The Shia & Megan Drama

Real simple… Megan Fox was NOT dumped from Trannys 3 for saying that Michael Bay wanted to be like Hitler. Bay is a lot of things, but he’s not thin-skinned in that particular way.

Megan Fox may turn out, someday, to be more than an on-screen piece of ass. There are hints that she is a conceptual thinker. But right now, that is what she is – especially in this franchise – and a fresh piece of ass, in the great horrible tradition of Hollywood, is called for. She is, in movie terms, now too old for the role.

Shia LaBeouf is an odd movie thing. He’s been in 3 worldwide blockbusters in 3 years, all of which relied on him for box office in any way. Eagle EyeDisturbia each did more business than expected, for which he certainly can take some credit. But is he a major box office stat? There is no strong indication, one way or the other. He’s Harrison Ford, in a way, in that Ford never really proved himself a box office draw of any weight until after all 3 Star Wars and 2 of the 3 Indiana Jones films were out. And then, starting with Witness, we started to see what he would become on his own head of steam. Shia’s box office story has not yet really begin to be written.

In any case, there is a BIG difference between being a truth-teller and being someone who gets a rep for biting the hand that feeds them. There is honesty. And there is stupidity.

This, friends, is stupidity.

Comparing it, as Patrick Goldstein does, to whistleblowers and war protesters, is a bit of a reach.

This is an issue of common courtesy… well, more than common, since without Michael Bay there is no boldfaced Megan Fox and without Spielberg, Shia LaBeouf is still hoping to get Holes 2 and is best known for being on Project Greenlight.

And as hypocritical as Deadline Hollywood is, in so many ways, does Patrick Goldstein really get to call anyone out for logrolling from the ultimate self-protectionist environs of the LA Times? Seriously… traditional-journalist-turned-blogger heal thyself.

The only reason Nikki Finke is still able to publish is that the industry allows her to because she is of use to so many. She is the greatest kind of lay-down… the kind that appears to the public to be not only independent, but utterly uncontrollable… the exact opposite of the truth, if you are the top exec at a company and want her in your camp. Staff… even senior staff… still get shit on daily. But the bosses want Nikki to keep doing their dirty work, so they let their employees suffer the indignity of Nikki’s insanity.

No one but a boss or someone closely aligned with a boss could survive that behavior… because there is no perceived payoff for it internally. Yes, there is kinds of bad behavior. But if your boss at a studio thinks you are not on their team, you’re soon to go away.

And that is why Nikki is in the position she is in right now… because she can do what others – people who actually control purse strings and jobs – dare not… and she gets away with it. The more she gets away with it, the more people indulge her. Quite literally a vicious circle.

Back on the talent side, i have had this conversation many, many times with high-end actors and writers and directors who were considering slicing into the studios or even producers they were working for. And in the end, each of them got it… it’s suicide.

Studios have, say, 15 slots a year, and 200 movies that actively want the slots. Except for Will Smith, Angelina Jolie, Vince Vaughn, and sometimes Johny Depp, there are no irreplaceable actors… even movie stars. So if you are running the studio, who would you hire? The kid who you turned into a worldwide star by putting him in your three massive franchises and his one other $100 million grosser, but who thinks it’s “honest” to diss your work… or someone else who might actually not piss where he lives as though he was better than the people he works with?

“Telling the truth” about the people you work with in Hollywood is almost never about honor. It is almost always a massive form of self-indulgence. “Look how big my meat is! I can diss Spielberg! Or “I can tell fans that ‘We are going to do better next time,’ even though I will read whatever words they put in front of me for that 8 figure check.”

Of course, there is always cocktail/coffee chatter between friends and even off-the-record journos. And even then, it must be taken with a grain of salt because it is one perspective on a story. But it’s a very dangerous game because if word gets back to the higher-up and they believe it to be true, forget about the next deal/job/favor/what-have-you.

And there is this… Patrick and others agree with the “truths” offered by Ms Fox and Mr LaBeouf. What if he and others did not agree with the “truths?” This is one of my mega-peeves at the media right now… too many things are being vetted or shot down because of the personal tastes or relationships of the journalists. Things are not facts because we agree with them in our gut.

Regardless, attacking the people who hand you giant sums of money is not smart in Hollywood. And really, it’s not good behavior either.

Need we be reminded about what happened to Gary Oldman when he went up against Spielberg privately and publicly? Now, his comments were much nastier than LaBeouf’s or Fox’s. And the decade in studio movie prison he spent for the bad behavior – 4 years before a single role of any size in a studio movie (Potter and then Nolan’s Batman films)… 6 more before he got a role big enough to advertise (The Book of Eli) – was perhaps too great a punishment for being a jerk and having a bit of a lunatic as his manager. But pay it he did.

Tony Kaye went after New Line publicly over American History X and hasn’t worked for an American studio since.

Both men are massive talents. Both men dug their own graves… from which both are still reemerging.

Finally, need I point out… Shia LaBeouf was in Transformers and Transformers 2. He’s about to do Trannys 3. Neither of the first films was, objectively, much better, if better at all, than Indy 4.

Hopefully, Wall Street 2 will be the best film of his career, which would make a total of maybe 4 good films out of 25 or so he’s made. At this point, the guy is, as my sister would say, all beans, no franks.

Should people be enraged by these “truths” being spoken? Why would anyone waste their times caring about what either one of these kids has to say? They’re not talking world peace… they’re talking movie smack. Yawn.

But is it good behavior… smart behavior… even fully truthful behavior? Not so much.

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~ by ByteloveBlogs on July 17, 2010.

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