It is never a good sign when studios release a film without screening it for the press first. It is a tacit admission that the picture is such a stink burger that not even the easiest of critics who flip over backwards at just about anything that flickers across the silver screen – I’m looking at you, Peter Travers – would be willing to say anything good about it. This coming weekend sees the release of three films, none of which I believe are getting shown in advance- Disaster Movie, College and Babylon A. D..
While it was fairly obvious months ago that the “comedies” Disaster Movie and College were probably going to be quick dumps into theaters to grab as much cash as they can before word of mouth sinks them, there had been some hope for the Vin Diesel-starring action flick Babylon A. D.. That is until the film’s director Mathieu Kassovitz gave an exclusive interview to AMC’s SciFi Scanner detailing the level of interference he received from studio 20th Century Fox.
I’m very unhappy with the film. I never had a chance to do one scene the way it was written or the way I wanted it to be. The script wasn’t respected. Bad producers, bad partners, it was a terrible experience.
Kassovitz goes on to describe the vision he had for the film, adapted from a French novel by Maurice Georges Dantec, and how that vision was compromised at nearly ever turn by the studio. It is a fascinating read, and, in a time when most interviews are merely an exercise in shilling one’s latest product, it is refreshingly and excitingly candid.