The Bottom Line on the Bottom Line

This is where you come on the net to find out why and how the entertainment business works from an industry insider

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Click Review

Click Review
Category: Movies, TV, Celebrities


Starring: Adam Sandler, Kate Beckinsale, Henry Winkler, Christopher Walken, Julie Kavner, David Hasselhoff and Sean Astin

Directed by: Frank Coraci

Length: 98 minutes

Studio: Sony

I like Adam Sandler. I liked him when he was the crazy dude on Remote Control, then I liked him Saturday Night Live. I especially liked his comedy album and then I really liked his movies Happy Gilmore and Billy Madison. Then I kind of began to think his schtick was getting old with Big Daddy and The Waterboy, but then I began to like Adam again when he did Punch Drunk Love. Then I was really annoyed with him for doing a movie with Drew Barrymore called 50 First Dates. I hated that movie and I think I also secretly hate Drew Barrymore. OK, fine. It's not a secret anymore.

One thing you can't not like about Adam Sandler is that he doesn't tuck his shirt in very often. It doesn't matter which character he plays. But he's not a tuck your shirt in kind of guy. Another thing you have to admire is that he's a Jew. And not afraid to admit it. Only a Jew would make famous the Hannukah Song and make a stupid animated movie called 8 Crazy Nights. Hannukah is a fake Jewish Holiday. But Sandler has the balls to ride his Jewiness to the bank, even when he doesn't have to.

Enough about Sandler and on to Click. Click is a story we've seen before. Basically it's like the John Ritter movie called STAY TUNED, only this remote control doesn't enter you into the TV and there is no Don Knotts character in the film. Instead we have The Fonz (Henry Winkler) as Sandler's Dad and the always brilliant and creepy Christopher Walken as (spoiler: The Angel of Death)

The plot revolves around the fact that Sandler, as a young father, architect, husband and son is very stressed, and stretched for time. A feeling I am sure many of us feel. There's not enough time and not enough of you to go around. And in the age of the Tivo remote. Why not cut to the chase, cut out the commercials and just get to the meat of the moments, so that you can accomplish more and be more energy efficient. This is the crux of the story and truly, it's a story worth telling.

Unfortunately, the story is told in a very depressing way once we get into it. The laughter dries up. The trademark Sandler silliness is gone and we have one a movie that began as Happy Gilmore end as Punch Drunk Love. Sneaky how they made us laugh and not they made us think. HOW DARE YOU MAKE US THINK? HOW DARE YOU MAKE US FEEL SANDLER?

Well, I don't mind thinking and feeling somtimes. So I'll give this movie a 2 star review and I'll remind everyone in the world of the following facts:

1. Sony Pictures can cut a trailer and tv spots that can fool even you

2. Sony Pictures can spend a great deal of money on advertising and insure that their films open- if they have the potential to and Click did have that potential and did open.

3. Adam Sandler doesn't like to tuck his shirt in.

4. Kate Beckinsale is classy and hot and everyone should have one of her. Forget the cool Universal Remote Control. I'll have a Kate Beckinsale please.

5. Slow down, your moving too fast. Got to make the morning last babe.... Enjoy life. Even the crappy commercials can be interesting and fun, etc.

2 Stars

Superman Returns - Review


Starring: Brandon Routh, Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey

Directed by Bryan Singer

Studio: Warner Bros.

Having grown up watching the Superman franchise much of my young life was shaped by the caped superhero's flying, heroics and all-around greatness. To me Superman will always be Christopher Reeves. Sure Dean Cain, Tom Welling and George Reeve wore the Super suit, but Reeves was my Superman as a kid.
I fondly remember flying with a towel folded into the top of my shirt around the house and wishing I had x-ray vision or the ability to burn a hole into something with my laser eyes. Or super-man strength. That was probably the neatest super-power. Couldn't be shot by a bullet and could lift an entire building with ease. And who can forget the neatest trick of all- when Superman 2's Superman simply flew backwards around the Earth's globe reversing time and reversing all the bad things he let happen when he simply wished to be a regular man. Ah, such is the burden of Superman-dome.

Well without reminiscing too much let me tell you a little about SUPERMAN RETURNS and the newest Superman of them all Brandon Routh. Firstly, Routh is very much Superman-looking. He's tall, handsome, well built and delivers his lines in very much the same cheesy manner as Christopher Reeves. Only Reeves was able to show some range in later years, I don't think Routh will be able to. He is essentially a soap-opera actor who bartended at Lucky Strike Lanes in LA and other than a role as Superman every other year, I do not forecast much else for him. Also, to me he disturbingly very much reminds me of a very good looking version of Jason Schwartzman. Even talks like Schwartzman in a way too. Strange.

So that's Routh, now what about the story? The direction? Spacey and Bosworth? Well, the direction is good, sure the film is cheesy. But it's Superman- it has to be. And as for the rumors that the very gay Bryan Singer was directing a gay Superman film-they're not true. Well sort of not true. I did feel gay myself at times watching the film. And I suppose that's very liberated of me to admit, but it's true. The film is quite gay. Superman himself is quite gay. After all, he's a man who can have any woman he wants, but is too afraid to confront Lois Lane and let her know who he really is as Clark Kent or how he truly feels. Gay. But in a good gay kind of way.

Bosworth is hot as Lois Lane. She's feisty and sexy and beautiful. I just think that when they died her hair from blonde to black they forgot to wax off some of the blonde peach fuzz on her face and that kind of disturbed me. But then again, lots of things disturb me.

Spacey was good as is his romantic interest Parker Posey. They are both pathetic and evil and meant for each other. Spacey's not my favorite actor, but he did justice to the role and made a worthwhile gay nemesis for Superman.

On a scale of Hulk to Batman Begins, the new Superman Returns gets a Spiderman 2 minus. In other words, go see it, but you can wait a day or two to avoid the lines.

2.5 Stars

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Devil Wears Prada Movie Review


Starring: Anne Hatthaway, Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci, Emily Blunt and Adrian Grenier

Directed by David Frankel


Based on the best-selling book by Lauren Weisberger and based on her true account of assisting the real-life editor of Vogue Magazine, the movie DEVIL WEARS PRADA from 20th Century Fox is a very succesful film in its own right.

Although it will attract mostly young women and lovers of the book on opening weekend, the film does have enough appeal to merit viewing by those who have little or no interest in the fashion business or men. Being someone who has very little personal interest in the fashion business and a man, I found myself able to enjoy the brilliant performance by Meryl Streep as Runaway Magazine Editor in Chief Miranda Priestley.

Furthermore, I was charmed by Anne Hathaway's performance as Andy Sachs. A role of the newbie to New York who is given a shot that millions would kill for and learns to embrace the job and then herself in the process. Sure, it's a coming of age story and we've seen movies like this before, but the - it's so crazy it has to be true- accuracy of what Andy's character has to go through as an assistant is funny, sad, pathetic and interesting enough to keep your attention for the two hour movie's duration.

Working in the film business myself, I was an assistant in my past life and had to do a lot of similar tasks and deal with difficult personalities. It's part of the paying of dues and I think very important in the grand scheme of things. If you never worked for a monster before, you can A) Never become a monster yourself- how would you know how to torment others? and B) Never know how to become a non-monster if you so choose to.

Regardless of the choice you make in life, the movie is worth seeing. Sure, there is the unbelievability that Adrian Grenier would be dating an Andy Sachs character. But this is a movie for girls, and girls like to have the fantasy that the good looking guy on Entourage will be their stay-at-home boyfriend who waits on their beckon call....

Friday, June 09, 2006

Willamette Writer's Conference- Portland, Oregon August 3-6, 2006

From August 3rd to 6th I'll be in Portland at the Willamette Writer's Conference:

I encourage all of my blog-readers to attend, especially if they live in the Pacific Northwest.

At the Willamette Writer's Conference I'll be teaching two classes.

The first class on Saturday, August 5th from 3:30PM will be entitled
Here I'll be discussing all of the different ways studios wish to hit consumers and conversely how consumers affect the film's that studios choose to produce and how they choose to produce them.

The second class is on Sunday, August 6th from 3:00PM will be entitled
Here's I'll giving away the secrets on how studio accounting, spending and revenues are earned. Basically walking you through how a $200 million dollar budget film can recoup it's money and go from being "in the red" to profitable "in the black..."

I'd love to meet you all there and hopefully have you attend one or both of these classes....