- 1 -
AN AVALANCHE OF ENTERTAINMENT
North - November
you start now you can fit in one novel and one movie a day.
For all the accounting
skills that must exist in Hollywood - math doesnt seem to be a strong
The last time I looked there were around 365 days in a year. So it may
come as a surprise to you to discover that between November 1st and January
31st 2003, a period of three months, there are 110 films being released
in the North American market (a few of which are re-releases, such
as 'Saturday Night Fever' and 'Singing in the Rain'.) This number actually
leaves out many smaller independent films produced in Canada, Mexico and
virtually all of the European, Asian, Far East releases.
Gangs of New York
- Christmas violence
Die Another Day/Chicago
It is entirely sobering
to see literally billions of dollars thrown at the moviegoing public in
so short a period. You just know around ten movies are going to make a
fortune and the rest probably be lucky to get back their catering budgets.
Movies staring people like Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt) or Steve Buscemi
(Love in the Time of Money) or Sean Penn in (The Weight of Water) might
get lucky in the cities, but theres no guarantee that they will
What worries me, if they ever actually make one of my screenplays into
a low-budget movie, Ill be lucky to get TV stars who havent
had much work lately and will take deferment. You know the problem with
that. Most films where everyone took deferment the audience does
Well catch it on DVD later.
For every successful Toronto made My Big Fat Greek Wedding
theres a film like Equilibrium starring Christian Bale
and Emily Watson (who rather implausibly falls for Adam Sandler in Punch-Drunk
Love). Its a rip-off of an old Jean-Luc Godard movie short about
a world where emotion is illegal. Christian Bale and Emily Watson are
just not going to draw the crowds on Dec 6th. This film is going to drown
up against Analyze That the De Niro - Billy Crystal sequel
to Analyze This. (Which has an awful unfunny trailer by the
(Why dont they just do a sequel to a good movie such as Grosse Point
So under this avalanche of movies (you also have to make room for
the electric 24 starring Keifer Sutherland on Tuesdays) its
a brutal time. You might want to skip the squeaky clean Pretty Woman
remake with J-Lo called Maid in Manhattan, or Star Trek
Nemesis unless you are a fan. For your own sanity you should skip
The Hot Chick starring Rob Schneider in a sex swap movie but
that still leaves 108 to whittle down.
We already know youll be seeing Harry Potter 2 (Now out and great
fun but those Spiders are scary, really scary. Luckily the kids have really
grown into their roles and the confidence shows. It is funny and faster
that HP1 and huge in Japan.) Soon we have Lord of the Rings 2, the
new Bond (Nov 22nd opening with the best grossing weekend ever for a Bond
movie and it's a lot of fun. Hale Berry is great and they actually use
the cars this time to great effect. The Gangs of New York (opens at Christmas)
, but will you be going to see yet another Nicolas Nickleby
or Polanskis The Pianist before then?
How about 'Solaris' with George Clooney and Natascha McElhone? Steven
Soderbergh directed this remake of the slow but eerie Russian sci-fi movie.
'The Emperor's Club' looks so much like a remake of 'Dead-Poets' it doesn't
seem worth parking the car for this one, let alone paying the babysitter.
Wait for 'Two Weeks Notice' the new Sandra Bullock - Hugh Grant movie.
Could it get any closer to a Gary Grant plot? But hey I've got the same
tie as Hugh, which says something, I don't know what. Starting this week
Julianne Moore and Dennis Quaid star in 'Far from Heaven'. It lists George
Clooney and Steven Soderbergh as Exec Producers and it's directed by Todd
Haynes who does have a wicked sense or irony. It looks great but 1950's
homsexual affairs? Is this box- office material and didn't 'Pleasantville'
already go to this space - albiet hetrosexual matters? Many will be lining
up for Brian de Palms's pretty appalling 'Femme Fatale' I should think
and '8 Mile' is going to stick around.
(Avoid 'Ararat' -a well meant but very disappointing film on the Turkish
massacre of Armenians in 1915.)
The choice is amazing, the subjects range from comedy to the holocaust
and there is a lot of hype for the new Ray Liotta cop movie Narc
in December as well as Robert Benigni's 'Pinocchio'.
These are what you call market forces writ large.
You cannot squeeze this much entertainment into such a small pot, even
if people do go the movies on Thanksgiving and Christmas. There is a lot
of competition for those dollars from shopping, the web, sports on TV
and for a smaller group, books.
In November 3rds New York Times there are around 40 pages
devoted to upcoming movies and another 30 to new novels and non-fiction.
I suppose it has always been thus, but there is too much, way too much
competition for our eyes, ears and minds at this time of year.
So here we are, talk to your bosses, ask for compassionate leave for the
next two months, tell them you have Hollywood and the New York literary
establishment to support. Im sure they will be understanding.
If you start now you can fit in one novel and one movie a day. Oh yes,
if you live in Vancouver and are between matinees and the late show, come
on down to Clickers on Coal
Harbour for live script readings this and every Monday. Showtime 8pm
dont be late. They're reading one of mine on Dec 2nd...
Donation at the door and theres an excellent bar.
© Sam North
Oh yes you can read my travel feature about Vancouver in November
(New York Edition) You see why it's such a fun town to visit. Available
at most magazines stores in Canada and USA
REALLY IS A FUN CITY
'The city where everyone gets to live a millionaire lifestyle'
SECTION 9 in the N.Y. Sunday Times
A cornucopia - October
The Kids stay in the picture- August
PEOPLE IN GLASS HOUSES
Hacks visits the new Museum of Glass in Tacoma- August
Hot Sweats in a Cold
Read at the Anza Club- August
LIFE ON FAST FORWARD - Vancouver
on speed -September
SUPERNOVA NINA & ROAD
SweetSista'Shorts Carousel Theatre- Granville Island
- Off Fringe
ROUNDHOUSE is celebrating
its FIFTH ANNIVERSARY. - September
Arts in the Community is for real -
WE ARE ALL GURUS NOW - September
Time to enrol
Vancouver Film Festival Trade Show report
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