- As we've previously noted, the Social Network trailer is great, but at least the past couple of times I've seen it, I've noticed that it's been just slightly recut, I'm guessing in response to MPAA concerns, to remove a shot at 2:05 that Linda Holmes was surprised made it past the censors.
- Devil certainly has a stylish trailer, with the Panic Room-esque letters hanging in air, and a high-concept premise (five people are stuck in an elevator, and one of them is, unbeknownst to the others, the Devil) that would seem to sell itself, but when "a new nightmare from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan" has come on screen, it's been greeted by some audible derision--perhaps that could be edited out.
- Yes, Zach Galifianakis is quite funny in the Due Date trailer, but doesn't it need to sell the concept of the story to at least some degree, like why they are going to LA together?
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Shame on Gawker Media for doing so.
[They have since reduced it to a three-plus minute clip from the end of the video which contains perhaps the more shocking elements of the full epilogue. It is yet unclear whether this was a voluntary action or was prompted by legal threats.]
We here at ALOTT5MA HQ take seriously the notion that the people who generate good content have the right to seek payment for it, and those who attempt to circumvent their efforts to get paid are stealing. Period. And, obviously, a good way to encourage people to buy a DVD set of a tv series folks have already seen -- especially when it comes to a series for which folks were frustrated by inadequate answers and closure -- is to provide them with answers, closure and content they haven't already seen.
But when you set up a system in which writers get paid based on their hit counts, as Gawker Media has done, all you're doing is encouraging its writers to locate potentially popular content which one cannot find elsewhere. (HT: Matt.) Otherwise-protected intellectual property is obviously one such area -- steal the content, ring up the hits, take (some of) it down when you receive a cease and desist letter, pay a settlement if you have to, repeat -- ritualized intellectual property theft as business model, a Napster of text and video.
[Heck, you may recall they even grabbed Isaac's Tiger Woods parody without initially crediting our site (see #8 here), not that we were asking for money. Just a link. Of course, there's also the athlete "dong shots" and rumors regarding too-much-fun-loving gunslingers and their texting habits which no other media will touch. Whatever draws a crowd.]
But the latter stuff is mostly rude and privacy-violating; stealing intellectual property directly takes potential money from content creators. That's bullshit. I'm glad they cut it down from twelve minutes to three minutes, but, really, it ought to be none minutes. Let ABC, Damon and Carlton decide how much free content with which to entice fans. Namaste.
Next month will mark four years since the release of his last album, FutureSex/LoveSounds, which was only his second solo work. Enough dabbling; if he's not going to join Studio 8-H full time, it's time to get him back making music.
What's disturbing about the Bechdel Test is, indeed, how easy it should be to fulfill, and how rare that it is.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
In other Athletics news of interest to the blog, Royce Clayton is playing Miguel Tejada in the Moneyball adaptation, this guy is Alex Rodriguez, and this guy was an extra and wrote about a night at the ballpark with Jonah Hill.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
[It's] not like you throw a stick out and you hit 50 giants. I mean there’s not that many giants in the world. So, basically when we started this, Bill Goldman said that Andre’s the only one who can play this part. He said you’ve got to get Andre the Giant.Sadly, I think it's now fifteen years (The American President) since Reiner directed a good film. Still, worthy interview.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Or this guy (HT: Deadspin):
Updated: The video was staged, as the reporter explains to Hugh Hewitt (audio).
Monday, August 2, 2010
By way of rebuttal, let me describe one scene from last night's True Blood: Sookie, a young telepathic muse/waitress lies comatose in a hospital bed. She is surrounded by her loved ones: her dim brother; a vampire boyfriend who got confused and sucked out all of her blood; a werewolf; a tough-guy short-order cook in halfhearted drag; and a woman who a few weeks ago was hypnotized by a confusingly female minotaur into polyamorous cannibalism. One friend is absent because he is busy turning into a dog to rescue his brother, who also turns into dogs, from his job, which is dog fighting; her other suitor also is missing because he's a viking secretly carrying out a millenium-old blood feud, the present step of which involves playing best man in a coerced royal vampire wedding held in a torture-chamber basement and officiated by a veteran of the Spanish Inquisition. Sookie awakens and screams, because they are all from the same town, but nobody has the same accent. And also because her name is Sookie.
Put simply, a truly ambitious and successful work of narrative art is spoiler-proof. If a show or movie or book is really, truly great, you can watch it again and again and again, well after you know what's going to happen, and the aesthetic pleasure you derive therefrom will not diminish. It may even increase. This is an essential part of the work's greatness.Back in 2008, Dan Kois suggested statutes of limitation for when it was no longer necessary. Boy, that Don Draper last night, wow ....
Consider this: Alfred Hitchcock knew as much about creating suspense as perhaps any narrative artist of the past century; and when he made what is, hands down, his most artistically ambitious movie, Vertigo, he went out of his way to spoil the mystery halfway through. Vertigo is the story of one woman pretending to be another in an effort to deceive a man, and Hitchcock easily could have preserved the mystery of that woman's identity until the end of the film.
But the pleasures and satisfactions of Vertigo don't depend on not knowing a basic aspect of the plot. They derive from the movie's brilliant illustration of love and desire and the ways we idealize and romanticize particular human beings and then become disappointed or even disgusted by their simple, physical humanity. It's the best thing Hitchcock ever did, and knowing who is actually who doesn't change that.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
- Who on earth thought it would be a good idea for them to write Aaron Sorkin and Jessica Simpson a scene to perform together? What sort of drugs did they give Sorkin to make him perform in such a scene?
- Because we're a pseudo-family-blog, I'm not going to get into the lengthy E-Sloan plot in tonight's episode, which was handled with much more dignity (and humor) on Sex and the City with Charlotte some years ago, but who thought that was a good idea?
- Who thought that what Entourage needed was a female porn star playing herself, but who spends the entire episode in network-safe level of clothedness?
- Let's assume that someone just started watching Entourage this season--wouldn't they have the view that there are actually two completely separate shows going on--one about Vince and his buddies, and one about Ari running the agency--which have effectively nothing to do with one another?
- What I believe is the first reference to a profile subject (not in the wedding announcements section) having, or at least claiming to have, "a friend with benefits." (And man, do those two dudes sound douchey.)
- An analysis of 30 words you might not expect to have appeared in an NYT announcement but have, including what, as far as we can all hope, will be the only reference to iCarly ever to appear in the wedding announcements. (It also provides a link to WeddingCredential, which lets you search the last 3,910 announcements to appear, and which I'm sure will yield interesting results in y'all's hands.)