings. Maybe that wasn’t to your taste, but it’s not by any means universally disagreeable.

    “Juno and her parents are not relatable at all because none of them exist in the planet. How can you make an emotional connection with a character if there is nothing to relate to?”
    Your first sentence here is an assertion without any real backup; I, among others, found them quite relatable. Like I said, Juno stands for a very specific kind of teenager who makes snide throwaway jibes at others to hide their own insecurities. Watch her first scene with Paulie, as she tries to suss out how much he cares for her as she’s in her situation even while she acts like she’s in control and not scared to death about her pregnancy. And while not everything about her parents works (I hated the scene where Brenda tells off the sonogram specialist), it’s obvious that they care for her and have sacrificed some of their pride or yearnings for her sake, which is not hard to empathise with.

    “Dwight Schrute is insufferable in his cameo”
    Oh, SO agreed.

    “… and neither Bateman or Garner’s character garner the sympathy they are supposed to. How many times have we had to go through the overbearing wife-free spirit waiting to break out husband routine?”
    I take it as a huge point in the movie’s favour that it seems to start out in support of Bateman’s “free-spirited” husband and then gradually shifts our empathy towards the “overbearing wife” who yearns desperately to be a mother. It’s an impressive bait-and-switch, I think, that Juno takes easily to one of them before realising how much the attitude she shares with one compromises the ideals she shares with the other. Which in turn gets her to realise how many mixed signals she’s been sending Paulie by trying to hide her emotions under a veneer of “cool”. And I don’t think that’s an unworthy narrative arc to attempt, nor at all an unambitious approach to crafting it.

  • 30 8-04-2010 at 3:37 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I like “Juno.” Just thought I’d say that.

  • 31 8-04-2010 at 7:07 am

    The Other James D. said...

    Heh. I like Juno as well, but that year was abundant in quirky indie comedies, and I vastly prefer Lars and the Real Girl, Wristcutters: A Love Story, and The Savages (not so quirky?) to it.

    (And I’m still bitter about Gosling’s, and McAvoy’s, snubs….I’m looking at you, Clooney/Depp/TLJ who should’ve been in supporting over PSH for NCFOM.)

    But I’m just glad Garner wasn’t nominated for it. I thought that scene at the mall was horribly phony and unconvincing.

  • 32 8-04-2010 at 10:04 am

    MovieMan said...

    The worst films of the decade, in chronological order:

    “Next Friday”
    “Battlefield Earth”
    “The Wash”
    “The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course”
    “The Adventures of Pluto Nash”
    “Extreme Ops”
    “The In-Laws”
    “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights”
    “The Whole Ten Yards”
    “XXX: State of the Union”
    “The Longest Yard”
    “The Cave”
    “The Black Dahlia”
    “All the King’s Men”
    “Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker”
    “Epic Movie”
    “Dragon Wars”
    “Hitman”
    “Meet the Spartans”
    “Disaster Movie”
    “Duplicity”
    “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

    If you’ve seen any of these, James D., please enlighten us as to how “Juno” is worse.

    I really enjoyed “Thank You for Smoking” and “Juno,” and “Up in the Air” was one of last year’s finest. So I can’t wait for “Young Adult.” Or “Labor Day,” for that matter. Reitman hasn’t struck out yet.

  • 33 8-04-2010 at 2:25 pm

    m1 said...

    32-Uh, sir, have you seen All About Steve? Take Duplicity off the list.

  • 34 8-04-2010 at 2:44 pm

    James D. said...

    I still feel the same way, but thanks for a thoughtful reply, Colin Low.

    MovieMan, I have only seen Duplicity among those, and that is perfectly mediocre to me. When I say worst, I mean it fails in what it sets out to do. None of those you listed was taken seriously by anyone. Juno had major talent behind that. The films you listed, mostly at least, satisfied their intended audience. Juno was designed for people like me (and lest anyone think me unfair, I was extremely excited for Juno when the trailer came out), and I did not get anything out of it.

  • 35 8-04-2010 at 3:29 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    I thought “Duplicity” was pretty much a delight. So, when watched under a thick veil of irony, is “The Black Dahlia.”

    And Jennifer Garner is ace in “Juno.” My favourite performance in the film, and thoroughly robbed of a nomination.

    Don’t mind me, I’m enjoying being nice for a change.

  • 36 8-04-2010 at 3:36 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Entertainment Weekly listed O Brother Where Art Thou as the worst film of 2000 for the same reasons that James D is arguing here.

  • 37 8-04-2010 at 4:45 pm

    The Other James D. said...

    We all know how valuable Owen and Lisa are….

    Garner was decent, but hardly the MVP of the cast. Page, Thirlby, Bateman, Janney >>>> Garner. And except Ruby Dee, the 4 nominees plus Emmanuelle Seigner, Kelly Macdonald, Leslie Mann, Helena Bonham Carter, Samantha Morton, Sylvie Testud, Romola Garai, Emily Mortimer/Kelli Garner/Nancy Beatty even were all more worthy than her, imo. Not robbed in the slightest.

  • 38 8-04-2010 at 4:50 pm

    James D. said...

    Let me see if I can articulate this another way. For the most part, films are either of the mass-marketed, 3000+ screen, English only variety, or of the limited release, multi-language, arthouse variety. The intentions of a Transformers and a Juno are supposed to be different; there are no Juno lunchboxes, as far as I know. The St. Louis Rams are the worst team in the NFL, but they would beat any college team, while the worst runner at the Olympics would embarrass everyone at the Special Olympics. Defending Juno by saying “hey, at least it’s no Twilight!” does not seem like a logical or pertinent point to me.

    Also, I am kind of surprised so many of you watch the Twilights and Transformers of the world. I understand it is the job of people like Tapley, but why do it otherwise?

  • 39 8-04-2010 at 11:40 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    ^^^

    If nothing else, it certainly comes in handy when someone tries to argue Juno as the worst film of the decade.

  • 40 8-05-2010 at 12:08 am

    Colin Low said...

    “For the most part, films are either of the mass-marketed, 3000+ screen, English only variety, or of the limited release, multi-language, arthouse variety. The intentions of a Transformers and a Juno are supposed to be different; there are no Juno lunchboxes, as far as I know.”

    I don’t get it. Are you suggesting Juno is an ARTHOUSE film? There aren’t any Breakfast Club / Mean Girls / Napoleon Dynamite / Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist lunchboxes either, as far as I know, but they (like Juno) are definitely closer to what Twilight or Transformers is going for than (to use your example) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

  • 41 8-05-2010 at 6:15 am

    James D. said...

    Colin, Juno was a multiple Oscar nominee, hailed by critics throughout the country, and directed by a guy who does not move his lips when he reads. It is different than, say, Transformers.

  • 42 8-05-2010 at 6:29 am

    James D. said...

    Kris: What good is knocking those movies? From the trailer and the plot sypnosis alone we all know they are going to be terrible. At the end of 2008, Foote made a worst-of list that contained films like 88 Minutes and The Love Guru, while Guy included Gran Torino and Elegy. One is far more interesting to read than the other.

    I think it is sort of weak film criticism to fall back on tearing apart movies that were never supposed to be good rather than focusing on films that tried for more and failed. It is how we allow mediocre swill become touted as profound year in and year out.

  • 43 8-05-2010 at 8:50 am

    Colin Low said...

    James D: Fair enough, but I’m fighting a different battle with you than I suspect the other commenters here are. I can see where you’re coming from, that your extreme aversion to Juno (to the point of dubbing it “worst movie of the decade”) is exacerbated by its box-office, critical and Oscar successes. But in the face of critical defenses of Juno that find meritorious points (e.g. its ambitious narrative structure; its essential warmth towards most of its characters) unrelated to the hyped-up parts you probably dislike (e.g. overwrought “witty” dialogue, the artificial teenage fantasy of the scenario, twee music), I don’t see that it’s fair that you insist that there’s “nothing going for it”. Not to mention that I think you’re holding Juno up to some exacting aesthetic standard it wasn’t trying to reach, mainly due to its success at the Oscars and with critics, when in the first place it was conceived more as populist fare than as some sort of formally adventurous arthouse product.

  • 44 8-05-2010 at 10:03 am

    DarkLayers said...

    James D, I think the notion that falling back on movies “we know will suck” would be unfair in the context of a review or evaluation of that film itself (e.g. zero stars, thumbs down, “F” grade). However, in the context of a declaration that a particular film is the worst of the decade, it’s fair to bring up other movies from the epoch to question an assessment of that magnitude.

    I don’t see a compelling reason to deem “Juno” worse than panned junk. The problem with the notion that these other bad films achieved their goals by satisfying their audiences is that these kinds of movies are designed to be fun without big ideas, ambition, or artistic tastefulness. But they’re sometimes not pleasing on that level. Stephanie Zacharek pointed out that “New Moon” isn’t particularly romantic in atmosphere or well paced. There are many more satisfying and better romantic comedies than “All About Steve.” I could go on, but I don’t think it would deepen the point I’m trying to make.

    Also, it’s not clear cut how strongly “Juno” falls into the arthouse category.

    ‘Winter’s Bone’ was released into around 130 theaters at its widest.

    ‘Please Give”s widest release was 272.

    “The Hurt Locker” at its widest was played at 535 theaters.

    “Punch-Drunk Love” was ~1200-1300 at its widest.

    “The New World” was 811 at its highest.

    I can catch “The Kids are All Right” at AMC and Regal within fifteen minutes from my home in an Atlanta suburb. Its widest release so far is in the 800-900 theater range.

    (500) Days of Summer had 1,048.

    The Savages had slightly over 200 at their widest.

    Juno, at its widest played to around 2,500 theaters.

    In contrast, Juno’s widest release was around 2,500 theaters.

    (Data taken from box office mojo).

  • 45 8-05-2010 at 10:37 am

    DarkLayers said...

    Just to clarify, I completely understand what you mean by saying that middle and high brow acclaimed stuff should be scrutinized. I don’t think it’s beyond the pale to include those kinds of films on worst of year and worst of decade lists. I don’t think I’d put a film there just because it tried for a lot–I’d have to find it the least enjoyable to watch.

  • 46 8-05-2010 at 11:15 am

    James D. said...

    DarkLayers: Yes, Juno was released very wide, and was seen by a lot more people than the other films you mentioned, but it had an “indie” background – small budget, acclaimed director, film festival premier, limited release initially. You could argue that the intended audience was different, and indeed, the people who were in the Christmas screening with me were different than those I would see at There Will Be Blood a few weeks later, but it certainly seemed like something for cinephiles. Reitman wasn’t an Oscar nominee yet, but Thank You For Smoking indicated he was not a Michael Bay.

    Point taken on things like All About Steve. There are people out there who say how great the first Transformers was versus the second, and I figure both are awful. Would it be fair if I qualified that when I am talking about worst, I am talking about cinema that intends to be high-minded? Assuming the year keeps going the way it has, I will probably call Creation the worst film of the year, without setting foot into Jonah Hex or The Last Airbender. By default, those films are probably far worse, but Creation had respected actors and a film festival background.

    Colin: It is more than that. You previously asserted that Juno was a type of ultra-teenager, smug and arrogant, and I guess I could see that. However, what about the rest of the cast? What father is going to make jokes when he finds out his teenage daughter is pregnant? You could argue that people take things differently, but I don’t think I have ever met anyone who acts that way. I also really disliked Cody and Reitman’s on-the-nose portrayals of Juno’s supposed quirkiness. Just in case we did not notice the phone, we have to be told she has a hamburger phone, which makes her unique. Just in case we did not see Juno’s independent nature, we have to be assaulted with Kimya Dawson’s music, in all its various forms. Much like (500) Days of Summer, Away we Go, and Garden State, it creates these types of super-aware hipsters who really don’t seem to really fit into their world. They think they are bright and witty with these references and homages (we are told that Tom and Summer are interesting people simply because they listen to the Smiths and Carla Bruni, the latter being completely unnerving; you couldn’t dig any deeper to find French music?).

    Why, exactly, is Juno, or anyone, interested in Paulie Bleeker? Why is Juno friends with Leah? Those two, along with the abortion protester and virtually everyone else, seem to just be stoic characters in Juno’s life. The father has a little bit of soul late in the film, but otherwise the only interesting character is Bateman’s, and even then it is only because he is a scumbag among all of these fairly neutral people.

  • 47 8-05-2010 at 11:29 am

    The Other James D. said...

    Jason Bateman was my favorite part of the cast. Favorite character, underrated performance. Although I was hoping for a little more exploration into that subplot, as I thought it was edgy and complex, and added a deeper layer to the story.

  • 48 8-05-2010 at 12:43 pm

    MovieMan said...

    m1: “All About Steve” was laughable. “Duplicity” was soulless. Both made my bottom ten of 2009, but “Duplicity” is easily inferior.

    James D.: “What good is knocking those movies? From the trailer and the plot sypnosis alone we all know they are going to be terrible.” Actually, you don’t know they will be terrible unless you see them. I didn’t like either “88 Minutes” or “The Love Guru,” but neither deserves the hatred they received. Widely disliked films such as “Sex and the City 2,” “Gigli,” and “Miss March,” in my opinion, are not only better than their trailers, they are outright terrific movies in a big way, just as good as “Juno” in fact. Maybe what you should do, James, is see the films before judging them. ANY awful trailer can result in a good movie, just like any fantastic trailer can result in a bad one. At the end of the day, it’s the movie that speaks for itself, not the trailer or TV ads. Disliking Juno is something I can understand. But calling it “the worst” simply because it didn’t do what it set out to do is weak, plain and simple. Is “Juno” a masterpiece? No. But when there IS swill out there to see, you simply can’t label it the Worst.

    “I think it is sort of weak film criticism to fall back on tearing apart movies that were never supposed to be good rather than focusing on films that tried for more and failed. It is how we allow mediocre swill become touted as profound year in and year out.” No, the movies were supposed to be good. Every movie is made with intentions of crowd-pleasing. Sometimes those plans are killed intentionally by the producers; sometimes the process fails the movie. Using words like “mediocre swill,” though, is condescending, because NONE of the movies I listed are objectively “mediocre swill.” That’s your opinion, and you simply can’t prove opinions are “true.”

  • 49 8-05-2010 at 12:47 pm

    MovieMan said...

    But I do think it’s at least easier to watch an intriguing failure than to watch something that didn’t appear to try.

    (Notice I said “didn’t appear to try.” I didn’t make the presumption that the film didn’t try in the first place.)

  • 50 8-05-2010 at 12:58 pm

    James D. said...

    MovieMan, I can’t see every movie. I depend on critical acclaim to filter out films for me. How many films come out in a year? I think 600 is what is thrown around. That would be almost two films a day, and I couldn’t watch movies from other years. Word-of-mouth, critical support, and awards success lets me narrow it down to 100 or so per year, and maybe 88 Minutes is actually good, but I have to have my doubts when so many professionals laughed at it. If I watched 88 Minutes, I would have to watch Transformers, Twilight, All About Steve, and so many others, and since I haven’t seen every Hitchcock or Tarkovsky or Kazan, I choose not to.

    Yes, all films want to be “good”, but there are different levels. Michael Bay wants to excite people and create visual images and immerse people, while Michael Haneke wants you to think. The guys that do the Disaster Movie films are not making movies for the same reason Paul Thomas Anderson is. Outside of a few (Spielberg and Nolan), most directors are making films for one group or the other.

  • 51 8-05-2010 at 2:59 pm

    m1 said...

    Duplicity was an 8/10 movie. It obviously wasn’t perfect, but it was fun, engaging, and different. Julia Roberts and Clive Owen were highlights bringing tension and chemistry near-perfectly.

    All About Steve, on the other hand, was hideous. Nothing was noteworthy, and talented actors like Bullock, Cooper, and Haden Church were wasted. The lead character was annoying, and the whole plot stretched plausibility to the extreme. Is there anyone who acts like ANY of these characters?

    So, all in all, Duplicity is better than All About Steve. Thank you for reading.

  • 52 8-05-2010 at 8:34 pm

    MovieMan said...

    James D.: I don’t see every movie either. On average, I see around 190. I base seeing movies on whether they’re wide releases or not. If they are limited, then I review them as soon as they open in over 800 theaters (i.e. reviewing “The Hurt Locker” at least two weeks after everyone else started to review it). So I can get what you’re saying: I review what is made available to me. Do I regret missing films? Why, yes. I sadly missed four or five high-profile Oscar-bait movies in 2007, but saw “Bratz” and “Norbit.” I review movies I KNOW people will see, though that certainly doesn’t mean I automatically give them good reviews or anything. I think any movie is worth giving a crap about, because there are lots of surprises out there for us to take a chance on. But yes, there are CERTAINLY large piles of poop that pass as movies out there as well that would best be avoided. I guess what I’m trying to say is: You simply CANNOT pass judgment on a film before you’ve seen it. I didn’t specifically take offense at you not seeing them; just at you rallying against them without ultimately having any idea of what your talking about.

    P.S. “Twilight” may be innocuous, but it’s a hell of a lot better than “Transformers.” “Eclipse” was outright good. Grouping them together seems ridiculous to me. Just saying.

  • 53 8-05-2010 at 8:42 pm

    MovieMan said...

    m1: “Is there anyone who acts like ANY of these characters?” I asked myself the same question when seeing it. That Bullock’s character in the film is viewed as a saint-like deity, when in fact she was ultimately a creepy stalker, was unforgivable. But the film was laughably bad, rather than soulless, so there is at least half a star of worth there.

    “Duplicity,” for me, WAS soulless. When you stood back from all the smug, self-serious stylizations (ooo, zooming split screens, look at how awesome we are!), the film was about as interesting as watching paint dry. In fact, it was less interesting. And I don’t believe that Owen or Roberts had any chemistry whatsoever. In fact, if anything, their chemistry was sucked out of the movie by the five-minute mark. Ultimately, Tony Gilroy’s efforts were about as productive as an asteroid collision with the earth’s crust.