Friday, June 27, 2008

From the Deep, Burning Regrets Dept. 

I have this inkling that some day, perhaps very soon, two children from England are going to regret that this picture made its way onto an international news website.

Just a thought.



According to its early trailers, Wall*E was conceived at the same Pixar lunch that gave us Toy Story, A Bug’s Life and Monsters, Inc.—some of the best animated features ever produced. Wall*E, however, may be the best of the lot. It’s as sweet and heartfelt as previous Pixar films, and maybe their most daring.


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Monday, June 23, 2008

RIP George Carlin 

Holy fuck.

As far as personal heroes go... yeah.

Jesus Christ.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Kill All Parents! 

Kill All Parents! has a nice, simple premise at its core: one mad scientist sees the terrible future and moves to prevent it by creating a whole host of superheroes. You can probably guess how. Heroes need tragedy to become who they are, he reasons, and all the better if that tragedy is something that occurs during childhood—when the hero is helpless and vulnerable, and can never find anything like closure. At least, not through superheroic violence. It’s a damn good premise, worth at least one surprised-bark of a laugh.


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Friday, June 13, 2008

The Promotion 

Mainstream comedies tend to be pretty loud affairs, quick and eager to flash some genitals and make some scat jokes to secure the most precious of commodities in a theater setting: the contagious belly-laugh. I think we can successfully credit (or blame, depending on your tastes) the Brothers Farrelly for the modern guffaw-fest, with emotional refinements brought in by the Judd Apatow posse and (God help us) Sex and the City. Everybody wins: the audience has a good, cathartic time, and big laff fests generate a lot of buzz, even if comedies are excluded almost by rule from any kind of awards recognition.


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Monday, June 02, 2008


Anyone within shouting distance heard me recite a variation of this sometime last week:

"Sex and the City will make a lot of money opening weekend.

Not a lot of money by summer blockbuster standards. A lot of money by comedy standards. But considering its budget: a fucking lot of money.

People will notice.

There will be earnest articles and, quite possibly, a cover story in.. say... Entertainment Weekly, and if not that, at least a column, about this surprise phenomenon and the lack of appealing movies for women.

Experts-- that is, people who make a lot of money and/or get a national platform because it is their job to notice these things--will throw up their hands and say WHO KNEW??? Because discovering that 51% of the population might like some movies that occasionally appeal to them, too, is an arcane fucking art.

There will be stern Lessons Learned.

Studio execs will go right back to fielding movies aimed almost exclusively at 18-35 year-old males, with the occasional bullshit romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson thrown as a bone to that 51% of the population. Always released during low points of the movie year. (Valentine's, late August, post-Christmas Day.)"

Guys, it's not hard. I first learned this lesson working at a movie theater when the first Charlie's Angels--abominable piece of shit that it was--came out. We sold out all the Friday showtimes on Wednesday. Considering this was a relatively boutique theater with only 4 showtimes for any movie on a given day, this was completely unprecedented, and never happened again.

Who was buying those tickets? Large groups of women. Usually professionals. 25 and up. They liked our place because we had tables and served varieties of alcoholic drinks right inside the theater. It was Girl's Night Out, in other words, and you better believe each large group dropped at least a hundred bucks. To see a movie.

Same thing this weekend at my local Angelika: three screens, one show beginning every hour on the hour, and large groups of women (and gay men) waiting for their showtime. The Angelika, being wise, offered a "Cosmo and cupcake" deal at their bar, and of course you could bring your drinks into the theater if you wanted.

Full lines. Large groups. Sold-out showtimes.

At 1pm.

On a Saturday.

At an art house theater.

If you've ever worked at a theater of any kind, you know that is insane.

Money. In. The. Bank.

But we won't hear about it again for another two years, and sure enough, all the commentators will once again act surprised when history repeats itself.


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