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David Poland vs. TOH

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 20, 2010 at 7:46AM

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.
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Thompson on Hollywood

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.

This article is related to: Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Stuck In Love, Box Office, Media, Oliver Stone, Wall Street, Sequel, Bloggers


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.