James Franco doesn't do himself any favors by trying to explain why he stunk at the Oscars.
It turns out that James Franco wasn't all that listless at the Oscars after all – it's just that the person he was standing next to was so energetic that he suffered by comparison. That’s what he told David Letterman, anyway. "I love her," he claimed, "but Anne Hathaway is so energetic, I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway." He also said he didn't understand why folks were upset about his performance: he kept hearing that people didn't care about the Oscars anymore, so why did they suddenly care so much when he was bad? I suspect the answer to that is that even people who don't care about the Oscars would like to see a host who acts as if he does. Oh, and he also said, "I honestly played those lines as well as I could," which sounds like another way of blaming the writers. (Vulture) (Photo by AMPAS)
The cast of "X-Men: First Class" have been giving away too much as they promote the film, says Edward Davis. The actors, who include Matthew Vaughn, Oliver Platt, James McAvoy and Jennifer Lawrence, "have been robbing the picture of its allure by giving away seemingly every plot and character detail like it’s a fire sale," he scolds – before compiling 11 of those spoilers into a handy list so you don't have to wade through a bunch of interviews but can have the entire movie spoiled in one place. The revelations include love triangles, a secret division of the CIA and the identity of the character executive producer Bryan Singer really wanted to include but couldn't. But is "we see why [Charles Xavier] can no longer walk and why is he in a wheelchair" really a spoiler? Sounds more like a tease to me. (The Playlist)
David Poland, a longtime critics of shortening theatrical windows, weighs in with a couple of takes on the four-studio plan announced this week to do just that. His first reaction: the MPAA backstabbed exhibitors, and those exhibitors will likely strike back. (He suggests that if a film is participating in the new 60-day window, theaters refuse to book it for more than 30 days or give it more than two screens in any multiplex.) And after giving it some more thought, he says that the studios "are just doing what corporations do." I.e., "The studios and the corporations that own them think of every piece of the puzzle, human or not, as being something that should be adjusted to serve their every interest and whim." So don't blame them – it's in their nature to be aggressive moneygrubbers. But he still thinks they're wrong and he still thinks the exhibitors had better strike back. (TheHotBlog).
The film school at Chapman University in Orange County, an hour south of Los Angeles, may not have the cachet or famous alumni of film schools like NYU, USC and UCLA, but it's now got something those schools don't have: a production company. The school announced that Chapman Entertainment will produce and distribute five to 10 feature films from Chapman alumni every year, with costs in the ultra-low budget $250,000 to $625,000 range. The company will be run by the school's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, which operates out of a $42 million studio complex every bit as impressive as the facilities at more celebrated film schools. "Our students are production assistants all over Hollywood right now, but we want to do something that's going to put them in the driver's seat," dean (and Chapman Entertainment president) Bob Bassett tells Reed Johnson. (Los Angeles Times)