This Week’s Edition has been Pre-Recorded Before a Live Studio Audience
Caffeinated Clint on…. Sites Vs.Studios
The web community gathered this week to speak about the current climate of running a website in ‘partnership’ with film studios. The repartee came off the back off IESB’s rather impetuous shutdown from Paramount (don’t panic fans, they’re back up!), who – without warning – took their site offline because of some “Iron Man” set videos (nothing to do with the publicists at Paramount in the states, by the way, they were just as shocked as everyone else! Hi to Tamar and Kristina… you guys rock!). It was apparently Paramount’s legal department – yeah, the same guys that greenlight the movies; or so I hear – that temporarily closed IESB.
My bud Stephanie from IESB tells Cinematical.com, that they’ve now “lost respect for the studio, we lost out financially and most importantly it was just really a blow to our reputation.”
Some interesting topics were bought up in the webmasterly discussions arising from this situation – most notably, the idea of whether we, film websites, should stop promoting the films of studios (boycotting everything they do; that includes not running any posters, pictures or trailers for their films at all) that aren’t willing to give a little back? Seems every site has a problem with at least one studio – and it’s usually someone different. Most agree that that’s – boycotting – something that probably should start happening. If all of a sudden say website 1 stops promoting studio 1’s films, the studio will soon notice, and be bashing down their door to try and get re-involved; or with website 2 deciding to boycott everything done by studio x, won’t studio x be creamin’ to kiss and make up? It’s inevitable.
Here’s one. I don’t mind FOX myself, I think they’re good guys, but for the sake of sakes, we’ll use them as an example: I didn’t get any “Fantastic Four 2” interviews – as you may have noticed (and some, including the U.S Foxes, have asked why?). Everyone else – from the smallest of papers to the smallest of radio stations – seemed to get access to at least one of the blue-suited leads, but not us… we couldn’t even get a one-on-one with Michael Chiklis’s backhair. The studio’s international counterparts were a bit concerned that I didn’t get anything… and couldn’t quite figure that out either. But, to be honest, I wasn’t too fussed. Fox have been good in the past, so I assumed this was just a rare occurrence of being the fat that the publicist needed to trim from the interview schedule (they did just miss out on capturing the attention of over a million unique users though!… unfortunately). At the end of the day, a stringer offered us one of his interviews. I ran it – even though some would probably tell me not to, because Fox weren’t good enough to offer Moviehole any interviews in the first place – because I don’t believe that the readers should have to miss out, just because we, the site owners, did. Fox in the states, and in other states, have been good to us too… so why should the readers suffer? The good thing about Fox is that they want be checking in to ask us for free ads or to do a super promotion with them on the film, they won’t expect that. They play fair. It’s disappointing, sure, but they’re still a nice crowd. We’d just hope not to get left out of interviews like that in the future, I guess – if even because we’re one of the country’s biggest websites, and I truly believe (I really do) they need us. There’s a reason why “300” did such major business and that’s ‘because’ of the web – we were all offered exclusive interviews, set visits, giveaways, opportunities to attend press conferences – some should remember that. (“Grindhouse”, on the other hand, suffered – somewhat – because there wasn’t a lot of net support). Warner Bros/300 played “give and take” with the websites. It worked. Most studios do. So hopefully by the time “Fantastic Four 3” comes out… you’ll see coverage here. As for the current sequel, sorry folks! It was out of our hands… you can stop the emails now. We know the cast were in the country, but we can’t force ourselves on them to do an interview, ya know?
So do I have a bad relationship with anyone out there? Well, there is one crowd that seems to have it out for, not just Moviehole, but websites in general.
This studio in particular – and let me just state for the record, that this studio’s U.S counterparts (and some of their Aussie counterparts for that matter!) are wonderful; and are always bemused when Moviehole gets left out of junkets, interviews or screenings for this companies films, and if they felt they could interfere, they would! – that we’ve done a lot for here, but they’ve given nothing back. Jack Shit. And when I say nothing, I mean, nothing. Fuck all.
Not only do this crowd “forget” to invite us to media screenings (one of their biggest releases of the year is screening in a couple of weeks, and we won’t have a review, because our invitation conveniently got lost in the mail. One of their U.S co-workers has actually suggested to us that we ‘don’t bother reviewing the film then, let them suffer’ – can you believe that… a co-worker said that!) But we’ve been excluded from the interviews, too.
One of this studio’s American counterparts (yep, the gang in their U.S office loves us; we have a great relationship) told me recently that the studio seems to have an “unfathomable dislike for the internet. That’s pretty much all it comes down to”. She also says “We’re taking a lot more interest in the internet, because we have to, over there… but the local office there seems to be stuck in the middle ages. Either that, or someone’s just throwing their weight around for the hell of it”.
Personally, I think it’s the latter (though I will admit knowing that the studio still isn’t keen on the internet; they’ve told me several times that websites like Moviehole are all about “bringing movies down”), it’s just fuckin’ cunts living up to the names that they’re called behind their back. (Which is funny. There doesn’t seem to be anyone in the local media circles that does like this studio/person, and regularly complains about how they do their business, so why is this person still employed?. I give up trying to even work that one out.) These people think that we “need them”. We don’t really. To an extent, it would be nice to have their support. But the truth is, they “need us”. We’re – as I explained above – the whores that pimp their films for them. And where do people get their film info these days? The Internet. Taking us out of the equation isn’t hurting but the films they’re promoting (I can tell you numerous times that a filmmaker has contacted me to ask why we were left out of interviews or something of that degree… and they’re fuming. If filmmakers can figure out that they need the aid of the Internet to help their films… why not studio publicists?).
But look, it’s not just one studio – it is a common thing, I’m told by my fellow webmasters. More and more websites are being dictated by the studios what to run, and how to run their websites – and if you don’t play by their rules, they’ll dump you. Essentially, we’re being treated as Divine Brown, and they’re Hugh Grant. We’re supposed to just get down on our knees and suck. I, for one, am sick of the cracked lips…. Time to take our websites back!
LatinoReview.com posted the following on the IESB situation, “When will you guys realize that we in the online community are YOUR ALLIES!!! We want to get people talking about movies… YOUR stupid movies. Sometimes that will be good… sometimes it will be bad… but we will get them talking. We’re on your side! Just because you can’t manipulate and control us like you do with Print and TV media, doesn’t mean you should try to bully us into submission. It won’t work. Learn to work with us… and working WITH us doesn’t mean you’re in charge. DEAL WITH IT.
I hope you’re pleased with yourselves pulling IESB down… I hope you relish this little chest thumping session of yours. Because this is going to bite you in the ass BIG TIME. I hope for your sakes this was all some big mistake… a mistake you’ll correct sooner rather than later.”
Too right. Lets chuck out the lip balm. Close our Mouths. And start ‘taking it’.
Caffeinated Clint on…. The Juggle Act.
A couple of weeks ago, I waxed lyrical on how crazy me life is at the moment – and how much crazier it’s going to be in July, when my child enters the world. I had a few emails from readers over that time who have offered some suggestions for me… basically reminding me that above all, family, not work, has now go to come first.
Here’s a few letters:
I was just reading your caffeinated clint article where you discuss the
impending arrival of your child and where you ask for ideas. I’m hoping it
was a serious request for help otherwise I will feel like a dickhead for
giving you my 2 cents worth.
I have recently been inducted into the role of fatherhood for the 1st time,
my son is just on 5 months old and before his arrival, all I knew to expect
was that life was going to change, and that I was going to do all I needed
to do to make it change for the better. I am almost 39 years old so am
probably a late starter into fatherhood but perhaps it may have been a
blessing in disguise. Here are my tips; you probably won’t find them in any
book but I hope it may help.
No matter what you think your baby needs, your wife is always right and you
are probably wrong. If you think the bub needs a feed and the wife says he
needs a sleep then accept that fact and try and put the bub to sleep.
Repeatedly tell your wife what a top job she is doing with the bub, this
little body of noise puts a lot of stress on the both of you and trying to
work out what the bub needs is half the trouble, so when your wife does
something to settle the bub always say how good she is.
If your job is a computer type one and you have the ability to work from
home at all, try and do this, you won’t believe how much your wife will
appreciate you just being around to watch the bub while she has a shower
It may seem obvious but if you can go out to do the mundane things with
your wife and bub, do it, because there’s nothing harder for a new parent
than trying to work out how to go to the shops or the RTA etc with a baby.
You try carrying a baby and pushing a trolley, it aint a lot of fun.
Take some time off after your wife and baby come home from the hospital,
not while they are still in there. I know you said its hard getting away
from work but your world will intially be turned upside down and having to
worry about getting to sleep so you can get up for work is a real drain on
When you look at your newborn baby, after getting over what a bloody
miracle it is, just think how cool it is going to be when he/she gets to
about 4 or 5 months and starts smiling at you as soon as they hear your
voice. I have to say there’s not too many better experiences I have had
than looking at my son, talking to him and having him smile back at me.
It’s like a mastercard ad, it’s priceless.
Enjoy it dude, that’s it.
I don’t know how you do it – and can I just tell you, from July, you probably WON’T be able to do it any longer. Your life is going to change considerably. You’re going to have to cut back on everything big time… because parenthood is a full time gig. I know you wear many hats, but you may have to step back from a few of those gigs, once bub enters the world. For the next year or so, it will be your main priority…. Especially if you don’t have anyone to help. So make the most of the next couple of months!
I can’t tell you how your life is going to change. It will. Not in a bad way, but just in a different way. Work will suddenly becoming less important to you. Family will become more important. It sounds like you’re a workaholic. That needs to end. I think its great that your wife has taken the laptop and computer away… that needs to happen. You have to get into the habit NOW, or being a father, and that means being totally committed to the family after work. So from then, you’ll have two FULL-TIME jobs… whatever you do for a living, and being a father. Commit to both fully – but don’t spend more time on one or the other.
They say your life is over when you have kids. That’s kinda true. All the things you want to do… wanted to do…. Are kinda replaced by a new responsibility. Basically, your kid becomes your main focus. EVEN OVER WORK. Remember that, and you’ll be fine.
I guess the only question is : How soon can you teach the baby how to update a website? That’s the go, I reckon!
Caffeinated Clint on…. Why it sucks to be a Canadian Film Critic Today
Live in Canada? Thinking about becoming a film reviewer? What interests you about becoming a film reviewer – the fact that you get to see free movies? Now imagine what it would be like signing up for the lowly paid reviewer job at a newspaper or website only to discover that Warner Bros won’t be having screenings for the critics anymore. Not one.
That’s exactly what’s about to happen in Canada. I kid you not. The WB are stopping media screenings for the critics. Its insane… and it’s another indication that the entertainment journalist is going to have a shit of a time over the next few years.
Here’s the press release :
BURBANK, CALIF., May 8 /CNW/ – In response to the growing tide of pirated
feature film releases originating from Canadian theaters, Warner Bros.
Pictures Canada is taking a bold step to combat piracy, canceling all
promotional and word-of-mouth screenings on all of its forthcoming releases,
effective immediately. The policy will be implemented with the Studio’s next
release, Ocean’s Thirteen, and will be in effect for all films thereafter from
Warner Independent Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures, including the July 13
release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The announcement was
made today by Darcy Antonellis, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Anti-Piracy
Operations, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and Executive Vice President,
Distribution and Technology Operations, Warner Bros. Technical Operations.
The newly enacted policy represents the Studio’s response to the lack of
legislation in Canada to curtail the growing wave of camcorder-shot
(“camcorded”) films being trafficked around the world. From 2003 to 2005, 37
states and the District of Columbia enacted tough laws against camcording. In
May of 2005, the U.S. federal government followed suit. Yet, despite
incontrovertible evidence that film piracy has become a major economic and law
enforcement issue, Canada has not adopted a federal law making camcording
illegal or permitting the confiscation of equipment, and, as a result, has
become the main source for most of the world’s film piracy.
Over the last 18 months roughly 70% of Warner Bros. titles released have
been camcorded in Canada.
“Canada is the number one priority in terms of anti-camcording
legislation,” Antonellis said. “Within the first week of a film’s release, you
can almost be certain that somewhere out there a Canadian copy will show up.
Within the last 12 to 18 months we’ve seen a significant increase in terms of
first-source proliferation that shows up on the Internet and subsequently
shows up as hard goods elsewhere.”
“We regret having to cancel our screenings in Canada but our Studio must
take steps to protect not only our branded assets but our commitment to our
filmmakers and to theaters all over the world,” said Dan Fellman, President,
Warner Bros. Pictures Domestic, a division of Warner Bros. Distributing Inc.
“We’ve been working collaboratively with the exhibitors to encourage the
government to put additional measures in place to deter and stop camcording.”
“This is an important step towards curbing piracy on a global scale,”
said Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, President of Distribution, Warner Bros.
International. “Piracy is the leading issue the international film industry
struggles with everyday and content recorded in Canada is the first place to
take action, as Canadian recorded content is distributed and viewed
For the past two years, Warner Bros. Pictures Canada has been working
with the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association (CMPDA) as it has
been lobbying the federal government to make the act of camcording a
400 Canadian journalists just approached U.S outlets for jobs.
Critically-slammed Pics I like :
What : “Overnight Delivery”
Released : 1998
Stars : Paul Rudd, Reese Witherspoon, Larry Drake
One critic said : “No shame needs to be attached to a public recounting of Overnight Delivery, a masters class entry in the comedic canon of fitfully mismatched twentysomething romances.” – Entertainment Daily
Another critic said : “There’s a temptation to give Overnight Delivery a pass not because there’s anything redeeming about it, but to store up venom for the bigger fish” – Film Freak Central
Clint says : “Good fun…. And I know Universal agree because they remade it as Road Trip a couple of years later”
What : “Predator 2”
Released : 1990
Stars : Danny Glover, Maria Conchita Alonso, Ruben Blades, Bill Paxton, Gary Busey
One critic said : “..bullets fly, sharp pointy objects are hurled, body parts sail in all directions, and Glover blunders from one ridiculous situation to another.” – DVDTown.com
Another critic said : “The filmmakers have tortured the audience with their banal ramblings and pointlessness” – Apollo Guide
Clint says : “Not as good as the first, but still a fun film – with a terrific cast.”
The Movie Going-Experience
This next new feature is a bit where I recall some of my ‘cinema going experiences’ – i.e it may be a date-gone-wrong to “Weird Science” (actually happened); it may be falling asleep in “Super Mario Bros” (actually happened); or maybe the time two people decided to have sex in the back row behind me (actually happened, in a screening for Van Damme ‘classic’ “Double Impact” at the old Hoyts Midcity).
The Movie-Going Experience : “Charlie’s Angels”
What : One of the latter, though one of the more entertaining, of the TV-series-turned-films that was all trend there for a while.
When : On a weeknight in Melbourne.
Details : Never got there. Smashed straight into an oncoming car into the city. That kinda put a damper on the night.
Movie any good? : When I eventually saw it, I enjoyed it… enough.
Night any good? : Totally fucked… just ask the bumper bar.
Forgotten actors I like
Who : Dee Wallace
What did you like him/her in? : A bunch of fabulous 80s movies… like “Cujo”, “E.T”, “Critters” and “The Howling”. She was also fun in Peter Jackson’s “The Frighteners”.
What’s so good about him/her? : She’s just a damn good actress…and very versatile too.
Where the heck are they now? : Working on the Western (!) “Between the Sand and the Sky”, as well as a couple of horror movies.
Show me them in action : OK… here’s Dee Wallace (Doesn’t use the ‘Stone’ anymore) in “E.T”!
3 movies Caffeinated Clint sat through [possibly again] this week :
1. Coming to America : Special Edition – A really good movie for it’s time. Heck, a really good movie. Sure, it’s not quite “Beverly Hills Cop”, but it was still a heap of fun – and was actually funny, something you can’t say for a lot of Eddie Murphy’s stuff these days. Some good extras on the disc, including interviews with the main cast and crew.
2. Catch & Release – Now I know why this thing isn’t getting a theatrical release down under. Its shit. Jennifer Garner does nothing but cry her eyes out (has she ever played a character that DIDN’T cry?) for 90 minutes. One of those predictable girly flicks that presumes it’s got a free pass to be average.
3. Because I said So – Not witty enough not to be funny. Not romantic enough to get you gushing. No, it’s not your father – though that would be anyone’s first guess – it’s actually the guts of the new Mandy Moore/Diane Keaton two-hander– a pic that wears its emotions on its sleeve but the sleeve’s so embossed in glop that the emotions are shrouded by fluff.
(A scientist who seems to be able to sum up the world – or a movie – in just a few words, whilst the rest of us feel a page review isn’t even sufficient).
“Now that’s a sympathy vote!” – Mrs Morris on why Kate Ritchie (Sally from “Home & Away”) won this year’s Gold Logie
Empire Strikes Back
St. Elmo's Fire
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The Breakfast Club