Patterico's Pontifications

4/6/2008

Once Again, the Public Confuses Hollywood

Filed under: Movies — DRJ @ 9:06 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

George Clooney’s movie Leatherheads – he directs and stars – opened to a disappointing third place this weekend:

“The movie that George Clooney directed, starred in and overhauled the script for, Leatherheads, stumbled badly at the box office this weekend, making only $12.5 million from 1,769 theaters and finishing only No. 3. (Interestingly, the pic’s studio, Universal, claimed it was No. 2, but every other Hollywood major had it as No. 3 behind Sony’s 21 and Fox/Walden’s Nim’s Island.) The screwball comedy about the early days of football was seen in Hollywood as a referendum on Clooney’s popularity at the box office. Because right now he is a big movie star but not a big box office star, and his hefty paydays in big studio projects like this definitely depend on the latter.
***
But Hollywood was aghast that Clooney couldn’t open his movie. (As one studio mogul said to me, “He’s no Will Smith.”)”

The movie’s distributor even wondered why movie-goers aren’t flocking to Clooney’s film:

“I’m disappointed for us, I’m disappointed for George. I think he’s a great guy, and think he’s got tons of directing talent,” said Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal. “I wish I could have that crystal ball and tell you what went wrong.”

I think it’s one of two reasons: Either movie-goers are tired of stars who use their celebrity to make political points, thereby making even their non-politicized products less entertaining to the average person.

Or Clooney is no Will Smith.

— DRJ

82 Responses to “Once Again, the Public Confuses Hollywood”

  1. Or the latter. He’s not that great an actor and Hollywood legitimized him by giving him an oscar. I beiieve like Sean Penn. He’s not that great an actor.

    Richard Daugherty (ea1a32)

  2. #1 Indeed. And really, if one is a movie star, why not use the limelight to be a do gooder or push a cause etc.? They are probably just as qualified as most talk show hosts and pundits to talk about this or that subject. I’d almost rather hear a movie star make some political point than a pundit anyway, they are so much better at delivering thier lines….

    Should Reagan have listened to people who told him to shut up and make movies? Or go back to acting???? Best Presidential Speeches Ever.

    EdWood (11f940)

  3. Or it’s:

    C) Both

    I vote for Option C.

    thebronze (0813d4)

  4. Hey George Clooney said he was proud to be a liberal.

    And I said I was proud to avoid going to any of his movies and putting a penny in that rascal’s pockets. I voted with my wallet.

    We all make our choices–and each of us has the right to do so. George made his; I made mine.

    Mike Myers (31af82)

  5. I think it’s both too. He’s an ok actor, but he’s not great. He’s pretty much the same character in every role (but many of them are, that’s why they’re just ok). “From Dusk Till Dawn” is the only movie that his character fit the role well. Everything else was just ok or plain terrible casting (just my opinion of course.)

    The fact that he’s so in-your-face with his politics just makes it less likely that I’ll ever go see anything he’s in.

    Stashiu3 (c8e98a)

  6. I like Clooney as an actor, but not enough to overcome how much I dislike his idiot opinions. Lately, too, his movies have been downers and not something I’d choose for entertainment. Syriana and The Good German come to mind. Oceans Thirteen wasn’t very good, and Michael Clayton was just OK, and the best of the recent lot.

    Why should I support someone who seems to be trying to wear his anti-Americanism on his sleeve in order to gain fans and please the Hollywood monoculture?

    Maybe some better movies?

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  7. Cloony is a very competent actor and a second-tier box-office draw. That would make him a great success like Kurt Russel or Steven Segal if he hadn’t been promoted as a great actor and a first-tier box-office draw. Cloony is suffering from the problem of inflated expectations. Of course, the expectations were probably set by his own publicity machine.

    Doc Rampage (01f543)

  8. At lunch today I sat next to a table of 4 young women (mid 20’s) who were studying for some kind of medical test and gossiping. One of them had seen Leatherheads, and told the others “Don’t go see it, its boring”.

    “oOOoh, I hate to hear that,” another said, “I like George Clooney – I think he’s cute. I was so hoping to go see that movie.”

    “Don’t”, the first one reiterated.

    Now, these were young women, with enough focus to study medicine, and they liked Clooney. Perhaps (and I believe this whole-heartedly) it’s really the quality of the product that matters, not the politics or the rather subjective acting ability.

    He may be no Will Smith, but to my mind, Will Smith isn’t much different role to role either. There aren’t many Hackman’s, Caine’s, or Connery’s anymore – actors who can take crappy lines and smooth them into silk.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  9. It should also be mentioned that, rather than dodging this bullet, Clooney has run headfirst into it, as in addition to starring in it, he Directed, Produced, and fought over Screenwriter credit with the DGA. When you’re sailing solo around the world, you can’t blame anyone else when the boat sinks.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  10. Problem#1 is that with repeated very public forays into politics and the Left we tend to forget his acting. Same thing happened to Baldwin, Penn, etc. I ain’t paying to see no politician.

    #2. He doesn’t play heroic figures so we are not excited about anything upcoming.

    #3. Most important is while the pic is obviously set in a 1925 football milieu it proceeds to display a totally fraudulent trailer for the era. Baseball fans and football fans know the histories of their games. What we dopes know about old time football is that a nothing zero sport was suddenly energized in 1925 when Red Grange was signed out of Illinois and huge crowds went to see him and for the first time it looked like pro football had a future; the game was very rough; nobody was so stupid as to respond to the coaching instruction of “hit him” to punch somebody in the face.
    #4 Once again we are to believe the hero is a stupid man and the woman is smarter than him, more adept than him (at least in riding a bike), and romantically he is a dope like all other men.

    Not the formula for star building.

    Howard Veit (cc8b85)

  11. Red Grange was signed out of Illinois

    Another fine moment for a proud institution. ILL – INI !

    JD (75f5c3)

  12. I’m with #7. Clooney is a B-list star, and always has been. His acting ranges from a smug smirk to a… smirky, smug look. The career he had was based almost entirely on his looks, and he’s getting older. This shouldn’t be a shock. He may be able to get to the top spot again if he can do more movies with Brad Pitt.

    Eric (884ea6)

  13. Politically active voters like Clooney don’t actually participate in the political process; there is no give and take, no open press conferences, no town hall meetingsl, no place where they can be confronted by and are answerable to the people.

    They don’t actually run for office, they just get to sound off and leave the stage. And freeze out unfriendly press if they are actually confronted with a tough question.

    The only way to “talk back” to politically active actors is to not see their work. And 95 to 100% of the time that is OK, I don’t feel that I’ve missed anything. Judging from the box office stats, many people feel the same.

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  14. Oh, Hell!

    I meant to write “Politically active ‘ACTORS’ in that first sentence.

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  15. Or #3, it was totally trashed by the critics, said trashing having nothing to do with Clooney’s politics or the fact that he’s no Will Smith.

    For what it’s worth, my daughter and I, having learned to pretty much ignore the critics, saw the movie and thought it was a decent way to spend a rainy afternoon.

    And is it just me or does the “he’s no Will Smith” quote not make sense, especially in the context of Hollywood being ‘aghast’ at the money not opening well? I think something is missing, perhaps something along the line of ‘he’s no Will Smith, so we weren’t expecting $100 million, but to do only $12.5 million? I’m aghast.’?

    steve sturm (40e5a6)

  16. It’s never a good sign when a football movie is released during the opening week of baseball season.

    Bubba Maximus (0ce2db)

  17. George is an idiot with money. The public is fed up with them. That is the problem.

    Tommy Lee Jones is a lefty Democrat, but knows when to keep his mouth shut. That is the difference between him and Clooney.

    IMHO, Clooney’s best role was in “O Brother Where Art Thou” when he had to have a “Stunt Singer”.

    Also, I’m P’ed off that in this movie he even came close to the Packers.

    PCD (5ebd0e)

  18. #2. He doesn’t play heroic figures so we are not excited about anything upcoming.

    There’s a reason for that: he doesn’t have a commanding screen presence.

    Steverino (6772c8)

  19. OT, but worthy – the LAT has retracted the Chuck Philips story, again. This time it uses the r-word and has taken it and other related materials off the site.

    The statement reads like it was given a good lawyering over. Too bad that wasn’t done for the original stories.

    Bradley J. Fikes (1c6fc4)

  20. Focus, guys. This is a blog for right-wing political nerds. George Clooney will never read your blog.

    When did this blog become a whinier, Fox-News-themed version of Access Hollywood? You all sound like a bunch of nerdy girls at a football game sitting in the stands and nitpicking the cheerleaders’ outfits and dance moves.

    It’s also inherently contradictory to dis a movie star for expressing their political opinion BY POSTING SAID DIS ON A POLITICAL BLOG.

    You all constantly post your political opinions on the Internet for everyone to see. It’s pretty ironic, then, when you start saying people like Clooney (who actually command some level of public attention) shouldn’t express their political opinions in public.

    Perhaps you’re afraid people will listen to him, and not you?

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  21. For me, it’s that the movie didn’t look that great. I had the day off on Friday and saw The Bank Job over leatherheads. A movie about the early days of football may have potential, but they marketed it a much as a romantic comedy as a football movie. Instead of appealing to both men & women (football and romance, in one movie!) it appealed to neither men nor women.

    T-web (022058)

  22. Phil, (comment #20),

    Clooney can say anything he wants to. But why should we listen to him? Or not be able to object to what he has to say when we do? Just because you’re famous doesn’t mean that your opinion should be considered important. Think for a moment about how Hollywood operates (IMO): it is probably the most brutal form of capitalism known to man, a jungle where all are competing for money and fame.

    You would think that a socialist like Clooney would diversify and share rewards and credit, instead of being actor, director, producer and writer of his latest film. No, he only wants us to do that.

    Jack (d9cbc5)

  23. #2. He doesn’t play heroic figures so we are not excited about anything upcoming.

    #18. There’s a reason for that: he doesn’t have a commanding screen presence.

    cf. The Peacemaker. Clooney used to be able to do that. He was no John Wayne or Charlton Heston, but we was ok.

    Nowadays, Clooney’s involvement flags obnoxious anti-Americanism in a film, so I avoid films with him in it.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  24. You would think that a socialist like Clooney would diversify and share rewards and credit

    You mean like he did on “Good Night and Good Luck”? I bet you hate it when “socialists” bring up that whole McCarthy thing.

    Phil (6d9f2f)

  25. Maybe it’s karma for what Clooney said about Heston, after Heston was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?

    Hollywood needs to get a clue – we’re tired of the anti-American, in your face, political views of the majority of the actors/actresses, produces, directors and event the studios. I don’t remember too many of the “old school” actors and actresses spouting off about their political views when a newsreel microphone was shoved in front of them? Today’s “stars” are what the press has made us believe they are – heck, look at Britany – she should have a dedicated TV channel for those that want to know what she’s doing today. The amount of money for “exclusive” photos that is paid out is unbelievable, and the need for the “stars” to have publicists to handle their latest PR mess or toot their horn, shows how dysfunctional the community as a whole is.

    fmfnavydoc (affdec)

  26. Phil,

    You seem to be as honest as Phillips. You just don’t like well deserved criticism of your politics, etc.

    PCD (5ebd0e)

  27. Bleh.

    Guys there is a simple reason why actors like Clooney tend to struggle to command an audience, and it has little to do with their politics.

    We seem to all forget that back in the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s, Hollywood was dominated by a few powerful studios who signed actors to multi-year contracts. This wasn’t a contract where an actor was told “We are putting out a trilogy and we want to make sure you are in all 3 pictures”, but rather “I think you have talent, and I want to sign you to a 5 year contract where you appear in any movies we tell you to appear in.”

    Actors found their careers orchestrated and guided to a degree we don’t see anymore. Political views were kept quiet because they might offend viewers, which was an absolute taboo to the studios. But most importantly.

    Studios had a huge incentive to make sure their actors developed acting skills and were cast in moview which played to their abilities.

    A talented actor would get the opportunities they needed to get exposure and then would be put in blockbusters where their abilities could shine.

    Now an actor like Clooney gets one picture which does well, and everyone talks about them as if they were the next Clark Gable. The actor is offered role after role, many of which they are completely unsuited for, and too many actors follow the path of Clooney where they take bad roles because they are interesting or political, rather than working on their acting. In the end, even the critics realize that they just aren’t that good. Which appears to be happening to Clooney now.

    Mvargus (8c2339)

  28. The Associated Press notes:

    “Leatherheads” earned mixed reviews and mainly drew theatergoers in their 30s and 40s, failing to connect with younger crowds that are the box office’s mainstay, according to Universal.

    [Nikki Rocco, head of distribution for Universal] said some parents who might otherwise have gone to see “Leatherheads” may have been tied up taking children to see “Nim’s Island” or the family hit “Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!”

    There’s pretty much the answer in a nutshell: The film wasn’t attractive to the under-25 crowd, and the over-25 crowd had two strong family films to divert it away.

    I think I read that Leatherheads cost $58 million to make. They have also spent a ton of money on TV promotions, at least here in Los Angeles; I have seen dozens of spots for the film. Nothing about it made it look interesting to me.

    Had this film gotten stronger reviews and/or strong word-of-mouth, it might have fared better, but apparently it’s just not that terrific a film.

    I don’t read anything more sophisticated or nuanced into these results. It’s just supply and demand. The movie opened; people yawned; results were disappointing.

    At the same time, hardly anyone expected 21 to do as well as it has. Go figure.

    VG

    Voiceguy in L.A. (e5b52a)

  29. Oooo yeah, cuz that’s what’s important, George Clooney’s failures. What a relevant and intriguing topic of discussion! The retarded President you people helped to elect is ruining the economy and getting people killed, but that’s boring, right? You’d rather make fun of George Clooney and put forth absurd and fallacious arguments about how some shitty-looking film’s lackluster reception and box office take says something about how Americans hate liberals and liberalism. Whatever. This just goes to show how desperate all of you are to be kept distracted by non-issues so you don’t have to address the fact that the pretend conservatives you chose to lead the country has been an epic disaster. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain that’s fucking everything up, so to speak.

    What’s the beef with Clooney, anyway? He doesn’t like the war? He thinks we need to protect the environment? That’s crazy to you people? He loses points because of this?

    Levi (76ef55)

  30. Levi – Careful. You might get grounded again.

    JD (75f5c3)

  31. Levi – Careful. You might get grounded again.

    Jesus Christ, I can tell somebody sure missed me!

    Levi (76ef55)

  32. will smith is a black scientologist and george clooney is a used-up pretty boy.

    assistant devil's advocate (0803fa)

  33. You’d rather make fun of George Clooney and put forth absurd and fallacious arguments about how some shitty-looking film’s lackluster reception and box office take says something about how Americans hate liberals and liberalism.

    Levi – Why do you want to control what other people talk about? That is so authoritarian and liberal of you. Right now dissing the pompous, self-important and hopelessly deluded Clooney amuses me and others. Don’t tell us what to talk about or spend our time on. Get your own blog if you have things you want to discuss. I’m sure yopu would attract a colorful and wideranging audience.

    You also screwed up a sentence. It should read:

    “You’d rather make fun of George Clooney and put forth absurd and fallacious arguments about how some shitty-looking film’s lackluster reception and box office take says something about how liberals hate America.”

    You have not demonstated anything absurd or fallacious about the arguments either, but that’s no surprise.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  34. Phil,

    Check out Nikke Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily where you’ll find all your answers regarding George Clueless… volumes of reader postings on Leathernecks and his supposed box office ‘appeal’. It’s basically a conflict of interest between his movies, his mouth and his Italian mansion.

    Wrong time, wrong message.

    Vermont Neighbor (e7ed47)

  35. #20,

    people like Clooney (who actually command some level of public attention)

    So does Britney Spears. And your point is?

    Vermont Neighbor (e7ed47)

  36. Levi, just repeating more of your failed rhetoric I see.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  37. Phil #20: The day I’m afraid of George Clooney getting the better of me in an argument is the day… hell, never gonna happen. He can spout whatever he wishes, that doesn’t mean we can’t counter it through discussion or voting with our wallets.

    And why is it “inherently contradictory” to comment on his politics on a political blog? You just don’t want leftist politics criticized anywhere. Where should his politics and political statements be discussed then, the Entertainment blogs? The leftists there get upset because it’s “inherently contradictory” to talk politics on an entertainment blog. You don’t reason well, do you? S’ok, we knew that already.

    Levi #29:

    What a relevant and intriguing topic of discussion!

    Because everybody, everywhere absolutely must be discussing what Levi considers important… and agree with him… at all times. No other topics are relevant.

    daleyrocks is right… get your own blog and be ignored there instead of desperately seeking attention here by constantly being a tool jerk.

    Stashiu3 (c8e98a)

  38. Well, if this is truly America voting with it’s wallet, it’s nice to see. But the more cynical side of me feels that it’s just not what the market wants now.
    As for enjoying Georges’ failures, ehh. I really don’t care. I mean they throw so much money at these people for all sorts of reasons, I’m not even sure that the lackluster performance of the film even registers.
    As for Levi….sigh, yeah sure we missed you…
    …. like a toothache.

    Paul from Fl (12026e)

  39. Levi – Why do you want to control what other people talk about?

    I’m not trying to stop anyone from talking about anything, I’m just making fun of yourself and conservatives in general for the things that they choose by their own volition to talk about. I mean, please, really, how does George Clooney’s opinion matter in the slightest? Show me the craziest, most anti-American thing George Clooney has ever said, and I’ll show you hundreds of things far crazier and anti-American uttered by conservatives, uttered by your conservative President you so adore.

    You also screwed up a sentence. It should read:

    “You’d rather make fun of George Clooney and put forth absurd and fallacious arguments about how some shitty-looking film’s lackluster reception and box office take says something about how liberals hate America.”

    That it is a complex sentence, I’m aware. I never expected someone like you to understand it, you’re an obnoxious automaton whose idea of being clever is mindlessly inserting the word “anti-America” into insults they just had flown at them that sailed hundreds of miles over their head. Way to be predictable.

    You have not demonstated anything absurd or fallacious about the arguments either, but that’s no surprise.

    The argument you’re presenting here is that Hollywood is liberal, sometimes Hollywood fails to make money, and therefore most Americans reject liberalism. Isn’t that the extent of it? Like America has turned its back on George Clooney because he’s a liberal, we’re shunning him because we all hate liberals, that’s the basic argument you’re making, right?

    That’s as fallacious as gets.

    Levi (76ef55)

  40. Levi, just more of your failed rhetoric. America needs change in rhetoric. Vote for change.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  41. But the more cynical side of me feels that it’s just not what the market wants now.

    Part and parcel. His politics, script, directing, producing, casting, etc… are not compatible with what the movie-goers want to see. If he cured his BDS and got involved in a movie that wasn’t; A) boring, and/or B) anti-American… it might be worth going to see. He’s too insulated to see that though. Too bad for him and those like him.

    Stashiu3 (c8e98a)

  42. Levi – Don’t create strawmen for me, I’ll make my own arguments. Since you can’t even be trusted to frame your own arguments correctly, why do you think you should be in a position to do it for others?

    I’d rather watch Vanessa Redgrave. At least she could act.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  43. I voted with my wallet.

    Genny Grace (d43345)

  44. Levi – Don’t create strawmen for me, I’ll make my own arguments. Since you can’t even be trusted to frame your own arguments correctly, why do you think you should be in a position to do it for others?

    So what’s your argument then? Sounds kind of silly when I sum it up, mustn’t it? Why don’t you explain it to me. Remember, whatever you have to say, that George Clooney has made more people more money than oh, say, Ron Silver, or Fred Thompson.

    Levi (76ef55)

  45. The retarded President you people helped to elect is ruining the economy and getting people killed, but that’s boring, right?

    People like you have to stop saying Bush is “ruining the economy” or anything along those lines. He hasn’t done anything to hurt the economy, let alone “ruined” it. Talk about retarded.

    Gerald A (b9214e)

  46. When it comes to actors and politics I like Bruce Willis’ take

    I don’t think my opinion means jack s**t, because I’m an actor. Why do actors think their opinions mean more because you act? You just caught a break as an actor. There are hundreds – thousands – of actors who are just as good as I am, and probably better. Have you heard anything useful come out of an actor’s mouth lately?

    Taltos (4dc0e8)

  47. People like you have to stop saying Bush is “ruining the economy” or anything along those lines. He hasn’t done anything to hurt the economy, let alone “ruined” it. Talk about retarded.

    The economy isn’t something that the President can directly affect is the point you’re making, and I’d agree with that, to an extent. However, the policies that he implements (or more accurately in the case of lazy-ass Bush, doesn’t implement) can have long-term effects, and the shape the economy today can not be questioned as a reflective measure of George Bush as a policy-crafter. Cutting taxes while still recklessly spending and financing global wars for years and years isn’t deft economic public policy, would you? And how much would an increase in mileage standards have helped American companies compete and employ locally and globally, not to mention everyone who uses gas, i.e., everyone in America?

    Even if the economy is some sluggish, slow-reacting ship that is affected by too many things to control, the President is at least the captain of that ship, shouldn’t he be held a little responsible when the thing finally capsizes?

    Levi (76ef55)

  48. I’ll always remember the speech Clooney gave at the Academy Awards, patting himself and Hollywood as a whole on the back, for recognizing the best “Mammy” role of all time and giving Hattie McDaniels an Oscar.
    He was quite proud of that.
    I also remember that same Academy Awards Special featured a retrospective of sorts highlighting Hollywood’s spotty intersection with the progress of civil rights.
    One of the very few Hollywood actors who stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during MLK’s “I have a Dream” speech, one Mr. Charlton Heston, was totally left out of that retrospective.

    I find it altogether fitting that George Clooney won his one and only Oscar, for his portrail of a CIA appologist for a middle eastern dictator.
    Clooney’s “Robert Barnes” is a mealy-mouthed, traitor to his country, who is eventually kidnapped, tortured, and murdered, by the very Islamic scum he betrayed his own country to.

    I call it type casting.

    papertiger (0b0c9a)

  49. Sometimes, a bad movie is just a bad movie.

    Timesdisliker (945388)

  50. Levi needs to understand that to make fun of people, you have to be as smart as they are.

    “You all constantly post your political opinions on the Internet for everyone to see. It’s pretty ironic, then, when you start saying people like Clooney (who actually command some level of public attention) shouldn’t express their political opinions in public.

    Perhaps you’re afraid people will listen to him, and not you?

    Comment by Phil ”

    I can’t comment on Clooney’s movies because I haven’t seen any. He just doesn’t look interesting as an actor. I’d rather watch old Mitchum or Bogart movies than some overpaid male model who thinks he is an expert on foreign policy.

    As far as posting opinions, I’m not selling tickets. Caveat Emptor.

    Mike K (f89cb3)

  51. Levi – I think George Clooney is a typical self-absorbed Hollywood liberal who thinks because of his success we should be subjected to listening to his political views, which I happen to think are naive, inconsistent and damaging to America. I don’t think he ia good actor and vote with my wallet not to see his movies.

    With the liberals saying that we should not have invaded Iraq, that is a war for oil, that it has no strategic benefit for the U.S., Clooney lobbying for for an invasion of another Muslim country in Africa makes absolutely no fucking sense unless you believe he is as retarded as other liberals.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  52. Another fumble for hollyweed i hope this turns out to be a very miserble year for hollyweed

    krazy kagu (e08c0e)

  53. I took my Mom, an octogenerian great grandmother to “Leatherheads” on Friday.

    “Leatherheads” is a gentle, and sometimes sweet film, pretty to watch, humorous at times, and is overall pleasing.

    As we left the theater discussing how we enjoyed the film, I said to my Mom, “The movie will bomb.”

    It is the wrong film at the wrong time made by the wrong star for the wrong demographic.

    There aren’t enough great grandmothers and grandfathers to support it.

    That, and it wasn’t great.

    Pleasant and enjoyable, yes.

    But it will have to make its money in Europe, DVD, and ON-Demand.

    The fact that there are those who avoid films or music because of the advocacy of the artists doesn’t help in this case either.

    Just sayin’.

    MeTooThen (358d4a)

  54. “I think George Clooney is a typical self-absorbed Hollywood liberal who thinks because of his success we should be subjected to listening to his political views, which I happen to think are naive, inconsistent and damaging to America. I don’t think he ia good actor and vote with my wallet not to see his movies.”

    Yes, yes, and yes, however, its got to be divine spite for someone that gorgeous to be such a twit. If he only had a smarter, more sensible and sound script for real life. Otherwise, he probably shouldn’t speak if there’s no camera. It just ruins it for some of us.

    Dana (b4a26c)

  55. Jack at #13, who spoke of the resentment toward politically outspoken celebrities who don’t run for office, hits close to the truth IMHO. If you are like me you have a very long list of people who seem to be fucking up the country, without any responsibility for what they do or damage they cause, BUT they depend on me to spend my money watching them. So I am not going to play along with that little scheme. It’s the closest I can legally come to giving them the smack upside the head they so richly deserve.

    I remember after the 2004 election, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show accidently nailed it. He said, concerning the red states of flyover country who had just re-elected GWB: “Maybe they are telling us something… maybe they are like saying ‘You know, we are tired of having things like Will and Grace shoved down our throats, and so here’s what we’re gonna do about it…’.”

    Precisely, Jon. Precisely.

    sherlock (b4bbcc)

  56. Did Levi go some where?

    It must have been very lonely there, or why else would he come back to his vast array of admirerers at PP?

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  57. It is hilarious to see ignorant people like Levi use words like “collapse” with respect to the US economy.

    Of course, it is not funny that young people like Levi are so ignorant of basic history and economics as to write silly crap like that.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  58. Great. Now Hollywood will only make movies with Will Smith in them. (yawn) Alas, the death of creativity and guts. One can’t call a Hollywood film “art” anymore.

    So boring. So Hollywood.

    Miss Havisham (646668)

  59. Did Levi go some where?

    It must have been very lonely there, or why else would he come back to his vast array of admirerers at PP?

    Who cares?! Nice and quiet now and real thought can continue!

    Miss Havisham,
    I have always held that when Hollwood creates “Art” in movies, it is a happy accident.
    When the Creators of film seek to completely entertain us with their highest qualities, the chances for that happy accident increases. When Hollywood tries to create “Art” it’s almost always, bloated, self-serving, bombastic and boring.

    paul from fl (47918a)

  60. Commentary from another venue

    A sports-related romantic comedy advertised to death which looks great and has no competition at the box-office is supposed to be a no-brainer hit. What went wrong? Could it be that Leatherheads was hurt by George Clooney’s presence?

    Nim’s Island, the only other film to open wide this weekend, is a children’s film, and nipped no one from the Leatherheads audience. 21 was a fairly popular holdover from the previous week, but no phenomenon. Certainly not the kind of film which devastates everything in its wake the following week.

    … Liberal Hollywood had better figure out that their boorish stars — the ones Hollywood seems most enamored with — are alienating the audience by the tens-of-millions. The audience Clooney needed to open Leatherheads is the very same audience he works desperately to insult most every time he opens his mouth. And Clooney’s not alone — just Emperor #1. If you feel this is an overreach on my part, read the comments here – all 400+ of them. There’s a word to describe what happened to Leatherheads this weekend: backlash.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  61. I really dislike Clooney and his politics, and will never spend a cent seeing one of his movies, either on the big screen or at home.

    kim little (dbe341)

  62. Was Clooney a conservative when he was in the financially-successful “Michael Clayton”? I don’t think so.

    The reasoning here is verging on psychotic.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  63. Michael Clayton? What’s that?
    OK I’ll take a look at the wiki.
    Hmmm Hollywood fathead makes a movie which casts a Monsanto type agri conglomerate as a villian.
    The US farmer are not selling food, they’re selling poison!
    Nice message to send overseas – bet it played well in Europe.

    Andrew, you are not doing Mr. C’s character any favors here.

    papertiger (8349ff)

  64. Variety has posted final weekend box office figures, and Leatherheads definitely fell into third place:

    1. 21 (Sony) | $15,337,418 | $46,770,173
    2. Nim’s Island (20th Century Fox) | $13,210,579 | $13,210,579
    3. Leatherheads (Universal) | $12,682,595 | $12,682,595
    4. Horton Hears A Who (20th Century Fox) | $9,115,987 | $131,076,768

    The first figure is for this past weekend, and the second is cumulative. Films 2 and 3 just opened this weekend, so the numbers are the same.

    It is significant to me that Horton Hears a Who is skunking everything else. At the rate it’s going, it’s almost certain to be in the top 20 domestic grosses of 2008.

    VG

    Voiceguy in L.A. (e5b52a)

  65. “Of course, it is not funny that young people like Levi are so ignorant of basic history and economics as to write silly crap like that.”

    – SPQR

    Yeah, it’s great that us whippersnappers have you salty dogs to keep on eye on things while we make our bones in the real world. You’ve done a real bang-up job thus far, haven’t you?

    Since you claim to know them so well, which aspects of “basic history and economics” point to the favorable/expansive nature of our current economic situation?

    Leviticus (1daf74)

  66. ^ If JFK were here he’d tell you to knock off the bitterness and join the Peace Corps.

    Vermont Neighbor (e7ed47)

  67. Leviticus, I guess you can’t actually be relied upon to quote in context, can you? Well, we’ve figured out your lack of integrity long ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  68. “^ If JFK were here he’d tell you to knock off the bitterness and join the Peace Corps.”

    – Vermont Neighbor

    Good for him. What does that have to do with economics?

    Leviticus (1daf74)

  69. SPQR –

    How do you figure that I’ve quoted you out of context? You called young people ignorant, and I challenged you to make an empirical case for the superior knowledge of old people (like yourself, presumably).

    Leviticus (1daf74)

  70. Leviticus, as anyone who read my comment knows, I wrote:
    “It is hilarious to see ignorant people like Levi use words like “collapse” with respect to the US economy.

    Of course, it is not funny that young people like Levi are so ignorant of basic history and economics as to write silly crap like that.”

    You copied only the second sentence and then falsely implied that I had stated that the economy was in fact good when you wrote:

    “Since you claim to know them so well, which aspects of “basic history and economics” point to the favorable/expansive nature of our current economic situation?”

    I was making a point about Levi’s silly over-the-top rhetoric. Our economy appears to be heading to a recession with no reason to believe it will be anything other than a normal recession. ot a “collapse”. Your false implication that I had written something you could characterize as ‘favorable/expansive’ is indicative of your lack of integrity.

    Not a surprise either.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  71. You called young people ignorant,

    No, he didn’t. He said young people like Levi are ignorant of basic history and economics. He didn’t say that young people were ignorant, only the ones like Levi.

    SPQR has already handled your other misrepresentation.

    Steverino (e00589)

  72. “Celebrities” constantly have cameras and microphones on them, some arranged by their staff trying to promote them and others by paparazzi trying to get some pic or statement they can sell – the more outrageous the better.

    It must take true will for “celebrities” to stay neutral or silent on political questions, especially since the questioners “obviously” want to see/hear their views. They got to where they are due a lot to self-promotion and grabbing publicity. and they can even raise money by their actions to help the causes or politics they prefer.

    Bruce Willis has my admiration for keeping things in perspective. The ones who go big on the matters they favor obviously risk alienating those in the public who find their views distateful or an anathema. Charlton Heston and John Wayne likely put off those not of their views, just as the Dixie Chicks and Clooney have.

    That the Duke did not suffer for it and maybe Clooney is can only tell something to Hollywood if they’re willing to hear it. Of course, it could also be that the Duke was good and Clooney is not. Man, but I miss the Duke.

    jim2 (a9ab88)

  73. If people do not take George Clooney seriously as an actor do they take him seriously as an activist?

    Thank you for your time.

    The Outlander (e46c56)

  74. “^ If JFK were here he’d tell you to knock off the bitterness and join the Peace Corps.”

    – Vermont Neighbor

    Good for him. What does that have to do with economics?

    Comment by Leviticus

    Helping the less fortunate, maybe? Channeling your volatile energy into something useful? Or maybe walking the walk, instead of just talking the talk. Lofty lefties like to point and blame. I guess Jimmy Carter is almost an exception (minus the embarrassing rants against our country). Habitat for Humanity could use you, too.

    Vermont Neighbor (e7ed47)

  75. “No, he didn’t. He said young people like Levi are ignorant of basic history and economics. He didn’t say that young people were ignorant, only the ones like Levi.”

    -Steverino

    My point is, what does Levi’s age have to do with anything, if not to be used as a sweeping indicator of the general decline in education standards (or some bullshit like that)? Such talk summons images of SPQR in a rocking chair on his porch, whining about the good ole days…

    “Helping the less fortunate, maybe? Channeling your volatile energy into something useful? Or maybe walking the walk, instead of just talking the talk. Lofty lefties like to point and blame”

    – Vermont Neighbor

    Methinks I sense a Chickenhawk argument. Don’t you have some gut-level aversion to that kind of rhetoric? Don’t the rest of you conservatives, who so readily decry similar statements when it comes to things like, I dunno, deferments, have some problem with Vermont Neighbor using the same sort of argument here? C’mon, hypocrites: yell at him for using fallacious debating techniques.

    What did you see that makes you think I care about the poor, by the way? The “Walk the walk” argument is traditionally reserved for those who talk the talk, but maybe you know more about that than I do.

    Leviticus (1daf74)

  76. I’m not really looking to join the California Hall of Golden Debaters, Levi. You just rail a lot, which is sometimes good, sometimes odd. Seems you could pour your energy into something that would make a difference. Blogging is an outlet for everyone, sure. But your posts get a little blue at times. Coarse language, I don’t care about. Just seems a bit heated. That’s all.

    If you don’t care about the less fortunate, that’s because you’re young. Or indifferent. As you mature you’ll pick something that matters, hopefully.

    Vermont Neighbor (e7ed47)

  77. So, in order to have any opposing opinion SPQR has to provide a resume of all conservative humanitarian programs? let’s do the short list shall we?
    List Liberal philanthropies that actually improve the lot of those targeted for help instead of , let’s say, doom them to generational welfare and the entitlement mentality.

    paul from Fl (47918a)

  78. “Seems you could pour your energy into something that would make a difference.”

    – Vermont Neighbor

    Yeah. Maybe you’re right. It’s harder than it sounds, though – to find something interesting and useful at the same time. Believe me, I’ve tried.

    “If you don’t care about the less fortunate, that’s because you’re young. Or indifferent. As you mature you’ll pick something that matters, hopefully.”

    – Vermont Neighbor

    I do care about the poor; at the very least I sympathize with them.

    I was just pointing out that there was nothing in my previous comments which indicated that. You told me to “walk the walk” instead of just “talking the talk”; my point was that I wasn’t “talking the talk” in the first place.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  79. Leviticus…
    If you truly want to do something for the poor, you’ll create a business and hire the poor to accomplish the ends of the business plan.
    That gives them a job, self-respect, and standing in the community; all politive accomplishments.
    And, it will make you a better person, too.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  80. “positive”, not “politive”.
    Got my fingers crossed.

    Another Drew (f9dd2c)

  81. there was nothing in my previous comments which indicated that.

    Thanks for your clarification. As far as helping or contributing… the things that bother you the most are the things that you care about the most.

    Vermont Neighbor (e7ed47)

  82. Levi – I think George Clooney is a typical self-absorbed Hollywood liberal who thinks because of his success we should be subjected to listening to his political views, which I happen to think are naive, inconsistent and damaging to America. I don’t think he ia good actor and vote with my wallet not to see his movies.

    In other words, you’re jealous that there’s no big movie stars hitting the pavement for your cause.

    With the liberals saying that we should not have invaded Iraq, that is a war for oil, that it has no strategic benefit for the U.S., Clooney lobbying for for an invasion of another Muslim country in Africa makes absolutely no fucking sense unless you believe he is as retarded as other liberals.

    Yeah, those are all pretty standard liberal positions. He’s anti-war and pro-environment. Just like millions of other people in this country.

    Levi (76ef55)


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