October 10, 2007
We found out late yesterday that Jesse James will open this Friday, without media reviews. This has caused a flury of angry responses in the media. Here's a couple examples:
"Phoenix-based entertainment journalist Henry Cabot Beck wrote earlier today to report that 'here in Arizona it was announced yesterday that despite The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford opening this Friday in Phoenix, it's been decided at the last minute not to screen it for critics.
"It was touch-and-go yesterday for about an hour with the talk being that they might screen it tonight (Tuesday) with a one-day notice,' he adds. 'Depending on how this shakes out, this could mean that Jesse James has become the most lauded, worst-treated movie of the year.'
"Everybody's split on the picture, but some feel that Andrew Dominik's film is one of the best of the year. I fall a bit over into that camp. A Brad Pitt picture with some Oscar buzz, a couple of amazing performances -- even if you don't like the movie overall -- and they're treating it like a one-weekend horror turd."
"I already count 11 features opening here on Friday, plus the Portland Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, plus a festival in Bend, plus the 10 films that opened last week and the 14 due to open next week. Amid that competition, Jesse would've had a fight on its hands if it had been brought to the market with care and forewarning. Treated like this -- like stale food being tossed to homeless folks just to save the restaurant help the trouble of wrapping and storing it -- it's doomed. I don't expect it to be showing anywhere in Portland in November. Maybe it would've done well here; maybe not. But it's got no shot now. None.
"And if the movie biz is anything like the book publishing biz, some day the producers and director will have another movie to make, and they'll be told how poorly this one did and be treated less well accordingly.
"And it won't be their fault.
"For shame, Warner Bros. For shame."
—Shawn Levy, The Oregonian
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