Todd Phillips hates snarky blog headlines (…I typed in a snarky blog headline)

Senior Editor
11.02.10 29 Comments

Not to give too much press to the competition (or are they colleagues? Eh…), but Todd Phillips recently did an interview with Movieline, and things got a little… awkward.  And by that, I mean he told them he hated their website before the interview even began.

Thanks for taking the time to do this.
This is for Movieline?

This website’s the worst, but, all right, let’s do it.

Oh, no. Why do you say that?
No, honestly, I’m teasing, but you guys just hate every movie. So it’s like, “Ugh, really, I have to do this and open myself up to some snarky, clever title?” You know what I mean? There are movie sites that love movies and there are movie sites that are just bitter people that just hate movies. I find Movieline to be in the latter. The tone is bizarrely hateful.

I hesitate to interrupt a conversation this entertaining, but I will say this: not that I’m disagreeing with Phillips on this particular site, but I don’t like the way the whole “some people love movies, some people don’t” argument usually gets worded. I love movies. I also recognize that 85% of them suck. That’s just the nature of movies. Actually, it might just be the nature of things. That most things kind of suck is what makes things that don’t so awesome. A guy like Pete Hammond, who spouts hacky, asinine words of “praise” in exchange for frozen herring, does not “love movies.” I’m not sure he actually even watches them beyond seeing the trailers and composing a couple d*ck-fisted soundbites.  And to me, that seems much more disrespectful. < / Earnest Bear >

Really? I wouldn’t call it hateful at all.
In print. You’re right, in person I’ve only had great experiences with [the writers]. And I’m not even talking about my own personal things, I’m saying that when I go on that site and read about other movies, it just seems like one of those sites.


Is it tough coming back for a sequel to The Hangover? I mean, these guys wind up in this impossible situation in the first one. Is it hard to find a way for something else crazy to happen to these four guys or does it just flow like it did the first time?
Well, it’s been flowing for us and it’s not necessarily going to follow the same idea. We’re in the middle of making that movie, but I think people are going to be surprised with how much of a… How do I put this without getting some f*cking snarky feedback in the headline?

I swear I wasn’t going to ask anything more about Mel Gibson situation…
Oh boy, here we go.

Do you think it’s true that any press is good press?
No, I don’t! I don’t subscribe to that at all. Particularly in comedy filmmaking where so much of what we do relies on surprise. So, no, I don’t believe any press is good press. And I don’t mean that I’m talking about from a PR stand, like this is bad for the image of The Hangover. I’m talking more about comedy just works better when you’re taking people by surprise, not talking about it on a blog six months before we even shoot a scene. You know what I mean?


I just feel, tonally speaking, how movies have a certain tone or comedies have a certain tone, I feel like websites do have a tone. And the tone of the Movieline website seems very high school to me. Does that make sense? I’m not telling you to agree or not, I’m just saying that’s where that is coming from. [Movieline]

As far as blog tones go, high school would be a great complement for Perez Hilton, who spends his days drawing “doody head” on celebrities’ pictures while typing extraneous exclamation points with his flippers. And anyway, I think what Todd Phillips is describing is less “high school” than it is “freshman gender studies major at Sarah Lawrence.” That may sound like the pot shouting the N-word on the kettle’s answering machine, but here at FilmDrunk, if we have a tone, it’s clearly the Brown Note.

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