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C'mon Hollywood #235

12.31.2009

...are director egos getting too big?
by J.A. Hamilton

Letís be real for a moment, when it comes to films, there arenít many totally original ways to go anymore, which in my opinion challenges writers and directors both creatively. So for me, itís not so much the original ideas Iím looking for lately, itís the way with which we present these ideas that count. Give me empathic, real characters with flaws both morally and emotionally caught in a multi-paneled web of intrigue and adventure and Iíll be there with bells on. But what Iím tired of seeing are directors promising the world, and then blaming everyone else when they donít deliver. Not all are guilty of this, but weíve seen our fair share this year especially.

"Yes, my pinky IS touching her ass."

Iím big fan of Tarantino, I truly am, but I was underwhelmed by INGLORIOUS BASTARDS. He was making it out to be something special, but this film was anything but. I dug Tarantinoís vision as far as Hitler was concerned, but I didnít see the need for another WW2 based film, especially when the original was not worth remaking in the first place. Then we have Bay (another of my favorites) but I didnít like how his and Megan Foxís ďdebockleĒ got so out hand only to have him start working on TF3 with her back. Iím sorry, but this makes the whole thing feel staged, if this situation was anywhere near as bad as it was made out to be, he could have easily killed her off in the beginning and it wouldnít have hurt the film at all.

"So get this, then we like KILL Professor Xavier..."

Iím not going to beat up on Boll too much (heís his own worst enemy), but Iím not sure what he thought would happen after making an angry online video where he bashes Bay and Clooney in a fit of rage that went totally overboard. Then we have Ratner (love you Niki) who starts blowing up at anyone and everyone who commented on LAST STAND. I loved the X-MEN movies, and LAST STAND had the potential, but in my opinion suffered from 1) mutant overload, 2) uncharacteristic behavior in heroes and villains, and 3) a flimsy concept by way of a ďcureĒ. Is this all Ratnerís fault, probably not, but publicly losing your mind at the fans will put the guilt on your tab pretty damn quick.

It's not perfect, but it IS worth the hype

McG didnít make the mess of TERMINATOR that some people are saying he did, but again, running your mouth about it isnít going to help you much. Cameron promised that AVATAR would be the next big thing, and it was on most levels. So some of the dialogue was cheese and the story resembled a few other films, you canít win em all, and bottom line; it was an A+ movie experience. On the flip side, we have guys like Abrams, whoís on fire right now and keeping a cool head about it. We also have Scorsese, Nolan and Woo keeping the hits coming with SHUTTER ISLAND, INCEPTION and RED CLIFF, all of which look fantastic thus far.

This baby's up there on my 2010 "must see" list

Each and every one of these directors has contributed great films to the industry (a lot of my all time favorites to be exact) but we live in a day and age where integrity has the power to make or break you in the public eye. It doesnít matter how many amazing films you direct, write or star in, it can all be taken away in one foul swoop if youíre not careful. People donít forget drama, and tend to focus on the bad so exclusively that they often times forget the good. Our directors arenít the only culprits in this regard, but they really have to watch what they say if their integrity is going to stay intact. Iím thankful for all your hard work guys, just do us all a favor and think before you speak, especially if youíre in front of a camera.
Extra Tidbit: Happy Holidays guys and gals, and remember not to drive after you've managed to get yourselves all FUBAR'd. Also, AVATAR isn't the only film that needs love over the holidays, don't forget about SHERLOCK HOLMES.
Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood

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11:24AM on 01/06/2010

IG was overrated, but still among the best of Tarantino's work.

"I dug Tarantino's vision as far as Hitler was concerned" Hitler was the only thing you liked about the movie??! It was just an angry, stereotypical Hitler character who got blown into bits at the end. There's a lot more to love about this movie. You didn't like the Basterds? Or Shoshana's story? Or the fucking awesome card game scene that symbolizes the theme of the whole movie? If you really are a Tarantino fan, you should probably watch the movie again. And also - IG was supposed to be the
"I dug Tarantino's vision as far as Hitler was concerned" Hitler was the only thing you liked about the movie??! It was just an angry, stereotypical Hitler character who got blown into bits at the end. There's a lot more to love about this movie. You didn't like the Basterds? Or Shoshana's story? Or the fucking awesome card game scene that symbolizes the theme of the whole movie? If you really are a Tarantino fan, you should probably watch the movie again. And also - IG was supposed to be the final nail in the coffin for WW2 films, just as Peckinpah's Wild Bunch was the final nail in the coffin on the Western. So if you're sick of WW2 movies, no need to fret. Because the genre is pretty much dead.
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11:15AM on 01/04/2010

You had a good point...

...until you started confusing the topic with a list of movies that disappointed you.

The fact that you liked Avatar has nothing to do with James Cameron having a big ego or not, and the fact you were disappointed with Inglorious Basterds doesn't mean you should blame Tarantino for being enthusiastic about his film.

In fact, the last paragraph and a big chunk of the one before that have nothing to do with director's ego at all! When you write an article, try to stick to your main point.
...until you started confusing the topic with a list of movies that disappointed you.

The fact that you liked Avatar has nothing to do with James Cameron having a big ego or not, and the fact you were disappointed with Inglorious Basterds doesn't mean you should blame Tarantino for being enthusiastic about his film.

In fact, the last paragraph and a big chunk of the one before that have nothing to do with director's ego at all! When you write an article, try to stick to your main point.
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7:33AM on 01/04/2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!

Sherlock Holmes was fantastic. I haven't seen Avatar yet (not feeling to get jostled by crowds right now) but I will definitely check it out soon.
Sherlock Holmes was fantastic. I haven't seen Avatar yet (not feeling to get jostled by crowds right now) but I will definitely check it out soon.
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+1
4:32AM on 01/03/2010

Just a quick one for posterity...

No harm intended but...it's one "FELL" swoop not one "FOUL" swoop. Had to get that out of the way b/c it makes writing feel amateurish. Anyway, I feel QT's settled down because he's aged well. Cameron, he's not as bad as you'd think, other directors are doing what he's doing, they just are not making films that garner enough attention to see the director's ego. Boll, well, I feel probably more than a few Joblo members are more capable to direct a film than he is given access to Nazi gold! McG-
No harm intended but...it's one "FELL" swoop not one "FOUL" swoop. Had to get that out of the way b/c it makes writing feel amateurish. Anyway, I feel QT's settled down because he's aged well. Cameron, he's not as bad as you'd think, other directors are doing what he's doing, they just are not making films that garner enough attention to see the director's ego. Boll, well, I feel probably more than a few Joblo members are more capable to direct a film than he is given access to Nazi gold! McG- I met him, and his father once and they both love themselves, I don't know if it shows on set with ego, but McG is very much into whatever McG is- he's a strange guy when you speak to him candidly, he tries to get all psychological on you, and it feels forced the way he goes about it- he's no smarter than any other person- he just THINKS HE IS. Michael Bay has a kid in the candy shop approach to film making, except he's a kid with unlimited resources, so he gets a little crazy with all that candy. It goes to his head sure, but I met him as well, and he's very, very cool off set. Ratner is a piece of shit, I've never liked anything he's done. he bagged his way into film school and was a straight C student. Not saying grades mean everything, but c'mon. C student? And he's making films? It shows in my opinion.
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11:19AM on 01/02/2010
I agree about Sherlock Holmes...I enjoyed that much more than Avatar. Definitely deserves some love!
I agree about Sherlock Holmes...I enjoyed that much more than Avatar. Definitely deserves some love!
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4:02PM on 01/01/2010
Inglorious bastards was very overrated, i'm not saying Avatar wasn't, but I'll also agree with a couple other posts by saying it's also a matter of opinion when it comes to the final film product. Directors and big egos? This is totally accurate, but neither surprising or new. Of course they are a bit more in our faces about it lately.
Inglorious bastards was very overrated, i'm not saying Avatar wasn't, but I'll also agree with a couple other posts by saying it's also a matter of opinion when it comes to the final film product. Directors and big egos? This is totally accurate, but neither surprising or new. Of course they are a bit more in our faces about it lately.
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1:20PM on 01/01/2010
This has definitely been a year of egos, but its only bad if the movies don't back up the hype. The Bay/TF2 thing was terrible and I didn't care for Inglorious Bastards either. Still haven't seen Avatar yet, but I'm hopeful on that end. Looking forward to this year being a better movie year.
This has definitely been a year of egos, but its only bad if the movies don't back up the hype. The Bay/TF2 thing was terrible and I didn't care for Inglorious Bastards either. Still haven't seen Avatar yet, but I'm hopeful on that end. Looking forward to this year being a better movie year.
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11:05AM on 01/01/2010

Agreed

This has been a problem for awhile and with some of the crap we've seen this past summer, this article hits home all the more.
This has been a problem for awhile and with some of the crap we've seen this past summer, this article hits home all the more.
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5:56AM on 01/01/2010
Ah always love a J.A. rant, all the best for 2010 my friend!
Ah always love a J.A. rant, all the best for 2010 my friend!
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5:46AM on 01/01/2010
So Ratner and Bay have overly large egos, yet James Cameron does not? Watch just about any making of feature on any of Cameron's films and cast and crew will pretty much straight up tell you how incredibly large that man's ego is. All this article told me was that you only dislike a director's overly inflated ego once they direct a movie you don't like.

For the record, I love most of Cameron's films, but the man's ego has always bothered me.
So Ratner and Bay have overly large egos, yet James Cameron does not? Watch just about any making of feature on any of Cameron's films and cast and crew will pretty much straight up tell you how incredibly large that man's ego is. All this article told me was that you only dislike a director's overly inflated ego once they direct a movie you don't like.

For the record, I love most of Cameron's films, but the man's ego has always bothered me.
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3:31AM on 01/01/2010
This article sucks. J.A. Hamilton, you SUCK!!!!
This article sucks. J.A. Hamilton, you SUCK!!!!
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11:07AM on 01/01/2010
Seriously? At least have the balls and or brains to say why you think he sucks loser.
Seriously? At least have the balls and or brains to say why you think he sucks loser.
1:15PM on 01/01/2010
Calm down guy, YOU suck.
Calm down guy, YOU suck.
6:36PM on 12/31/2009
Directors are just the same as anyone else. You have your extraordinary people, who are either humble about it or they're not. And then you have your complete idiots, most of whom have no clue how completely braindead they really are.
Directors are just the same as anyone else. You have your extraordinary people, who are either humble about it or they're not. And then you have your complete idiots, most of whom have no clue how completely braindead they really are.
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5:09PM on 12/31/2009
I do not think director's egos are a problem. Seriously, the only ones with the balls to even say anything (Ratner, Boll, Bay, McG) have absolutely nothing to back it up with. Cameron's ego is completely outweighed by an incredible devotion by his fans which is 100x more annoying. And Tarantino just seems passionate, not egotistical, at least not anymore, maybe when he was just starting out though. He gets ahead of himself and really gets into his interviews except their seemed to be much more
I do not think director's egos are a problem. Seriously, the only ones with the balls to even say anything (Ratner, Boll, Bay, McG) have absolutely nothing to back it up with. Cameron's ego is completely outweighed by an incredible devotion by his fans which is 100x more annoying. And Tarantino just seems passionate, not egotistical, at least not anymore, maybe when he was just starting out though. He gets ahead of himself and really gets into his interviews except their seemed to be much more level-headedness in the ones leading to Basterds.
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-9
4:43PM on 12/31/2009

X3

Because it seems many on the internet can't think for themselves, only parrot other people's opinions, I thought I'd comment on the article. I'm a longtime X-Men fan, both the comics AND movies. X-Men 3 was the best in the franchise. Go back and watch X2; it's boring as hell. X3 had more action, was sexier and boasted "the cure" plotline, which comic fans called the most original X-Men concept since the Dark phoenix saga when intoduced. Everyone wants to hate on Ratner 'cause it's cool, when
Because it seems many on the internet can't think for themselves, only parrot other people's opinions, I thought I'd comment on the article. I'm a longtime X-Men fan, both the comics AND movies. X-Men 3 was the best in the franchise. Go back and watch X2; it's boring as hell. X3 had more action, was sexier and boasted "the cure" plotline, which comic fans called the most original X-Men concept since the Dark phoenix saga when intoduced. Everyone wants to hate on Ratner 'cause it's cool, when the fact of the matter is he made a better X-Men sequel than Bryan "can do no wrong" Singer. I'd rather have Brett back than Bryan. End rant.
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6:24PM on 12/31/2009
if you really think X3 was the best in the franchise and would want Ratner back then Singer than you sir are a dumbass and not a TRUE X-Men fan. Great idea, lets kill of Cyclops and Professor Xavier...brilliant. I bet you think Nicolas Cage should have been cast as Wolverine too. Ratner almost killed the franchise because of his shitty direction.
if you really think X3 was the best in the franchise and would want Ratner back then Singer than you sir are a dumbass and not a TRUE X-Men fan. Great idea, lets kill of Cyclops and Professor Xavier...brilliant. I bet you think Nicolas Cage should have been cast as Wolverine too. Ratner almost killed the franchise because of his shitty direction.
3:58PM on 01/01/2010
X3 the best of the franchise? Hmmm, I can't be reading that right.
X3 the best of the franchise? Hmmm, I can't be reading that right.
5:44PM on 01/01/2010
Sure different opinions are great,
but saying X2 was boring as hell, and that X3 is the best is just .....well unbelivable, and i must disagree with your opinion.
Happy New Year
Sure different opinions are great,
but saying X2 was boring as hell, and that X3 is the best is just .....well unbelivable, and i must disagree with your opinion.
Happy New Year
1:07PM on 12/31/2009

I can only half agree

yes, sometimes directors are attached to projects through networking and luck, and build a career of fair-to-middling pictures. At the same time, the type of ego and hubris they show is almost a requisite for a certain type of directing. Other directors, like Eastwood and Scorcese, don't need that. Others are uncompromising, and refuse to acknowledge weaknesses in themselves. That's certainly one way to herd the cats and make a flick.

The other thing to note is that we live in an age
yes, sometimes directors are attached to projects through networking and luck, and build a career of fair-to-middling pictures. At the same time, the type of ego and hubris they show is almost a requisite for a certain type of directing. Other directors, like Eastwood and Scorcese, don't need that. Others are uncompromising, and refuse to acknowledge weaknesses in themselves. That's certainly one way to herd the cats and make a flick.

The other thing to note is that we live in an age where we know everything directors (and everyone else) says. TMZ, tweets, facebook - if you say it - everyone knows it. I think Directors could be just as boorish 50 years ago, only it was at dinner parties and red carpet affairs, and not on their blogs.

As far as which pictures justify the boorish behavior - I'd just remind J.A. Hamilton that its totally subjective, which makes your article a tough read, as the comments about Tarantino below suggest. It's important to abstract the larger concept out away from your personal pics. If Avatar seemed mind-numbingly dumb to someone - then all of a sudden Cameron is in the same boat with Ratner.

Personally, I don't really give a shit what the directors say on press junkets. Either I like the movie or don't. If I like a lot of movies by a director, I'll be more prone to see another movie by that director. I don't need to like them as a person. Shit, Roman Polanski makes awesome movies, and he's a girl raping douchebag.
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+2
12:55PM on 12/31/2009
Totally agree with Ratner and Boll but I'm quite liking Tarantino's celebrity presence. And for the last time, Inglourious Basterds was an amazing film.
Totally agree with Ratner and Boll but I'm quite liking Tarantino's celebrity presence. And for the last time, Inglourious Basterds was an amazing film.
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12:30PM on 12/31/2009
This is a long-overdue rant, and still the tip of the iceberg in many ways.

Most of these guys are working in much-loved franchises. Terminator, X-Men, Transformers, all have a built-in audience. Actually, so do Cameron and Tarantino, but they're working with original scripts. But the franchise stuff is trickier. And when these guys don't make back their budgets, or in the case of Bay, deliver a critically-reviled blockbuster, they feel the need to defend themselves.

Tarantino, I don't
This is a long-overdue rant, and still the tip of the iceberg in many ways.

Most of these guys are working in much-loved franchises. Terminator, X-Men, Transformers, all have a built-in audience. Actually, so do Cameron and Tarantino, but they're working with original scripts. But the franchise stuff is trickier. And when these guys don't make back their budgets, or in the case of Bay, deliver a critically-reviled blockbuster, they feel the need to defend themselves.

Tarantino, I don't think is quite like that. Sure, the ego is there, but he seems much more interested in making movies than delivering something for the masses. It's just that his stuff is usually pretty well-liked.
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+0
12:25PM on 12/31/2009

Remake?

I agree with the Rat and Bay criticisms.

But since when did Tarantino say IB was a remake. I can't change your opinion on the movie (I think it's my fave Tarantino flick, every time I watch it it gets better), but it has nothing to do with the old "Bastards" except the name. There's even an interview where he says that.

I know some people were underwhelmed when they didn't get a traditional "men on a mission" movie (it's Tarantino c'mon), but they mostly positive reviews and praise shows
I agree with the Rat and Bay criticisms.

But since when did Tarantino say IB was a remake. I can't change your opinion on the movie (I think it's my fave Tarantino flick, every time I watch it it gets better), but it has nothing to do with the old "Bastards" except the name. There's even an interview where he says that.

I know some people were underwhelmed when they didn't get a traditional "men on a mission" movie (it's Tarantino c'mon), but they mostly positive reviews and praise shows many people weren't disappointed with it.

Love your column though, even when I don't agree with you.
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11:54AM on 12/31/2009
I think "Inglorious Basterds" is by large and far one of the best movies of the decade, but your opinion is fine by me, although, it's not really a remake of the original, and to say so and think it is, in my humble opinion, defeats the purpose of it.

With all that being said, I agree very much with the rest of the article.
I think "Inglorious Basterds" is by large and far one of the best movies of the decade, but your opinion is fine by me, although, it's not really a remake of the original, and to say so and think it is, in my humble opinion, defeats the purpose of it.

With all that being said, I agree very much with the rest of the article.
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11:45AM on 12/31/2009
What else can I say? This was a fine article.
What else can I say? This was a fine article.
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11:11AM on 12/31/2009

Hmm...

Underwhelmed by Inglourious Basterds, saying it was a remake of that "other" Inglorious Bastards, and Avatar is worth the hype? Rrrrrright
Underwhelmed by Inglourious Basterds, saying it was a remake of that "other" Inglorious Bastards, and Avatar is worth the hype? Rrrrrright
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-1
10:04AM on 12/31/2009
Great article as always.
Great article as always.
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9:59AM on 12/31/2009

I would have an ego too if...

I made a movie that made so much money that it beats the second by a good 1/2 a Billion. (Titanic 1.8B > ROTK 1.2B)
Or if my movies make close to an average $200M at the Box Office (Micheal Bay)
I totally agree about the rest though. However, to his credit Ratner was brought on very late into X3 and he might be getting all the flak for the writer's mistakes.
I made a movie that made so much money that it beats the second by a good 1/2 a Billion. (Titanic 1.8B > ROTK 1.2B)
Or if my movies make close to an average $200M at the Box Office (Micheal Bay)
I totally agree about the rest though. However, to his credit Ratner was brought on very late into X3 and he might be getting all the flak for the writer's mistakes.
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11:56AM on 12/31/2009
I agree and know, Ratner was brought on late, but that doesn't excuse certain things, nor does it excuse the fact that basically stated that anyone who didn't like X3 was an idiot. That's a douchey thing to say.
I agree and know, Ratner was brought on late, but that doesn't excuse certain things, nor does it excuse the fact that basically stated that anyone who didn't like X3 was an idiot. That's a douchey thing to say.
9:41AM on 12/31/2009
hahaha Thank you Mr. Hamilton. I don't loathe the Rat really. I just don't see why he feels the need to make comments that make him sound like a jackass. The X-Men are just very near and dear to my heart. :)

As for the rest, they're just a tad overrated, but everyone knows that. They are just the directors making the big box office action films. So in turn the big head inflates. That's what makes me appreciate directors like Scorsese and Nolan.

Good rant sir.
hahaha Thank you Mr. Hamilton. I don't loathe the Rat really. I just don't see why he feels the need to make comments that make him sound like a jackass. The X-Men are just very near and dear to my heart. :)

As for the rest, they're just a tad overrated, but everyone knows that. They are just the directors making the big box office action films. So in turn the big head inflates. That's what makes me appreciate directors like Scorsese and Nolan.

Good rant sir.
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