a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Friday, May 23, 2008

Weekend Box Office #85; Also "Slipstream".

This weekend, the only thing opening in more than a handful of theaters is:

INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (4260 theaters). Obviously, this is going to make a fortune; reviews have generally been positive, though not all have been raves. The studio wisely released it yesterday, to help cut down on the weekend rush, while Memorial Day weekend is generally huge movie-wise (there are usually 2 or 3 big new releases fighting it out).

So it'll probably do $150 million for its first five days. At least.


So yesterday I watched "Slipstream" on DVD, as part of my aforementioned decision to review 5-6 movies a month for a website, not only for the free DVDs, but to make me watch movies I otherwise wouldn't seek out.

For those who don't recognize the title, "Slipstream" isn't a big sci fi epic, but a weird little film that Anthony Hopkins wrote, and directed, and stars in. He even did the music.

Basically it's a David Lynch movie, if David Lynch had no idea what he was doing (and for those of you who don't think David Lynch knows what he's doing, watch "Slipstream".)

Basically it's yet another variation of the tale in which really weird things happen to the main character, and it turns out that it's because he's dying, or just died, or something.

Here, it means we get odd scenes with actors like Michael Clarke Duncan, Christian Slater and an overacting John Turturro, all edited by someone who seems like they were being paid if they threw in every editing trick that anyone ever invented.

So we get double exposures, shifting colors, things turning to black-and-white and back again, images suddenly being flipped, images speeding up or slowing down or repeating.

It's all headache-inducing and completely pointless.

In the commentary track, Hopkins happily states that he's not a writer (several times), and that he doesn't care if people liked the movie or not, because he was trying to make an "anti-movie".


He also self-defensively states that he showed the script to Steven Spielberg, who only had nice things to say about it.

Which made me laugh, because come on. You're Steven Spielberg, and Sir Anthony Hopkins sends you a script to read, and it's an incoherent pile of crap. Not even Spielberg is going to tell him that.

I guarantee he simply told Sir Anthony that he liked it, while crossing his fingers and praying that Hopkins wouldn't ask him to produce the damned thing.

Or maybe Hopkins did, and Spielberg said he couldn't, because he had to go make Indy 4. And then he greenlit it, and now here it is.

See? It's all circular.


At 10:28 AM, Blogger Brett said...

So you're saying David Lynch is the reason we have INDY 4?



At 10:54 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Slipstream sounds a lot like Coppola's most recent film, Youth Without Youth. What a mess that was. Best I could tell it was Coppola trying to do Kieslowski. Did you see it?

Yes, David Lynch knows what he's doing and is a master at it. He's my 2nd favorite director, next to Kiewslowski.

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So out of curiosity, let's say you're Anthony Hopkins and you want HONEST feedback on your script, not just people telling you it's awesome because they don't want to antagonize you. Where do you go, besides Scott The Reader's 60 dollar notes service, of course, since that's a given for anyone who wants intelligent, useful, feedback for an unbeatable price.

At 11:29 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I don't know. Even I might have softened my critique a little.

His best chance would probably have been to pretend that he didn't write it. To give it to someone, while telling them that it was a submission to Hopkin's production company and that he'd like an outside opinion on it.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Haven't seen "Slipstream," but thanks for your review of it, Scott, now I know to skip it at my next visit to Hollywood video.

Will see "Indiana Jones 4" with my family over the weekened. It's one of the few films we can all agree upon. HOPE David Koepp delivers a killer story...

Inspired by the "friends of the program" chim-ins off your Monday post Scott I hope to get in a lot of writing in this weekend.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 6:27 PM, Blogger wcmartell said...

No... SLIPSTREAM was a sci-fi movie from the guy who made TRON. It was his big follow up movie. Starred Mak Hammill, hot off STAR WARS. What? You missed it?

That SLIPSTREAM was a career killer for the TRON guy... what do you think this film does to Hopkins' career? What does this tell us about his script notes on other projects?

- Bill

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Chesher Cat said...

I used to love Anthony Hopkins (his acting) until I attended a SAG event where I had to spend two wasted hours listening to 'Tony' talk about himself.

The only minimal interesting part was his just okay impression of Hannibal Lecter.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

INDY 4 sucks.

For shame.

At 6:52 AM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Saw "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" yesterday with my family, and we all liked it. VERY CREATIVE mix of the paranormal in a action/adventure vehicle. M'man Koepp DOES DELIVER a well crafted story. O, yeah, that Speilberg and Lucas hold up there end of the bargain too.

Was supriced how GOOD Harrison Ford was in this movie too. Yeah, he may be in mid-60s, but you'd never know it by watching this movie.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you've gotten over your faith issues and can watch pretend movies now, E.C.

At 6:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, aren't aliens blasphemous?

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