Monday, The Hot Blog’s David Poland took off after me without realizing at first that the story that so enraged him was written by ex-Variety box-office analyst Anthony D’Alessandro. And both stories he pops off about, my rather sober analysis of what went wrong with Tamara Drewe and D’Alessandro’s take on the poor performance of Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, are among TOH’s most popular, sparking healthy debate.
Poland tends to jump on pieces that stray into his perceived area of expertise (particularly box office), and he often adopts a pro-studio POV, as though he’s arguing in their defense. His rants tend toward personal invective (“Anne isn’t going to make it by playing Queen Bitch”) or say what? assertions (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps‘s b.o. “has nothing to do with the future of studio dramas”). He doesn’t see why anyone would compare one studio drama with others that clearly drew audiences away from Wall Street 2: The Town and The Social Network.
And if a studio casts Shia LaBeouf in a movie in the hopes that younger audiences will turn up, and they don’t: that isn’t worth noting? Everyone knows that adults are tougher critics than younger audiences. Duh. So you argue with that conventional wisdom by bringing up stray counter-example Eat Pray Love, a picture starring Julia Roberts, who drew starving women’s audiences despite bad reviews?
If Poland wants to go after a story for not being thought-through and analytical enough, he might try take a little more time to craft a precise and well-written response.