Thursday, August 31, 2000

August 31, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

As promised, I have something special for you today to celebrate the release of the Magnolia & Boogie Nights Platinum Edition DVD's. Unless your a DVD geek, the name Mark Rance might not be a familiar one. Mark was an integral part of the New Line Platinum Edition DVD Series & has worked with PTA on each of his DVD releases. Paul asked Mark to document the making of Magnolia & the result was "That Moment". An intimate 74 minute look at the making of Magnolia. We spoke in depth on his relationship with PTA, making the documentary, recording & editing the commentary tracks & more! I'm very pleased to present this exclusive interview with one of the biggest supporters of the DVD format.
"Reliving That Moment With Mark Rance" - a cigarettes & coffee exclusive
PTA & company have sent me a few copies of the new Boogie Nights DVD & I will be having a new contest to win yours in the next few days. I'll return with more on Friday

Friday, August 25, 2000

August 25, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

Well, it looks like I sparked quite a bit of controversy over Wednesday's update. I had casually mentioned in Monday's update about a false, clever PTA story would be included in Wednesday's update, & I received dozens of emails claiming my Adam Sandler story was a hoax. Let me set the record straight. Hollywood Reporter did report that a PTA/Sandler project was in the works & I confirmed it. This much is true. As I said on Wednesday, things change by the second & until a studio, script, contracts, etc. are signed, this is not a done deal. PTA is truly fond of Adam & wants to work with him, let's hope this can get finalized & become a reality!
Now, where's the funny PTA story that caused all this uproar? I found this "mock" news story while doing a random search one day & thought it was cleverly done. You judge for yourself. The source of the story is The story is below:
It's not too late to enter the PTA DVD Contest! I've been receiving a good number of entries in the past few days ranging from photography, short films, Haiku, artwork, essays, poetry, paper mache & various arts & crafts items. The deadline is Monday, August 28, so please have all entries postmarked by that date. For more details on the contest, click on the link at the top of the page.
I'm skipping the usual Flashback Friday segment as I'm preparing a real special treat for the site to celebrate the release of Magnolia on DVD Tuesday. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. 

Philip Michael Thomas claims "Three-Name Racism" against Paul Thomas Anderson
by Otis Cribble
Former "Miami Vice" star Philip Michael Thomas announced that he may sue "Magnolia" director Paul Thomas Anderson, among others, for what the actor terms "blatant discrimination against three-named 'Philip' actors of color."
In a statement released to the media after a largely incoherent press conference inside an abandoned Planet Hollywood, Mr. Thomas contended that portly redhead Philip Seymour Hoffman and crusty, water-eyed Phillip Baker Hall, both Caucasian, have cornered the market on three-named "Philip" casting.
Resplendent in a tattered turquoise jacket with matching linen pants and a pastel T-shirt, Thomas pointed out that Anderson had also employed both actors in his films "Hard Eight" and "Boogie Nights," while neglecting to even call in 1986 Golden Globe nominee Thomas for a reading.
"You do the math," snorted the man who also gave the world the delightful pop LP "Living the Book of My Life." "That's three movies, six parts, eighteen names. And the coldest part is, this Anderson cat is a three-namer too, which rules out that angle. So you know it's gotta be racism."
Officials at the Los Angeles headquarters of TNAG (the Three-Named Actors Guild) were taken off guard by news of Thomas's statement and threatened litigation. Junior vice president Zachary Ty Bryan conferred briefly with legal counsel F. Lee Bailey and three-named-actor-playin'-district-attorney Lara Flynn Boyle before issuing a terse statement: "Although PMT pays his dues and was a key figure in the Credit Shrinking Battle of '89, we cannot support his recent actions, and do not wish them to reflect on the good three names of our members."
Fellow triply-dubbed thesp Hoffman was unavailable for comment because he is in the midst of shooting seven films. And the flinty, multi-monikered Baker Hall claimed this whole thing has nothing to do with him since he spells his name with two l's. "The regular way," he snarled, "not like some goddamn British croquet flamer."
Mr. Thomas claims that his last legitimate chance at work was when he won a small role on a 1996 episode of "Nash Bridges." "It was a coin flip between me and Chong for the part, and I kicked his ass," Thomas recounted happily. But those days are long gone, he said. "There's always been a lot of pressure to just be Philip Thomas. Then the work would be rolling in," he chuckled. "But I'm not going out like that. They don't think a brother's good enough to carry three names? Check this out—Billy Dee Williams. Oh yeah, and Martin Luther King, too."
Anderson's response to Thomas's allegations was typical of the young auteur. Although his reply was a simple "No comment," it took 3 hours and 18 minutes to say, and was lip-synched by five different actors.

Wednesday, August 23, 2000

August 23, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

I'm please to announce that PTA's next film should be the much talked about collaboration with Adam Sandler. The story was leaked by the Hollywood Reporter & you can read their comments below. There really are no specifics at this time (including a studio), but New Line seems the likely place based on Paul & Adam's history with the studio. Just remember that things can change at anytime & this is far from a done deal. I've been sworn to secrecy on this issue for many months, but I can tell you that PTA has been extremely busy writing the script specifically for Adam. I'm sure you've read the many comments that PTA has made about working with Adam (if not, see the Articles & Interviews section), so this shouldn't come as much of shock to anyone who reads the site. When I'm able to share more details, you'll hear it here.
Anderson, Sandler in talks to team up on comedy 
Paul Thomas Anderson and Adam Sandler are in discussions to join forces on a feature comedy project that Anderson wrote and will direct with Sandler possibly starring, sources said. The move seems very un-Anderson, considering that the filmmaker has been prone to three-hour dramatic epics, most recently "Magnolia." But sources said Anderson has been honing his comedic skills during the past year by writing for "Saturday Night Live" and recently finishing his comedy script. Now that the project is ready to find a home, New Line Cinema, which released Anderson's "Boogie Nights" and "Magnolia," will naturally get the first look. The studio also has a long-standing relationship with Sandler, who has a two-picture deal there.
Courtesy of the Hollywood Reporter - 8/23/00
In other casting news, Variety is reporting that Melora Walters will star in Rain for executive producer Martin Scorsese & director Katherine Lindberg. It centers on a woman who kills her husband & has an affair with a man who turns out to be her son she gave up for adoption. It's nice to see Melora get some attention as she was the standout (in my opinion) as Claudia in Magnolia. I'm still working on that interview with her & I will keep you posted on my progress.
Magnolia remained strong on the VHS rental chart for the week ending August 13th. It maintained its 5th place position, earning 5.52 million in weekly rental revenue. 
I'll return Friday with more exciting news to celebrate the Magnolia DVD release next week!

Monday, August 21, 2000

August 21, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

In some better late than never news, Ghoulardi's JoAnne Sellar will produce the new film for Fine Line entitled The Anniversary Party. It was co-written & will be co-directed by close PTA friend, Jennifer Jason Leigh. The ensemble cast may include John C. Reilly among others & should hit theaters in early 2001. Click here for the full press release.
Fiona Apple's latest import CD single for Paper Bag includes all three PTA directed music videos from her When the Pawn... release. These videos are playable on your PC & MAC. Here's the front & back cover.
The August PTA DVD Pick of the Month is now available to your left. Of course, this month, we would focus on the long overdue 70's classic Nashville. This is the first time it's been available in widescreen & includes a Robert Altman interview & commentary track. It's a can't miss. Just click on the cover, if you would like to order it from (a new affiliate of the site, if you can't tell...).
I'll return on Wednesday with a cleverly written "false" PTA news story & more!

Friday, August 18, 2000

August 18, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

I'm going to take a different approach on today's edition of Flashback Friday. Burt Reynolds was recently interviewed for the September issue of FHM (For Him Magazine) & had some interesting comments. Watch how he carefully dodges the second question.
When you were researching your role for Boogie Nights, did you go to any porno sets?
Yeah, it's depressing. I knew some directors in that business, if you can call them that, guys who just turned left at the hard-on. They're never going to get out of it and the illusion that they will is a great tragedy. I knew this one director who was always saying, "I'm gonna get my shot. I'm gonna get my shot." And I'm thinking, "You poor guy, do you really think Spielberg's going to get sick one day and they're going to call you?"
There was a rumor that you and Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson didn't quite see eye-to-eye. What do you think of all these young hot directors today?
They amaze me. I haven't seen them in theater or in cancelled television shows, so where they learned how to be so good, I don't know. Today there's no place to fail. When I was starting out, nobody cared if you failed on Sea Hunt. Bad television is where I learned how to act. I think I'm only the actor around today who's been cancelled by all three networks!

Monday, August 14, 2000

August 14, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

I've discovered a great interview with John C. Reilly conducted in early 1997 for the release of Hard Eight. It's the first interview with John during that era on the site & it's a good one. There's also newly added hard to find reviews of the film by Bob Strauss (L.A. Daily News), Michael Medved (NY Post), Stephen Holden (NY Times) & J. Hoberman (Village Voice). You can check them out in the Hard Eight Critical Response section.
NBC will be showing the Ben Affleck/Fiona Apple Saturday Night Live rerun on Saturday, August 26th. This episode featured the PTA written & directed MTV FANatic short. For more info on the short, check out the Short Films section of the site

The Odds on Hard Eight
Actor John C. Reilly talks about how a little naiveté will go a long way
The title of the film "Hard Eight" is taken from a bet on a particular roll of the dice in craps; a "hard eight" is rolling double fours. In this film, a roll of the dice is also a metaphor for life.
"Hard Eight" is set entirely in casinos, restaurants and hotels, transmitting a feeling of transience that is reflected in the rootlessness of the characters. It opens in a coffee house where an aging, gentlemanly looking gambler named Sydney (Philip Baker Hall) meets young, down-and-out John (John C. Reilly). Sydney takes John under his wing - among other things, helping him arrange his mother's funeral - and two years later, they're together in Reno. There, Sydney befriends Clementine (Gwyneth Paltrow), a cocktail waitress and fledgling prostitute. Meanwhile, John is hanging out with Jimmy (Samuel L. Jackson), a fast-talking security guard who just doesn't get along with Sydney.
Reilly said his own life has some similarities to that of John, the character he plays. Reilly's father died just prior to shooting the film, and Reilly's best friend is a man in his 50s. Reilly also admits to going through a stage in his life like that of his unworldly, trusting alter ego.
"I still am kind of a naive person," he said. "But you know, a little bit of naiveté is good. [Filmmakers] keep seeming to cast me in these parts where I'm incredibly naive or innocent. I think I'm a pretty savvy customer. . . . It's probably because I usually take people at face value. I think it's positive, though, to be kind of naive. It makes it a lot easier to get out of bed in the morning, anyway!"
Although Reilly has had small parts in "Hoffa," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The River Wild" and "Dolores Claiborne," John in "Hard Eight" is his first major role.
"Hard Eight" is also the feature film debut of writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson. Reilly met Anderson at the Sundance Filmmaker's Lab, a forum where first-time writer-directors work with professional actors and technicians. At this time, Anderson was "getting his [directing] feet wet," Reilly said.
"We'd take little trips up to Reno and Vegas, Paul and I," he said. "We'd have different read-throughs and rehearsals. Paul just loves to get me going, improvising one thing or another. Paul has a knack for capturing the little interesting details in people's behavior. He would take something I did and go, 'Oh that's great, that's great, what you just did,' and he would put it into the script. So I had to be careful, after a while, what I did in front of Paul."
After having worked with high-profile directors such as Woody Allen ("Shadows and Fog") and Brian DePalma ("Casualties of War"), Reilly described working with first-timer Anderson as "different in a good way."
"He's got a real freshness and energy," he said. "Part of that comes with it being his first time. He's a natural at directing. He has a real intuitive sense of the actors, and he's a very sensitive person. When it comes to emotional stuff he could sense what's going on. He could tell when he wanted to do another take - what to say, which is rare. Most importantly, he's a good audience. There has to be one person somewhere in that crowd or behind the camera who's really engaged in what you're doing and is really excited and listening, and Paul is definitely that. He loves to watch actors act."
Reilly has just wrapped up a role in Anderson's second film, "Boogie Nights," which is about the adult film industry.
In "Hard Eight," Reilly co-stars with seasoned actors like Jackson and Hall, as well as Paltrow, who plays his love interest.
"Gwyneth is a really fun person to be with," Reilly said. "She has so much energy and she's a very quick wit. She's one of those people [that] if you say something stupid, she'll nail you."
Although Paltrow has recently received much media attention for her role in "Emma" (among other things), she was a relative unknown when "Hard Eight" began filming. Of the seven films she had completed, only one had been released.
"At the time that we shot the movie it was a really exciting time for her [because] she was really just starting to come into her own," Reilly said. "The only film of hers that had been released at that point was, I think, 'Flesh and Bone.' So she was really just kind of exploding onto the scene at that point."
Reilly felt that the role of Clementine is one of the few Paltrow has had that is equal to her talents.
"A lot of people would get caught up in that stuff - the publicity, all the attention - but she, at the bottom of it all, is a really good actress and knows why she's in the business to begin with," he said. "And all this other stuff, this publicity and everything, I think just serves that purpose . . . that her acting is what it's all about."
Because he was the only bankable cast member at the time, Samuel L. Jackson helped the film obtain financing. Reilly described Jackson as a great storyteller.
"We traded back and forth location horror stories from making movies," he said. "He's just a very positive, easygoing person [and a] very funny actor."
Jackson's character, Jimmy, is a flashy gangster type who precipitates the film's explosiveness, and not only because his character is the only one who owns any firearms.
Knowledgeable, distinguished and well-spoken, John's mentor, Sydney, is the polar opposite of Jimmy. Sydney is played by Hall, a veteran of many television and film roles, including one in Robert Altman's "Secret Honor."
Reilly described Hall the person as very similar to Sydney the character: "After a while, he and I developed a relationship similar to the one we have in the movie. Philip is like the eye of the storm. When the shit is hitting the fan, Philip is the one calm person in all of it. It was like all these people running around trying to pull this miracle off, and Philip really relaxed people. He's a very wise person."
Given that "Hard Eight" is a writer-director's debut and features few high-profile stars, one could consider it a miracle that the film ever got off the ground. But Reilly disagreed that "Hard Eight" is a special case.
"Every film's a miracle," he said. "Every turn there's a million things that could go wrong, from the very beginning of the film to the very end."

Friday, August 11, 2000

August 11, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

Magnolia debuts at Number 4 on the Top 25 VHS Rental charts according to National Rental Revenue earning 7.22 million in rental revenue. It was also the 5th most rented title of the week. These numbers are for the week ending July 30th. I will keep you updated on its success in the wonderful world of VHS.
There's an interesting article from the Toledo Blade which discusses the evolution of the modern musical. They mention Magnolia frequently & there's multiple quotes from PTA. (Thanks Paul Bean!)
If you somehow missed the great Q & A that Roger Ebert did with PTA in 1997, it's spotlighted in today's edition of Flashback Friday. He touches on Hard Eight, but most of the discussion surrounds Boogie Nights. PTA even pulls a fast one on Roger about the famous last shot in the film. 

Wednesday, August 09, 2000

August 9, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

There's good news & bad news in the world of PTA DVD today. Let's start with the good. DVD File has the first review of the new Boogie Nights DVD & it includes all the features that were previously mentioned here. I have also added some screenshots of the menu (courtesy of DVD Angle & New Line). Since this early check disc was released to a few select sites, New Line has opted to remove the excerpts of the John Holmes Exhausted documentary. This was done a deal. What happened? Well, this is not gospel, but it's my best guess.
Julia St. Vincent, director of Exhausted, was not happy with the use of Exhausted on the Criterion LaserDisc. The use of the footage supposedly fell into a gray area & she was unable to stop it. Since DVD is much more mainstream than LaserDisc was, Julia threatened New Line with a lawsuit unless they could settle on a fee for the documentary. The last I heard, the deal was settled & the documentary would be included. Now, New Line is saying that it won't happen. It's too bad something couldn't be worked out. It's great to see some of the inspiration for Boogie & hear PTA speak about it on the alternate commentary track. It looks like the Criterion LaserDisc's will still have some value. 
Click here to view the menu screens for the double disc Boogie Nights DVD
I've been busy digging through the great new Magnolia DVD. Just some quick thoughts. The packaging is great, the outtakes are a treat & the documentary is very insightful (I only wish it was longer & a tad louder....). You won't be disappointed & I don't want to spoil it for you. Trust me, it's been worth the wait.

Friday, August 04, 2000

August 4, 2000

Archived update from Cigarettes & Coffee, run by Greg Mariotti & CJ Wallis from 1999-2005

Today's edition of Flashback Friday is an interesting one. The wonderful Australian magazine Film Ink ran a great interview with PTA in March 1998 for Boogie Nights. They also ran a cover story on Magnolia in the March 2000 issue & planned to interview PTA for it. Unfortunately, Paul cancelled his Australian press tour & FilmInk was forced to used bits & pieces of the 1998 interview that were not used. Their editor, Erin Free, was kind enough to send me the uncut, full transcript for that interview. They are fans of the site & I really appreciate their contribution.