In this morning’s roundup of movie news ‘n’ notes from around the web, hard times come again (and again) to the multiplex.
Bruce Horovitz looks at the release schedule, and spots a trend: movies about bad economic times. Then he talks to experts who say that people don’t want to go to the movies to hear about a rotten economy. Which might be bad news for Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” (left), the upcoming Ben Affleck film about corporate downsizing, “The Company Men,” and the documentaries “Freakonomics,” “Inside Job” and “I Want Your Money” – although let’s face it, the odds are probably stacked against any five serious movies doing well. (USA Today)
Speaking of hard times … Eriq Gardner looks at the perils of indie financing in this climate, the newfound caution in once-eager equity investors, and the attractiveness of micro-budgeted films over more traditional indie productions. “It’s the Wild West right now,” says a financier who still thinks it’s possible to make money in the business. But it’s not easy. (The Hollywood Reporter)
David Poland writes about the movie of the moment in a “Social Network” review that his headline describes as “98.75% Spoiler-Free.” His lengthy musings are also about 85 percent positive, which means they’re 15 percent less positive than almost every other review that’s been written of David Fincher’s film. (Although you just know that Armond White or somebody is biding his time, ready to pounce.) Poland’s chief gripe: despite the plethora of reviewers remarking about how this is A Film For Our Times, “what is missing is metaphor.” In fact, he doesn’t even think it tries for metaphor. But, you know, it’s “a really, really good movie” anyway. (The Hot Blog)
“Show me a director or screenwriter you admire, I can point to an absolute dog they have made at some point in their career,” says David Hare, the British playwright/screenwriter/director responsible for “The Reader,” “The Hours,” “Damage” and several other films, at least one of which is probably an absolute dog. Hare talks to Clemency Burton-Hill after delivering a lecture about screenwriting at a BAFTA series, and says that his type of movies – “$20 million art films that cross over into the mainstream” – are dead, that nobody’s interested in making “well-budgeted, human stories with proper acting,” and that the future of American film is on televison. (He loves “Mad Men.”) But he still thinks film is “fantastically exciting.” Even fatalists can’t resist Hollywood, I guess. (The Independent)
Another British writer, Peter Morgan, talks at BAFTA about going from Tony Blair (about whom he’s written three movies) to Freddie Mercury (about whom he’s now writing, for a film that’ll star Sacha Baron Cohen as the flamboyant rock star). He says that it won’t be a comedy despite its leading man, and that the other members of Queen are nervous about being relegated to the background. Which, if truth be told, is exactly where at least two of them were during the band’s entire career. (Time Out London)