Podcast: Oscar Bait, Christmas Day Releases, 'Twilight', Double Standards and More

We even find time to discuss Laremy's favorite franchise, Twilight

Rope of Silicon PodcastA packed episode this week as we finally have some interesting news to discuss as the Oscars near and are starting to dominate the conversation. Seth MacFarlane was named Oscar host, we got to hear a tease of Adele's theme song for Skyfall and Matt Reeves was named director of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

We also discuss the new DVDs and Blu-rays coming out today, waste time talking about The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, play a little over/under, buy or sell and watch this or watch that and explore the studio space answering listener questions.

And, once again, we didn't get into the Fall Box Office Challenge, but things should pick up on that front in the next couple weeks as Taken 2 arrives this weekend and Argo next weekend so there should be more to discuss at that point. I have, however, still updated the numbers and have them below, but as you'll see there really isn't much to see, especially since international numbers aren't in yet for Looper.

As always, I have broken down this episode on a minute-by-minute basis if you would like to skip ahead and below I have featured the information on how to download the podcast, find us on iTunes or merely just listen in your browser.

  • 00:00-1:12 - Introduction
  • 1:13-6:07 - Seth MacFarlane hosting the Oscars
  • 6:08-10:22 - Adele's James Bond theme for Skyfall
  • 10:23-12:08 - Matt Reeves will direct Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • 12:09-14:16 - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 talk
  • 14:17-17:35 - In response to our discussion last week Criterion10 says, "I still think that [The Master] has many flaws, but I certainly would not call it a typical film."
  • 17:36-25:21 - New DVDs and Blu-rays
  • 25:22-36:16 - [Listener Question] Do some critics give high or low ratings to movies just to fit in with their peers? Do you think most critics rate movies in terms of enjoyment or in terms of technical quality of a film? (I ask because I personally have no idea how some of these silly, boring, yet technically well-made movies like Tree of Life are running at 84% on RT) [G-Man]
  • 36:17-37:08 - [Listener Question] Since we know you don't watch trailers, because you do not want to be spoiled of anything. Is there anything you do like to know before going into any film or ideally would you like to know absolutely nothing? [Ben]
  • 37:09-37:47 - [Listener Question] Would you rather live in a world where there are movies sequels or no movie sequels? [Susan]
  • 37:48-41:03 - [Listener Question] Do you think it's a bit of a double standard that Won't Back Down gets so much heat from critics for exaggerating a union boss as greedy and selfish, but few are upset when CEO's, Stockbrokers, etc. are given the same treatment? [Andrew J.S.]
  • 41:04-42:47 - [Listener Question] Are there any actors on TV shows who may have starred in a few films but you feel could be/should have been much bigger in Hollywood? My personal opinion: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Kristen Bell (who, admittedly, picked truly terrible film projects but is wonderful in "Veronica Mars"), Claire Danes and Lena Headey, off the top of my head. [Matt]
  • 42:48-43:56 - [Listener Question] Do you think there could be a surprise, for example Looper, to get a Best Picture nomination? [Cordia]
  • 43:57-52:50 - [Listener Question] Why is it considered a bad thing when movies are referred to as "Oscar bait"? I always see people calling movies like Lincoln and Les Miserables "Oscar bait". This usually happens with dramas, biopics, or period pieces. Whenever I see that term, I always get so confused. Do you think that's a legitimate criticism? Are there movies that are actually trying to win an Oscar? [Kessler]
  • 52:51-56:52 - [Listener Question] Listener AS brings up the topic of Christmas Day releases and we discuss.
  • 56:53-1:02:46 - Over / Under
    • $222 million worldwide for Frankenweenie [Cordia]
    • 2.5 oscar nominations for Amour [Cordia]
    • 3 countries get nuked in Laremy's favorite new show, "Last Resort," before it is cancelled. (Spoiler: 1 was nuked in the pilot, but not by the main submarine) [Brian]
    • 94 percent RT Score for Skyfall (Casino Royale was 94 percent) [Andrew13]
    • $15 million domestic for Hitchcock [Andrew13]
    • 5.5 Oscar nominations for Silver Linings Playbook [Andrew13]
    • 150 minutes for Django Unchained. (Both Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown were 154 minutes and Inglourious Basterds was 152 minutes.) [Kessler]
    • 85 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. (Fellowship is at 92 percent, Two Towers is at 96 percent, and Return of the King is at 94 percent.) [Kessler]
  • 1:02:47-1:04:06 - Buy or Sell
    • Martin Scorsese wins a 2nd Best Director trophy
    • Tom Cruise never wins an Oscar
    • Les Miserables will not be the movie with the most Oscar nominations
    • The Master will not be nominated for Best Picture
    • Inside Llewyn Davis will be released in 2012
  • 1:04:07-1:07:22 - Watch This or Watch That
    • Aaron Sorkin - A Few Good Men or The Social Network
    • Steve Zaillian - Gangs of New York or Moneyball
    • Billy Wilder - Sunset Blvd. or Double Indemnity
    • Cameron Crowe - Jerry Maguire or Almost Famous
  • 1:07:23-1:09:50 - #GoodTweets
  • 1:09:51-1:12:37 - Life of Pi reviews
  • 1:12:38-1:15:47 - Closing and has Laremy ever watched a Twilight movie more than once?
  • 1:15:48-1:17:55 - Epilogue
  • 1:17:56-1:19:00 - Ben asked a question for the listeners: "I was wondering if any of the RopeofSilicon listeners also work in production on any sort?"

Finally, I do have one quick request. If you could give us a review on iTunes it would be greatly appreciated.

You can listen below, on Stitcher, download the audio by right-clicking here and saving it to your computer or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. It's up to you.

NOTE: Apple's iTunes randomly checks for updated episodes, so sometimes the latest episode may not be immediately available in iTunes.

You can find Laremy's writing here on RopeofSilicon.com and also at Film.com and on Twitter at @Laremy.

Fall 2012 Movie Box-Office Draft
Brad vs. Laremy

Laremy's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
The MasterSep 14$35m$9.5m-$77.5m
LooperSep 28$30m$20.8m-$54.1m
Taken 2Oct 5$80m$0
Cloud AtlasOct 26$100m$0
Wreck-It RalphNov 2$150m$0
Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2Nov 16$131.5m$0
Red DawnNov 21$75m$0
Life of PiNov 21$100m$0
Django UnchainedDec 25$0
Les MiserablesDec 25$0
Brad's Picks
MovieDateBudgetBox-OfficeCurrent Total
Resident Evil: RetributionSep 14$65m$175.6m$13.1m
ArgoOct 12$0
Paranormal Activity 4Oct 19$0
Alex CrossOct 19$40m$0
FlightNov 2$50m$0
SkyfallNov 9$150m$0
LincolnNov 9$50m$0
Anna KareninaNov 16$0
The Hobbit: An Unexpected JourneyDec 14$0
The ImpossibleDec 21$0

The Fall 2012 Movie Box-Office Draft competition involved both Brad and Laremy "drafting" ten films each in hopes of scoring the largest net total by taking a film's worldwide gross subtracting two-and-a-half-times the reported budget. The film must be released between the months of September-December 2012. The draft took place on August 28 during the RopeofSilicon Podcast which you can listen to right here.

Listed above is all the most recent data as of this post. Budgetary information is not necessarily accurate and will most likely not be accurate until closer to or after each film's release.


  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

    Thanks for answering my question. Hope you didn't feel I was attacking you for your criticism or anything, just curious what you thought. And correct, I haven't actually seen the movie.

  • http://www.twitter.com/marlonwallace marlonwallace

    Based on what little I have read, I think there's quite a bit I can deduce about Armond White. 1. He's conservative, mostly likely to vote Republican. 2. He dislikes all things Pixar. 3. He dislikes all things Marvel. 4. He dislikes all things Christopher Nolan. 5. He does like all things before 1960. 6. He's gay... and I don't mean gay in the pejorative sense but just from reading only a few of his reviews, the man seems to know more about gay culture than Liberace.


    --Would it matter if there were no more Oscars? In other words, what effect good or bad would it have if the Oscars were all together eliminated?

    --What is the point of making your best-of-the-year lists in December? These lists are usually to celebrate the movies we liked, obviously, but also to champion movies that were overlooked or have artistic value, but what I'm getting at is if a movie wasn't successful when it was released, should we just accept its death and let it be dead and if a movie was a hit, does it really need a critic's ranking or validation?

    --If you could eliminate a movie genre, what would it be? Personally, I would be fine, if I never saw another Western.


    --10, the amount in dollars that fans would be willing to pay in addition to the regular adult ticket price for upcoming blockbusters like 'Breaking Dawn 2' or 'Avatar 2' or 'Avengers 2'

    --25, the percentage that ticket prices would need to be lowered to encourage theater-goers to see movies that aren't blockbusters or didn't perform well opening weekend, i.e. 'Drive' or 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'

    Buy or Sell

    --A documentary or narrative film is made and released in the next year or two about the Pro Referee deal that resulted from the recent Packers/Seahawks game

    --Sans SAG eligibility, Quvenzhane Wallis or Dwight Henry get an Oscar nod

    Watch This or Watch That, Time Travel Edition

    --Terminator 3 or Terminator: Salvation
    --Timecrimes or 12 Monkeys
    --Avengers 2 or Avatar 2 (cause you would have to time travel to the future to see them and decide if you would Watch This or Watch That)

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JoshP./ Josh P.

    As a huge Bond fan, I love any talk about 007. However, I will say that the Skyfall song is not a guarantee. The last Bond song to be nominated for an Oscar was For Your Eyes Only in 1981. In fact, that's the last Bond film to be nominated for any sort of Oscar. Hopefully this one will buck that trend.

    Listener Question:

    Even with knowing how ridiculous the idea of the Oscars are, have you ever found yourself personally rooting for a person or film to win a particular category? I understand that winning or not winning an Oscar has no impact on your feelings about a film, but I was wondering how much you would like to see one rewarded with this prize.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/DArtagnan/ DArtagnan

    Listener Question:

    - What do you think of the different Bond eras (Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan, Craig)? Do you have a favourite?
    - Which Bond actor best represented his time?
    - Since Craig took over the role, people seem to bash Brosnan for his films. How much do you think the Bond actors have to do with the quality of their films?

    Watch This or Watch That:

    - The Living Daylights or GoldenEye
    - On Her Majesty's Secret Service or Casino Royale
    - Goldfinger or From Russia With Love
    - Moonraker or Die Another Day
    - Octopussy or Never Say Never Again

  • http://timeforafilm.com Alex Thomas

    I think perhaps Seth MacFarlane was picked after the huge success of Gervais at the Globes. I'm not fussed either, he should do a decent job.

    Am absolutely loving Laremy's constant Bane voice, so funny. Also when Brad asked who Laremy's peers were, haha, his response did not get the credit it deserved! :D

    15% for Taken 2 on Rottentomatoes

    Also, interesting to note, Taken 2 was 8% on RT yet 8.6/10 on IMDB. Perhaps skewed by people who haven't seen the movie voting on IMDB but very interesting indeed.

  • toro913

    My comment on your use of the word minority seems to have been interpreted as an attack which it was not meant to be at all, just a clarification because it ended up causing you to answer a different question then the one that was asked. If in the future I'm going to attack you or anything you've said I'll have the common decency to misspell a few words and add a few exclamation marks.

    Which brings me to a questions related to China. Looper has opened pretty big in China (bigger than in the US) and it's mostly due to it being a Chinese co-production which gives it some privileges not granted to non-Chinese productions. The Chinese government gets to say when non-Chinese films open and usually puts big Hollywood movies directly against each other so to lessen their impact against the Chinese productions and they impose a quota allowing only about 35 non-Chinese productions to open in China every year. With China opening more and more theaters every year a movie can soon make 200+ million dollars in China alone. How many of the big Hollywood productions are going to try to take advantage of this in the future and start taking money from the Chinese and filming there? What effect do you think this will have on the content of the Hollywood movies that attempt this?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

    I like the mention of Margin Call (it was a helping factor in me picking this college-he went to film school here at my College and also swam, so it was encouraging). And thank you! I feel exactly the same way about Titanic. It brings up a Listener Question:

    Should someone get an Oscar nomination in a romance if their counterpart is nominated, and over half their dialogue is "Jack! Jack! No Jack!"

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

      And is it as bad to watch Twilight multiple times, but the purpose is to mock it mercilessly with friends and family?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

    -Laremy closes out a podcast with the Skyfall theme song...

    -The Master only wins three oscars. (Pheonix, Hoffman, Adams.)
    -JGL is in the Justice League movie
    -Brad likes The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2...

    Listener Question
    -When going to see The Master, (Which I liked a lot.) I was in a semi full theater. Half of the audience was older couples above the age of 60 and the other half was younger, college aged cinephiles. Halfway through the movie I noticed that 4 different older couples walked out of the theater completely. In front of me was one older couple. As the movie went on, this couple got increasingly more agitating and loud. When Dodd was singing to Freddie near the end, this couple applauded his singing...Once it was over, this couple, literally, did the "Eastwood Grunt" and walked out laughing. Which brings me to my question. Isn't this going to be the exact same reaction the academy will have to The Master?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Aleonardis/ Aleonardis

      Sorry for the rambling :)

    • http://www.scifiblock.com John D.

      This doesn't answer your question Aleonardis but I had to share this similar experience:

      My wife and I, both age 27, were easily the youngest couple in our theater for The Master, which maybe had about a dozen people total. One of the older couples in the theater also left during the film except it was during the scene in which Freddie has sex with the woman he picks up at the bar toward the end of the film. I was flabbergasted that they left the movie with literally less than two minutes remaining especially having made it that far in the film.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

    "Typical" was a bad word choice on my part. I think what I meant to say was that I found it to be more ambitious than you guys might have. That being said, I do still agree with you on the fact that PTA does get the benefit of the doubt by being an esteemed director. This is indeed something that he definitely has earned, though at times when people analyze his films, they may definitely look for things that aren't really there. Being a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick, there are many analyses of his films that I think are finding things that don't really exist. I haven't seen The Master a second time yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to look for deeper themes and see what really is or isn't there.

    When I go to see a movie, I do like to know a very basic idea of the plot, just so I can prepare myself accordingly. I rarely watch trailers or ready extensive plot summaries. Sometimes, I may only know the name of the film and the crew behind it, which always provides for an interesting viewing experience.

    Listener Question:
    If cinema is indeed dying, then how can we prevent it?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

      What are your thoughts on Warner Bros.' 90th anniversary plan to restore and release many of their films on Blu-Ray?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ben/ Ben

    Now I know most people are not a fan of Michael Bay, and neither am I, however I am interested to see his next film Pain and Gain ( The only film of his I have enjoyed is The Rock) My question is do you think Michael Bay is a talented filmmaker? Not a storyteller, or an actors director but a filmmaker. Do you think if he was given a good writer that he could make a interesting and well made film, of course an action film. Maybe if Michael Bay directed a film written by John Logan or Aaron Sorkin.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Anthony_X/ Anthony_X


    2.5 years before Greta Gerwig gets nominated for an Oscar
    4.5 movies nominated for Oscar over 90% at RottenTomatoes
    $100M Domestic for Argo
    1.5 differences from the Best Director Lineup of the Oscars and the DGA.

    Buy or Sell

    Jiro Dreams of Sushi is nominated for Best Documentary
    Damsels in Distress gets nominated for Best Original Screenplay
    Beasts of the Southern Wild SAG "snub" makes Quvenzhané Wallis miss the Oscar Lineup

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/the%20colleague/ the colleague

    Ah, Bane voice, the gift that keeps on giving.

    - B, Brad's grade for Sinister
    - 42%, collective RT score for Taken 2 and Here Comes the Boom
    - 13.5, words for Jackson Rathbone in Breaking Dawn Part 2
    - 500, the number of over/unders Chad is currently tracking

    - one of the podcast listeners gets in the movie business and uses one of Laremy's "movie pitch" ideas
    - Laremy's new oracle streak lasts at least till the end of the year
    - Anna Karenina will be nominated for Best Picture and its RT score will be lower than last year's nominee Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Extremely Loud sits at 47%, while Anna is currently at 69%)

    Watch This or Watch That (Parents vs Kids Directors Edition):
    - Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman) or Juno (Jason Reitman)
    - The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (John Cassavetes) or Alpha Dog (Nick Cassavetes)
    - Dracula (Francis Ford Coppola) or Lost In Translation (Sofia Coppola)
    - Dune (David Lynch) or Boxing Helena (Jennifer Lynch)

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

      Ah, I love The Killing of a Chinese Bookie... One of my all time favorites

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I still need to see The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and have been meaning to for a long time.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/JeremyBaril/ JeremyBaril


    8 - Years before we see a Best Picture winner that gets a VOD release before hitting theaters.

  • http://www.scifiblock.com John D.

    -The Hobbit trilogy has a combined running time of 8.5 hours (the LOTR trilogy was 9.3 hours)

    -A movie released before August this year will be nominated for Best Picture
    -Seth McFarlane does at least one Family Guy voice while hosting the Oscars

    Gotta chime in and say that Leremy's good tweet this week was fantastic. It took me a second to get the Glover joke but once I did I was laughing like an idiot at work. Thanks for that.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Kessler/ Kessler

    Thanks for answering my Oscar bait question. I guess I should have worded it a little bit better, lol.

    Listener Questions:

    What are some of your favorite animated Disney movies? Some of mine are The Lion King, Fantasia, Peter Pan, and Lady and the Tramp, just to name a few.

    Would you still watch the Oscars even if wasn't part of your job?


    Disney makes another 2-D animated movie that harkens back to their glory days. Like when they made The Princess and the Frog back in 2009.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/G-Man/ G-Man

    Nice show, guys. You answered the first part of my question in quite a bit of detail - thanks. Could you expand on the second part...

    Do you think most critics rate movies in terms of enjoyment or in terms of technical quality of a film? (I ask because I personally have no idea how some of these silly, boring, yet technically well-made movies like Tree of Life are running at 84% on RT)

    Buy / Sell:

    - The Evil Dead remake will gross more than Scary Movie 5 - both are being released within a week of one another next April
    - We will see another Vacation movie with Chevy Chase as a lead actor
    - Sinister will gross more overall than Paranormal Activity 4

    Watch This / Watch That: "I'll Never Watch That" Edition

    For Laremy - The Shaggy Dog rewatch vs. The Human Centipede
    For Brad - The Apparition rewatch vs. The Human Centipede

  • chewbaca38

    Over/Under 383 million worldwide for Good Day to Die Hard as it opens on Valentines Day. Live Free or Die Hard made 383 million opening in July.

    • chewbaca38

      Sorry thats total after opening in July, not the opening weekend. I suck at words and things.

  • Zack

    With Jonny Greenwood's score to The Master getting praise, what are some famous musicians/bands you would like to see tackle a film score? Personally I'd like to see Muse take one on... thoughts?

  • Ron Oneal Fresh


    - 50 years, when home theater projectors becomes common place.
    - 10% chance, that Best Actor, Actress, Director, Picture come from the same film
    - 3 David Lynch films ever again
    - 500 million dollar budget (filming + marketing) for The Lone Ranger

    Buy or Sell

    - Higher body count in Django than Basterds

    Watch This or Watch That

    Chinatown or L.A. Confidential

    Once Upon A Time In America or Once Upon a Time in the West

    Dr. Strangelove or Paths of Glory

  • Zack

    Another quick question.

    I've seen four movies in the theater this month, and the trailer for Jack Reacher has been in front of all of them. Have you ever seen a trailer so many times in front of other films it made you not want to see the movie?

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

    -What actor or actress is most likely to give us a surprise performance in the next two or three years? I don't necessarily mean an oscar performance, but just give a performance that defies he or she's expectations, something a long the lines of Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Elijah/ Elijah

    Just to answer Ben's question I've done some college production stuff this last year and a half, but as of now I have an editing job doing wedding videos. They're pretty fun because they're like mini-music videos (which is what I'm hoping to get into) so once this next video's done I'd love to show it. I guess I'll throw the question back at Ben and see if he's up to anything, but for now I'm just trying to survive post-college.

    Anyway I'll throw around some last minute stuff:


    *The Master only wins Best Actor and/or cinematography
    *Sinister becomes your favorite horror film of the last 5 years (my personal favorites are I Saw the Devil and Let the Right One In)
    * Brad and Laremy will have two similar titles in their Top 5 films of 2012
    *2 out of 3 Avatar sequels are nominated for best picture
    *The 3 Avatar films cumulatively make more than Jackson's 3 Hobbit films.

    This or that:
    One Hour Photo or Frailty (forgotten creepy 2002 movies)
    Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Corpse Bride (bad 2005 Burton)
    Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Poltergeist (Tobe Hooper)