Monday, April 12, 2004

April 12, 2004
As feared, The Alamo did not fare well over the weekend. Someone said it came in third. But here’s a shocker: Abby Pearson saw it this weekend and really liked it. She’s a youngster (26) and that was heartening to me. RG Robertson also saw it and said he enjoyed it.

Mark Boardman e-mailed me a piece on why it is not doing well. Here’s the link:

Quoting from the piece: “It assumed audiences knew the story. The studio may have overestimated the public's knowledge of the 1836 Texas battle, says Brandon Gray of "Instead of telling people that this was the story of Davy Crockett or James Bowie, the ads just said 'this is about the Alamo.' That's probably assuming people know more than they do."

•No big-name stars. Ron Howard and Russell Crowe were once attached to the film, but backed out. The studio cast second-tier stars instead. "Historical epics generally need at least one big star to anchor a film around," says Gray.

•The John Wayne factor Older moviegoers, who were the target audiences for The Alamo, still probably remember the famous John Wayne epic The Alamo from 1960. "Substituting Billy Bob Thornton for John Wayne is going to be a turn-off unless you've something else big to offer," Gray says. "This movie didn't."

On the Custer front, I finished five pieces of art this weekend and that felt good, although I missed going over to Grandma Betty’s for Easter to finish yesterday. I know Kathy was a little disappointed and I felt guilty, but I really want the piece to be strong and needed some good illustrations. I think I got ‘em.

Speaking of movies and stars, Johnny Boggs writes from Santa Fe that he is going to be in the Bill Kurtis documentary for the History Channel on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Here’s Johnny’s recap of his multi-roles: “My incredible acting talents—did I mention that A in acting in college?—led to a myriad of roles. Or maybe it was more due to budget constraints.

I portrayed with gusto:
1. Teller during bank robbery.
2. Cowboy crossing street with lady.
3. Cowboy walking down boardwalk with lady.
4. Townsman crossing street with friend.
5. Townsman walking down boardwalk with friends.
6. Saloon patron looking out batwing doors at riders.
7. Unfortunate Bolivian soldier killed by Butch Cassidy in final shootout.

“Of course, we'll see how much survives Paul Peckinpah's cuts.”

"In war, you win or lose, live or die—and the difference is just an eyelash."
—Douglas MacArthur

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