Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #326: Regrets & Raking It In


Director Steven Soderbergh was rather candid in an interview with UK's The Guardian newspaper, admitting that he regrets making his 2 part, 4 1/2 hour biopic of Marxist rebel Che Guevera.

Well, I can understand the regrets. I mean Soderbergh literally pissed away around $60 million dollars making an incredibly long movie about someone that the majority of people either know as a celebrity fashion accessory, or as a hopped up mini-Hitler wannabe who shot anyone and everyone that displeased him in the slightest with wild abandon. Even Fidel Castro, his one time comrade in arms, didn't like Che, sending him militarily naked to Bolivia to get killed, and only started canonizing him after his death.

What I don't understand is exactly how he got $60 million to get it made. That might become a case for Furious D, Private Dick, someday.

But anyway, it's interesting to see a filmmaker admit that he made a big $60 million mistake that despite what the Guardian says, made less than $2 million at the international box office according the most accurate sources. He might learn from it, but since he's part of Hollywood, that's probably unlikely.

And this is where you, my readers come in, I want you to come up with as many ideas as you can as to how you would spend the $60 million spent on Che, and leave them in the comments.


American Idol host Ryan Seacrest has inked a 3 year $45 million deal to continue hosting the show.

News of this deal sparked a lot of bitching a moaning about how talentless he is, and how he doesn't deserve this sort of deal, yadda, yadda, yadda...

Well, I guess I have to repeat what I wrote in an earlier post, that while I don't care for the shows that he hosts, he does have a talent, and that is not having talent. He's not the star, and he doesn't even try to be the star of the show, he comes out, has a few words with the singer, lets the judges speak, takes a shot at Simon, reminds people of what numbers to call to vote, and then gets the hell off the stage. He doesn't go make a film about Marxist revolutionaries, do talk show appearances mocking other people's religious or political beliefs, or make pseudo-profound pronouncements on how others should live their lives. He does his job, and then he shuts the hell up.

Knowing when to shut the hell up is a supremely rare gift in Hollywood, and despite the occasional on camera screw up, he seems to be using it well, so I won't knock his fat paycheck.


  1. 'Wild pains'____ The life and times of Genghis Khan, the story of a wild and impetuous lad making it right in an oh, so widely wrong world. It's a comedy with plenty of everything you all need! Farts, Sex, Outside bathroom jokes and feel good lessons learned by all!

    'Making it in Time'____ Benito Mussolini's rebellious years to the future Hero of the masses. He made the trains run on schedule all the time! Uncle Benny will give you a warm belly.. with Bullets!

    'My Life, My Struggles'____ The life and times of a struggling artist who reinvigorated a nations pride with his artwork, giving hope where none remained. Adolf Hitler is a man of humble beginnings!

    'Simply the Best'____ How a farmer (in spirit of course!) lived under troubling times to rise his fellow men to victory and a brighter future. Mao Zedong and his ladies will romance you in this uplifting adventure and excitement!

    'The Last of the many Emperors'____ Born in a privileged home, Prince Hirohito busted out of this life and lived it fast and furious thru the Red lighted streets of akasen and became the Prince of Shibuya! With the troubled uncle Hideki Tōjō falling into many hilarious laugh-out loud hijinks!

    And for the winter festivals, we top it all off with...

    'Wild in Hearts & Parts'____ How a Philippine born immigrant used his silky smooth voice and well placed multiple teleprompters to enrapture an country of hollyweird elitists and brain dead morons for the seat of the Emperor of wash boarded cool!... ah, and also take control of America -now named "Ameracool~..because he's the TelePrez!!"- and give you all a ride to Neverland! You'll scream all the way!!!!

  2. That director is one spineless bastard. He foots the entire blame of this abortion in the pants of the actor who played the che dude!

  3. Divide that $60 mil into three portions.

    First, take $10 mil, use $1 to buy equipment and rent facilities, and the other $9 mil to make 18-45 low budget, direct-to-DVD (or cable) genre pictures. Budget from $200K to $500K per, not a penny more. This will be a proving ground for untested talent, both behind and before the camera. Call it the Corman Cram School.

    Next, another $10 mil, another company. Graduates from the Cram School can keep in practice here. Again, $1 mil for operations, and the rest for nine or so $1 mil budgeted films, of any type. Serious indy, raunchy farce, whatever might make back its budget, theatrically or in ancillary markets. Call this one Zoetrope-Sane.

    Finally, the final company. Say $5 mill for operations, leaving $35 mill for productions, budgeted at no more than $10 mill per, and preferably less. These are the projects that will work best as theatricals (though still low-budget by Hollywood standards).

    The important thing about these three independent companies is that NONE of them will be managed by an MBA with no story sense. All three will be dedicated to making a profit first (by telling a great and engaging story). Awards, suck with Bel Aire matire d's, and all that garbage, will get any executive an immediate dismissal. And no golden parachutes.

    Yes, I know, I'm delusional.