July 31, 2006
What's considered "news" apparently...

I mean, I fully understand how there are many who would be offended by what Mr. Gibson did and said the other night, but am I alone in just not giving a shit about all of this? The only thing worth noting is how sad it is that gossip rags are apparently looked to as news sources when a "story" like this breaks, but ultimately, none of this is news worthy of distinction.

I'm from the south. If every time some wasted guy with personal problems was pulled over and recorded slinging racial epithets and the like, the real stuff of importace would be below the fold, if on the front page at all.

Just get over it, that's all I'm saying.

July 28, 2006
Sorry, but A.O. Scott missed the boat here...

I've made it known that I'm no huge proponent of "Miami Vice," opening wide today. But reading A.O. Scott's review of the film this morning, I find myself highly irritated that he dumps so viciously on actor Colin Farrell. Farrell is the best part about "Vice," truly an actor amongst the best of his generation, yet Scott can't seem to focus on much beyond the poor lines Michael Mann gave him to utter in the film as valid assertion of his supposed failure to become a movie star. I'd venture he's most certainly on the rise, and he's inching into Christopher Walken territory, where he makes any film automatically a notch better simply due to his involvement.


July 27, 2006
What a guy.

So I'm on the phone today with Adrien Brody, interviewing him for that New York Times piece I'm putting together on "Hollywoodland." We've had some delays in connecting - the poor guy has been traveling a lot - and we finally got a block of time on the calendar this afternoon, both of us in traffic in our cars (well - I was parking, to be fair).

"There are many pitfalls in life," Mr. Brody begins, in response to one of my queries. He then trails off and begins to verbally signify that something is vehicularly amiss on the assuredly crowded New York street he was on. Apparently some poor girl on a scooter went unseen by a cab driver pulling out onto the street, and after what must have been an uncomfortable collision, she was left eating the pavement.

"Hang on a second, Kris," Mr. Brody says to me. He then goes to assist in helping the girl and her scooter off the street and give a helpful hand to the entire situation like he was born to do so.

"You there, Kris?"

"Yeah, pal. Everyone okay?"

"Like I was saying...there are many pitfalls in life."

July 26, 2006
Warner Bros. unveils "Lucky You" materials...

The trailer.

The poster:


Yes, that's the real poster...no, it's not a Photoshopped fake. Though I understand the urge to consider it as much...

July 25, 2006
Another contender for Sony?

Jeffrey Wells and his friendship with filmmaker Mike Binder pays off today as he posted the first review of Binder's upcoming "Reign O'er Me," another take on the effects of 9/11, a much more persoanl film about the minutiae, etc.

The real news here is that apparently Sony is considering a December release for the otherwise considered 2007 entry. If so, it could be a bad move, considering the glut of awards-hopeful product coming down the line from the studio. On the other hand, it could be wise and prove the film to be their central focus in a run for Oscar gold. As things look now, their stuff is a bit scattered (as noted yesterday in my studio breakdown).


July 23, 2006
Nat's Oscar Update

I just gave Nathaniel Rogers's Oscar updates a look, and I'm happy to see someone else is finally talking about Kevin Kline's potential bait performance in "Trade." Kline also has a nice supporting turn in "A Prairie Home Companion" to give him some steam this year.

Next week's Pre-Oscar articles will feature Kline's "Trade" performance, in Wednesday's "Under the Radar" column...performances most seem to be overlooking which could prove to be serious contenders. But that all starts Monday with the studio assessment (and concludes Friday with a look at the infamous "lone director" slot).

Be sure to check back in tomorrow as we kick it off.

July 22, 2006
I think I'm done with PCs...

Two replaced hard drives in one year, the worst technical support in the history of mankind (Dell I'm talking about, here), and now, my OS fizzes out YET AGAIN.

Seriously, this is a joke. I used to turn my nose up at Macs but the more I've grown to depend on my computer for my career, the more it becomes apparent that depending on a PC without the safety net of an external hard drive (which I only recently purchased) is a fool's errand.

I think Jobs just got another recruit...later Bill.

July 21, 2006
Something about this trailer just hits the spot for me...

...and heaven help the cynical.

Will Smith in "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Lots of drama this week...

I think I'm just going to welcome the weekend early. Wish I could be at ComicCon, but I wish my fellow journos a fun time in beautiful San Diego.

I've been a Los Angeleno for a year as of tomorrow. What a crazy 365 days.

July 20, 2006
A relaxing Wednesday morning...

Yesterday was a little hectic on the net (what with the Siegel/Smith/Poland/Murphy debacle), but before all of that hit the fan I had the pleasure of interviewing Allen Coulter, the director of the upcoming (and somewhat sensational) "Hollywoodland" for a New York Times piece I'm putting together. One of the most casual, laid back and nicest filmmakers I've ever had the pleasure of speaking to. I really hope "Hollywoodland" is the start of a lucrative career in features.

Reviews this week...

The highest of highs, the lowest of lows and a mid-range disappointment.

July 19, 2006
More on the Kevin Smith/Joel Siegel Debacle

EDIT (3:39PM): My God, after David Poland aired out some dirty laundry, Smith hits the turf of Jeffrey Wells' "Hollywood Elsewhere" with a shit-load of defense.

This just became...monumental.

EARLIER: This is hilarious. Siegel didn't even realize that he was talking to Kevin Smith during this radio show exchange.

Ooph. This was funny yesterday, but now I kind of hope it goes away, because this is the kind of thing that can go on and on forever with nothing new or nothing to gain. But for the time being, funny stuff.


July 18, 2006

Kevin Smith on Joel Siegel's rude exit from the recent New York "Clerks 2" press screening.


The last time I heard hissing in a public theater (always an event in Los Angeles, it seems) was at the Santa Monica Laemmle, every time George W. Bush was on screen in "An Inconvenient Truth."

Well, it happened again last night - at the end of the all-media "Lady in the Water" screening. Sometimes film commentators lose touch with that which is most important to maintain - impartiality. It saddens me to know that this film and this filmmaker will get the shit kicked out of them the next seven days, and regardless of whether harsh criticism is deserved or not, I expect this to be looked upon, eventually, as an embarassing moment for film criticism. "Lady in the Water" is a bad film. But it does not deserve even the level of distaste of "The Village," because at least Shyamalan's latest has ideas worth discussing, and worth considering. It is a character study with an absurdist plot, but far too often the literalist in film critics get the better of the community.

My review of the film tomorrow.

Poland on WTC

In his review, Poland makes the same comparison I made after reading the "World Trade Center" script months ago. That being, the structure is very much like that of "Apollo 13." However, this was a terribly flat screenplay that I truly doubt leaps from the page the way Poland describes, and there have been plenty of "nays" from those who have seen it already. Poland's jumped on the "it's amazing" bandwagon too early plenty of times, so take it with a grain, really.


July 17, 2006
Lady in the Water

M. Night Shyamalan, like any artist, has a lot to say. He can't quite find the right formula for dispersing his observations and beliefs, and he still hasn't. But what he has created in "Lady in the Water" is a film too many critics will be far too quick to call a piece of shit, making for, likely, the laziest wave of reviews in a decade. But there is more there, there are things to ponder, and such a thing is infinitely more agreeable than something that is rote, by the numbers and altogether pedestrian.

More tomorrow...

July 16, 2006
I rarely get star struck...

...but when I saw Michael Mann at Thursday night's press screening of "Miami Vice," standing there, talking with assorted types, munching on some popcorn...all I could do was stare like a little girl.

A mutual friend of ours happened to catch a flick at the Arclight last night and he bumped into Michael, there yet again, for the foreign press screening. I've never heard of a filmmaker showing up at press screenings for films, let alone TWO of them in three nights. He's meticulous. But I'd have it no other way.

July 15, 2006
Has anyone seen this Dairy Queen commercial?

The one where the guy is getting on the airplane, and the guy in the other seat keeps eating his blizzard while guy #1 tries to stow his luggage?

I just laughed my ass off! What happened to good commercials?

Levy's "Vice" Take

I spoke to Emanuel Levy briefly in the parking garage after Friday night's "Miami Vice" screening. He tossed his review up quicker than I expected given how down he was on the film, though there are some positive remarks here and there. For the most part, though, I'd say he's fair in his assessment, the first real balanced review of the film we've seen.

I'll be posting my review Monday.


July 14, 2006
"Lunch with David"

Hohoho...I haven't actually CHUCKLED like this in a LOOOONG time. But I guess you have to know Mr. Poland to feel the sense of absolute cheekiness in this latest addition to the Movie City News universe.

Take a minute to watch this new iKlipz.com feature, "Lunch with David," a quasi-trippy, somewhat eerie altogether fun (weekly?) segment of the new site that boasts David chatting our ears off about the weekly movie goings-on.


Why do I suddely get the feeling...

...we're going to see "Snakes on a Plane" popping up on a few top ten lists at the end of the year?

Every once in a while, a few critics embrace something so woven into "genre" that it becomes a phenomenon unto itself. It happened with "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl," which secured the #1 spot from the New York Times's Elvis Mitchell in 2003. "X2" and the "Spider-Man" films, though not specifically the sort of "romp" material I'm talking about here, had their champions in the critical community as well. Ditto "Batman Begins" and "Sin City," the latter just missing the top ten most critically acclaimed films of 2005, if you go by Engin's comprehensive collective. Let's also not forget "Kung Fu Hustle." But I think "Pirates" is the more apt comparison.

I don't know, I just get the feeling we're going to see this thing turn up on a list or two from critics who appreciate a balls-out good time. Am I off my rocker?

Where did that come from?

I certainly wasn't expecting Christopher Nolan's "Batman Begins" follow-up to have this much texture and style. How foolish of me.

Take a look at the trailer for "The Prestige" and tell me that doesn't look like a heck of a unique and potentially trippy time at the movies. Given the look of the film, I think we're definitely looking at a contender in various technical races, most especially Wally Pfister's atmospheric cinematography and the costume design (uncredited at IMDb, though it might indeed be Lindy Hemming, who outfitted "Begins"). The performances across the board also look fetching, most notably Christian Bale and Michael Caine.

Are we underestimating this thing?

Oh, and that vacant slot in my list of 10 anticipations? It just got filled.


July 13, 2006
We're getting on track.

Another special thanks to Claes, a.k.a. Grizzly, who put together a snappy logo for the site this week. I think we've finally tapped into something. Everything from here on out should be gravy.

July 12, 2006
Life in Multiplexes Imitates Art on the Small Screen??

My good friend Sasha Stone and I were talking yesterday about the "Pirates" phenomenon sweeping the box office record books, and she mentioned somethng that occured to me a few days prior, only she put it in the concise terms that really drove it home as an interesting as hell tid-bit.

How funny is it that, just as "Aquaman" beats out "Spider-Man"'s opening weekend gross on HBO's "Entourage," "Pirates" ends up doing it in real life?? This is like one of those creepy/interesting moments like "Back to the Future 2" predicting the Florida Marlins would win the World Series in 1997, no? I don't recall the exact gross of "Aquaman" that Jeremy Piven blurts out as Adrian Grenier stands atop the roof of a house party Billy Crudup-style. Maybe I should hit the up the ole' HBO ON Demand and find out for sure, but I don't think it was very close to what "Pirates" ended up raking in. Actually no, it was something like $118 mil, right? Anyway, stuff like this cracks me up.

Oh, and "Entourage" has to be the most entertaining series on television in a LONG time, just for the sheer romp of it all. Congrats to Piven on his second Emmy nomination. Now, let's see a win!

Welcome to "The Blog"

Everyone has to have space for random assertions, inklings and daily musings, right? Well, this is the blog for all things peripheral to the content at InContention.com. Enjoy, join in the discussion, make it a community and let's see where it takes us.