Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #125: Random Summer Musings...

1. Quentin Tarantino has finally finished his script for the remake of The Inglorious Bastards and he and producer Harvey Weinstein are shopping it around Hollywood, and it's reported that Weinstein will co-produce it with returning Tarantino producer Lawrence Bender.

Now I'm a Tarantino fan, and I have been since I saw
Reservoir Dogs while in Film School, and saw how it was still possible to do a hell of a lot of movie for very little money, I loved Pulp Fiction, enjoyed Jackie Brown, and got positively orgasmic over the 2 Kill Bills. I even liked From Dusk Til Dawn, even though George Clooney brought all the charisma of a pine 2x4 to his role as the vampire slaying anti-hero.

Grindhouse kinda lost me. I think he lost what made him great which was taking the familiar, but mostly forgotten corners of pop-culture and not only rehashing them, but reviving and reinventing them with his own personal style. Grindhouse had the rehashing, but lacked the revival and reinvention that he did so well in just about every other film. It was a little too close to his beloved inspiration. And rumours that the script for the Inglorious Bastards is big enough for two epics, made me worry about poor Quentin.

Now I am a little heartened by the reports of Lawrence Bender being involved, and I hope they're true. Tarantino has a lot of talent, but very little self control, and needs someone to give him enough rope to get the job done, but not enough to hang himself. Weinstein tends to indulge Tarantino like his favourite child, all the while treating just about everyone else like an unwanted red-headed step-child. He needs someone to whisper in his ear: "Take the camera off Uma's feet and get the story going again."

I wish Tarantino luck, Hollywood needs someone who can bring a little danger back to movies.

2. Now some of you have been wondering why Harvey Weinstein would shop around this production instead of making it with his Weinstein Company. Well, according to Defamer and its sister site Gawker the Weinstein Company is having some major money troubles. Not only has TWC been hit with more turkeys than a Thanksgiving cook-off, attempts to build a media empire have stalled, and the Weinstein's stake in a home video distributor has nose-dived in value, and investors, led by the firm of Goldman Sachs are sharpening their knives.

Now while there is the temptation to revel in schadenfreude at Harvey's ill fortune, due to the accumulating tales of ill treatment told by
filmmakers, writers, employees, and legions of former assistants, I'm going to fight it. I'd hate to see another independent company sink into oblivion, its assets sold off to pay debts, and its employees scattered to the four winds, their futures uncertain. What I would like to see is an independent company survive as a viable independent company. So either Harvey has to have a Road to Damascus moment, repent his sins of ego, and change his ways to save the company, or he has to be replaced by someone who can.

3. AFTRA ratified their deal with the moguls. SAG spent their load campaigning against AFTRA's deal, and is now in a strange sort of purgatory known as the
strike that's not a strike.

And it isn't a strike. A strike has to be called by the union when contract talks fail. What's happening in La-La Land is a Soft Lockout. The moguls aren't talking, they made their offer, and all they have to do is sit back, and not start any productions until SAG caves in.

As I've said before, the moguls are not the shark's they like people to think they are. They are more like cats, lazy, self-centred, and loyal only to their own comforts. If they can get what they want by doing nothing, they will do nothing, and let their parent companies carry them. SAG has failed to properly prepare for these negotiations, and will most likely have to eat dirt and sign the final offer, and then get ready for the next contract in 2011.

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