Bob Weinstein

weinstein

Back when brothers Harvey and Bob Weinstein created a company that combined their parents Miriam and Max’s names into a portmanteau and started distributing independent films (stuff like concert documentaries and horror movies) in the late 70s, not many people could have predicted what a juggernaut of the art film world Miramax Films would eventually become. Somewhere around the mid 80s, Miramax, under the lead of the Weinsteins, started putting out releases like The Thin Blue Line and Sex, Lies, and Videotape though, and after that it was off to the races. By the time the mid 90s rolled around, not only was Miramax probably the leading producer and distributor of arthouse and indie films in the world, it was also an awards-generating machine whose statue-grubbing campaigns rivaled anything the big studios were doing in terms of money spent and aggressiveness. Whether you see what the Weinsteins accomplished at Miramax in the 90s as simple capitalist greed, or as the most effective promotion of experimental and interesting cinematic art that’s ever been accomplished, it’s hard to argue that their releases and promotional tactics didn’t play a large part in creating the indie film boom we saw during that decade—which was a trend that brought us a ton of great films as well as created an entire generation of new film geeks. Once the Weinsteins were forced out of their company in 2005 by the Disney overlords who had bought it more than a decade earlier though, Miramax’s ability to generate […]

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Dimension Films’ secretive Apollo 18, which arrives in theaters this weekend as something of an under-hyped mystery, is another of those mockumentaries that employs the found-footage formula introduced by The Blair Witch Project and incorporated to popular effect in the Paranormal Activity franchise. The notion of said footage revealing a secret, disastrous moon mission is a promising one, full of potential. Unfortunately, director Gonzalo López-Gallego bungles that intriguing concept in astonishing form, turning it into a muddled, mind-numbing mess.

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We pretty much all saw the found footage trailer for Apollo 18 that crash landed last week. It taught us to fear space ghosts that knock over our flags and invade our space suits. Now we might have reason to fear for Bob Weinstein’s sanity. According to his quick quote to EW, he really, really, really wants audiences to think this movie is actual found footage from a real-life secret moon mission that ended tragically. The money quote: “People intrinsically know there are secrets being held from us. Look at WikiLeaks: There are secrets that are really true to the world. It’s not bogus. We didn’t shoot anything,” Weinstein claims. “We found it. Found baby!” The question here is whether this sort of tactic will backfire and hurt the film.

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Culture Warrior

A few months back, a fight for free expression was exercised by the Weinstein Company for the Sundance-indie favorite Blue Valentine to be theatrically released with an R-rating instead of the dreaded NC-17. Many things about this pseudo-fight are nothing special: there’s hardly anything surprising about fights with the MPAA or about the Weinsteins making a fuss – it’s how they’ve succeeded in the business for decades. But this fuss, and the anti-MPAA lobbying contained within it, seemed significantly more justified because it was exercised in the name of potentially getting an exceptional indie into more theaters across the country (and while the film does star two recognizable names, it is, economically speaking, very much a truly modest indie of the classic Sundance variety). In the end, the Weinsteins got their way, and justifiably so. The NC-17 rating has become an economic form of censorship: nothing associated with the label, or the institution that bestows that label, has the power to actively stop distribution of NC-17 films, but because of the rating’s associations with sexually-explicit content, and because of the liability and extra measures required of theaters in preventing young people from sneaking their way into such films, many theaters (and some entire theater chains) will not exhibit films with such a rating. This would have relegated Blue Valentine, at best, to arthouse theaters in big cities. Such theaters are no doubt where Blue Valentine will play best regardless, but the key word here is opportunity – an R-rating provides […]

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bob-weinstein

I just read a little post over at Variety, and I feel like I need a shower. And not in the good way. This post is not for the faint of heart or loin.

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wes-craven02

At least, he’s not closed to the idea. But should they even be making more Scream movies?

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Kiss My Ass, Harvey and Bob!

There was a time when Harvey and Bob Weinstein were the heroes of American cinema. Now, we are seeing that these guys are just big douchebags, like so many other people in the business.

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