erik lundegaard

Movies posts

Monday March 17, 2008

Coupla white guys sitting around talking about movies

The latest MSNBC piece is up. On Tyler Perry.

Also check out my friend Adam's article on John Hughes.

No tagsPosted at 09:05 PM on Mar 17, 2008 in category Movies   |   Permalink  
Saturday March 08, 2008

The Believer

Gore Vidal once wrote a piece — in 1973 — on “The Top 10 Best Sellers According to The Sunday New York Times as of January 7, 1973,” and in the March issue of The Believer magazine I do something similar with movies, but from an historical perspective: the top 10 box office hits according to Variety as of March 19, 1958.  What the movies we watched say about what we were; what they say about where we are. You can read an excerpt here

Also check out the interview between Werner Herzog and Errol Morris

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Posted at 09:25 AM on Mar 08, 2008 in category Movies   |   Permalink  
Tuesday March 04, 2008

"New Indiana Jones trailer is smash hit"

I live in Seattle and I used to live in Minneapolis and I edit magazines in different states around the country so I visit a lot of newspaper Web sites. It's part of my job and part of my interest. And yesterday I saw the same headline in almost all of them.

About Iraq?  Pakistan? About the March 4 showdown between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama? No. It was about the trailer for the new Indiana Jones movie.

Apparently it's a smash hit. That's what they all said. In fact, if you Google the entire headline in quotes, "New Indiana Jones trailer is smash hit," you'll get (as of this morning) over 58,000 hits. Smash or otherwise.

They all pulled the same AP story by Regina Robertson. About the viral spread of the trailer. About how it's doing well online. About how kids might not know from Indiana but that's the challenge because that's the demographic. The usual quotes from Paramount marketing execs and the dude. It was probably the biggest news story of the day.

I understand why it was big. It was about entertainment so it might appeal to kids but it was about an older dude so it might appeal to the newspaper's actual demographics. Classic analog hero in digital age clash. Who will win?

Here's what bugs me. Paramount estimates that the trailer was seen 200 million times in its first week? When are they going to get the actual figures? Paramount says the 4.1 million hits on the Yahoo movie site was a record? What does Yahoo say? Do they have a say? Do they want one? Or are they just waiting to be bought? Now that's a feeling we can all get behind.

It's not even PR journalism, it's TV Guide journalism, because the brunt of the story is less about what's been (the release of the trailer) than what's about to be (the release of the movie in May). It's all about anticipation and more and more that's what we focus on. Culturally we're a myopic country peering into the middle distance for any kind of good (or cool) news. Because the past is so five minutes ago and the present is unknown and uncomfortable. But that thing that's about to happen? That we can anticipate in this way? Hell, maybe that can pull us along a little bit and get us out of where we are. Maybe it's the old dude in the leather jacket who can finally save us. At least for two hours. In May.

Once he gets here, though, he's done. Because his not being here is exactly the point. Then we'll need a whole new headline.

No tagsPosted at 08:32 AM on Mar 04, 2008 in category Movies   |   Permalink  
Friday February 29, 2008


The latest MSNBC piece on Woody Harrelson is up now. This morning I realized something I should've added. In Semi-Pro, not only is Woody not playing the dumbest guy onscreen; he's actually playing the smartest. Whole new territory for him.

No tagsPosted at 08:06 AM on Feb 29, 2008 in category Movies   |   Permalink  
Thursday February 21, 2008

Netflix gets it right

Minor thing, but I'm glad Netflix has changed alphabetically listing, say, the films of Martin Scorsese or Tom Hanks, and are going with the chronological approach. The arc of a filmmaker or movie star is chronological not alphabetical. For me, it's easier to find what I want.

Yeah, I know, I alphabetized the reviews on the film page but even this seems wrong to me. Just go to the S's and you get Sanger fran andra vaningen followed by Saving Private Ryan and the original Scarface. And then? Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. Weird. Some things just shouldn't hang together.

Posted at 03:17 PM on Feb 21, 2008 in category Movies   |   Permalink  
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