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Thread: MZ's Movie Review Thread

  1. #451
    Team Rick MinionZombie's Avatar
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    Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016):
    http://deadshed.blogspot.co.uk/2016/...016-level.html

    In the storm of, frankly hysterical, critical backlash, let's take a level-headed look at the flick...

  2. #452
    Webmaster Neil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    Suicide Squad (David Ayer, 2016):
    http://deadshed.blogspot.co.uk/2016/...016-level.html

    In the storm of, frankly hysterical, critical backlash, let's take a level-headed look at the flick...
    So don't go in expecting too much, and you'll be satisfied?
    Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. [click for more]
    -Carl Sagan

  3. #453
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil View Post
    So don't go in expecting too much, and you'll be satisfied?
    Sensible expectations - don't get all hyped up, there are flaws and there's room for improvement, but the slamming it has had from the critics is just silly - it's a fun movie for the summer. It's not about hand-wringing brooding in a dark corner, rather it's like a comic book brought to life in style and form (Ayer is a fan of the comics, so he stays true to the vibe of what a comic book feels like but in movie form here).

    Don't expect too much Joker, though - I think, quite rightly, he's more of a supporting player that pops in and out here. Likewise, Batman turns up 3 or 4 times in brief bits - again, akin to how he apparently pops in and out of the comics.

    There's undoubtedly problems with it, but many of the issues can be found in a bunch of other movies too (e.g. third act effects overload) - but it's just bloody good fun. Greater than the sum of its parts, perhaps. I really enjoyed it and I'll definitely be getting the Blu-Ray.

  4. #454
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    Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Extended Cut):
    http://deadshed.blogspot.co.uk/2016/...pping-boy.html

    I put some thoughts together...

    For those who have seen both versions, how did your opinion change in reaction to the extended cut?

  5. #455
    crackin' eggs of wisdom bassman's Avatar
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    Great read as always MZ!

    As for having seen both edits of BvS, the extended cut is by far superior. The theatrical cut has many abrupt edits that just wreak of last minute tampering(Snyder has even said it was the bosses at the studio), while the extended edit essentially fills those plot points back into the narrative, becomes a much more coherent and smooth edit, and also adds a bit more weight to the ultimate showdown.

    Hopefully this doesn't become common practice with the head honchos of WB. Out of the three DC Universe films thus far, the studio has demanded heavy edits of both BvS and Suicide Squad for the theatrical release, essentially hurting the directors vision for the sake of being able to squeeze in an extra showtime per day....

  6. #456
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassman View Post
    Great read as always MZ!

    As for having seen both edits of BvS, the extended cut is by far superior. The theatrical cut has many abrupt edits that just wreak of last minute tampering(Snyder has even said it was the bosses at the studio), while the extended edit essentially fills those plot points back into the narrative, becomes a much more coherent and smooth edit, and also adds a bit more weight to the ultimate showdown.

    Hopefully this doesn't become common practice with the head honchos of WB. Out of the three DC Universe films thus far, the studio has demanded heavy edits of both BvS and Suicide Squad for the theatrical release, essentially hurting the directors vision for the sake of being able to squeeze in an extra showtime per day....
    Thanks, bassman.

    Yeah, when you've got near-three-hour films like The Hateful Eight playing in cinemas, and with BvS' extended cut being the superior version, there's no real reason to not show the full cut in cinemas - except, as you say, to cram in one more showing. But really, with this cut being superior, they might have saved themselves a lot of critical backlash with the more coherent edit going into cinemas.

    On the other hand, though, I think BvS is doing very well on the home video market in terms of sales. So to Hollywood execs that'll continue to justify such an approach.

    I'd love to see an extended cut of Suicide Squad (despite Ayer saying the theatrical version is his edit of the movie ... I wonder if there's a bit of strategy in that to try and calm things down a bit?) - it is a bit cheeky how much stuff was in the trailer that never made it into the film, and objectively it could use a little tidying up. Being that Suicide Squad was only just over two hours long, they can't use the 'too long for cinemas' excuse.

    I wouldn't be surprised (and would be very pleased) if there was an extended cut release on home video. At the very least we should get a good slab of deleted scenes.

  7. #457
    Chasing Prey shootemindehead's Avatar
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    'Batman v Superman' made pretty good money as far as anyone should be concerned. It might not have made a billion, but even at that it's done great business.

    I think in a few years time, both that and 'Man of Steel' will be looked back on with better eyes. I still can't get my head around all the negative nonsense it received on release. Some of it was just silly.
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    While I don't doubt that BvS made it's money back, it simply wasn't the blockbuster hit that WB wanted it to be. The reasons are obvious to anyone who has seen the film. But one can't help but wonder if WB is going about this Superhero movie business all wrong.

    Out of the three "DCEU" films so far, they all three suffer from;

    - Being set in dull, drab and lifeless enviroments
    - Being dark for no real reason except for some kind of desperate attempt to differentiate itself from Marvel and connect itself to Nolan's superior Batman films
    - Being very dumb (which works if you're a film that can laugh it off, but doesn't work if you're trying to be very serious about it)
    - Heavily affected by studio interference

    "I worked in a factory owned by Germans, at coal pits owned by Frenchmen, and at a chemical plant owned by Belgians. There I discovered something about capitalists. They are all alike, whatever the nationality. All they wanted from me was the most work for the least money that kept me alive. So I became a Communist." - Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв

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  9. #459
    Chasing Prey shootemindehead's Avatar
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    They're superhero films. Dumb is their middle name. There's nothing more dumb in those films than can be found in any of the comics TBH, or the Marvel films for that matter. In fact, I found that 'Batman vs Superman' played out very much like a comic. More so than a lot of Marvel films.

    I don't really know what people are expecting here. I, for one, liked the gritty take on Superman. It made sense. Batman has been gritty since Nolan's go and Batfleck did a pretty good job. A job I was firmly against when I first heard about it. My issues with BvS was the producers trying to make it an opener for a Justice League series (it didn't need that) and the Doomsday ending. That just felt awkward and added to an unnecessary extra length. Also, Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor didn't ever feel that right to me.

    I honestly wouldn't mind seeing the serious take on the subject matter continue. Tacking on some stupid humour to these films won't make it any more appealing to people, I don't think. The polarising will still continue.

    The biggest problem Warner Bros. has is that they don't know where their direction is, but they still insist on interfering with the director's vision and it doesn't bode well. They need to either give the directors the room they need to create, or just hire yes men who don't care what the finished thing looks like.
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  10. #460
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootemindehead View Post
    'Batman v Superman' made pretty good money as far as anyone should be concerned. It might not have made a billion, but even at that it's done great business.

    I think in a few years time, both that and 'Man of Steel' will be looked back on with better eyes. I still can't get my head around all the negative nonsense it received on release. Some of it was just silly.
    Agreed. Although, yeah, being a studio they'd want to make more money than they did. They could have made a 'cheaper' film (for one thing - shorter and more focused, and therefore not so costly) and seen a better return on their investment. I also find the advertising budgets to be utterly obscene - especially in this day and age of social media word of mouth, the whole 'viral marketting' thing. I bet there's so much going on in terms of 'inflated budgets' when it comes to advertising.

    Quote Originally Posted by shootemindehead View Post
    I don't really know what people are expecting here. I, for one, liked the gritty take on Superman. It made sense. Batman has been gritty since Nolan's go and Batfleck did a pretty good job. A job I was firmly against when I first heard about it. My issues with BvS was the producers trying to make it an opener for a Justice League series (it didn't need that) and the Doomsday ending. That just felt awkward and added to an unnecessary extra length. Also, Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor didn't ever feel that right to me.

    The biggest problem Warner Bros. has is that they don't know where their direction is, but they still insist on interfering with the director's vision and it doesn't bode well. They need to either give the directors the room they need to create, or just hire yes men who don't care what the finished thing looks like.
    Yes, I wouldn't say they're just being gritty for the sake of it, but that's just where they're coming from.

    It can be done well, but it can also be done poorly. The major plus, though, with being grittier is that there's genuine peril for the heroes - people might die, and some characters do die ... Marvel, on the other hand, is safe as houses. Everyone's gonna be fine in that no matter what odds they're facing. Hell, the one time they did kill someone - Agent Coulson - they brought him back to life via some mumbo jumbo for Agents of Shield! Whereas in BvS, that bomb at the senate hearing really took me by surprise - there is some life or death risks going on in the DC flicks. Marvel's movies, as hugely entertaining as they are, have no peril in them whatsoever because nobody good ever dies. The DC villains tend to be better, too.

    I suppose with Doomsday they needed to have some kind of threat from Luthor that would actually be strong enough to take on Superman and Batman (and, as it turns out, Wonder Woman), because any one of them could dispense with Luthor himself without breaking a sweat ... but yes, it does make the structure of the film messier, but I did enjoy the bombast of it all and seeing those three characters fighting together on screen. You're absolutely right about something else you said, too - BvS does feel like a comic book, and I'd also say that Suicide Squad feels like a comic book as well. Many of the shots in those films feel just like splash pages in a comic book. The Marvel movies are undoubtedly movies (bar the odd 'splash page shot' - e.g. the famous one from Age of Ultron), while the DC films do seem to stray closer to the feel of their source material more both in presentation and storytelling terms ... now, this method has problems, but there's also good to come of that.

    I also agree that WB need to sort themselves out - and it seems like maybe they are. I forget the guy's name, but they've essentially hired their version of Kevin Feige to oversee the DCEU (they needed someone like that earlier, let's be honest). I don't think he had much say over Suicide Squad, but I think we'll feel the effect they have with Wonder Woman and everything that follows.

    The astonishing amount of bile thrown at BvS and SS by the critics was just soooooo over-done, especially with SS. Some of the things I saw written about that movie smacked of nothing more than trying to grab a headline so the writer could further their own public cache, rather than being honest and fair in their review, and ganging up on those movies seemed more like 'the in-thing to do'. Many of the criticisms levelled at the DC flicks could just as easily be levelled at the Marvel flicks, or different - but equally strong - criticisms could be made against the Marvel movies.

    It's best if a movie has a few flaws as possible, but even with their issues, BvS and SS were very entertaining and I thoroughly enjoyed them both. Ant-Man, as a random example, has a rubbish villain and is essentially just Iron Man all over again, but it was a really fun flick.
    Last edited by MinionZombie; 15-Aug-2016 at 04:07 PM.

  11. #461
    Chasing Prey shootemindehead's Avatar
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    I think there's a lot of kicking WB's DC stuff while it's down, tbh. 'Suicide Squad' doesn't look very good, I have to say. But, like BvS, some reviews are just mad. I think there are reviewers out there that are simply running in and taking a boot and then moving on. Although, if I eventually see it, I may stick the boot in myself. At the moment though, I have zero interest in it. It just looks like another meh Will Smith vehicle and if I never see another one of those, it'll be too soon.

    The thing about both 'Man of Steel' and 'Batman v Superman', is that I've seen them numerous times already. I can't say that about any Marvel film. They're just too throw away. They're all too "factory" and at the end of the film, I feel quite unsatisfied. I've them all except for 'Civil War' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. I have no interest in talking racoons or giant roots.

    I agree completely about the safety of Marvel films, which is probably why I find them boring in the main. I know nothing of consequence is going to happen and there is zero tension in watching any of them. So, there's no real drama to speak of. They all remain completely forgettable, even the ones I like (Iron Man and X-Men).

    I've probably said it before, though, I am sick to the back teeth of superhero films at this point. I think a lot of people are. We approaching a decade and a half of them in this run, if we count 'X-Men' as the beginning and they've largely been meh.
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  12. #462
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootemindehead View Post
    I think there's a lot of kicking WB's DC stuff while it's down, tbh. 'Suicide Squad' doesn't look very good, I have to say. But, like BvS, some reviews are just mad. I think there are reviewers out there that are simply running in and taking a boot and then moving on. Although, if I eventually see it, I may stick the boot in myself. At the moment though, I have zero interest in it. It just looks like another meh Will Smith vehicle and if I never see another one of those, it'll be too soon.

    The thing about both 'Man of Steel' and 'Batman v Superman', is that I've seen them numerous times already. I can't say that about any Marvel film. They're just too throw away. They're all too "factory" and at the end of the film, I feel quite unsatisfied. I've them all except for 'Civil War' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. I have no interest in talking racoons or giant roots.

    I agree completely about the safety of Marvel films, which is probably why I find them boring in the main. I know nothing of consequence is going to happen and there is zero tension in watching any of them. So, there's no real drama to speak of. They all remain completely forgettable, even the ones I like (Iron Man and X-Men).

    I've probably said it before, though, I am sick to the back teeth of superhero films at this point. I think a lot of people are. We approaching a decade and a half of them in this run, if we count 'X-Men' as the beginning and they've largely been meh.
    1) Suicide Squad - I think Will Smith actually fits in quite well with the ensemble cast, and if anything, Harley Quinn steals the entire movie. So I wouldn't be concerned with Will Smith taking over the entire film. He's definitely a big presence in general, but he doesn't get in the way at all.

    2) Interesting. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of my favourite Marvel films - but yes, even there there's little in the way of genuine peril. A couple of bit-parts cark it and a lot of faceless CGI pixels probably get killed when the big spaceship thingy crashes into that city, but even then I think the place was being evacuated, so ... but that was a thoroughly enjoyable film and, strangely enough for a flick with a talking racoon and tree in it, had a fair amount of heart.

    3) There has been an awful lot of superhero movies in the so far this century, undoubtedly ... they seem to be the dominant thing at the moment, they're the westerns of today if you will, as back in the day it was westerns constantly on the silver screen. I think there's a lot of good material out there in comic books to be dipped into, but there's a sore lack in general of brand new ideas and riskier screenplays (particularly from unknowns).

    These huge budget movies have an awful lot of pressure on them. They are big gambles. If they work then you're quids in, but if they don't then it's a big old disaster.

    We could really do with a 1970s style 'New Hollywood' movement to help balance out all these gigantic superhero movies. I enjoy most of them, but with all these TV shows about superheroes now as well (I don't personally watch any of them), it does feel like we're getting a bit swamped as a culture by superhero material. We could do with reigning it in a smidge - we don't need to do away with them, no sir, I quite enjoy many of them, but they're part of these 'blockbuster monoliths' that have sucked up almost all the money for mid-range budget films. Now there's so much at stake with all this focus on the opening weekend - it's ridiculous - there needs to be a re-balancing of the Hollywood system entirely, I feel. The most interesting writing seems to always be on telly now - the key? Take risks, try new ideas, get good writers!

  13. #463
    Chasing Prey shootemindehead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    1) Suicide Squad - I think Will Smith actually fits in quite well with the ensemble cast, and if anything, Harley Quinn steals the entire movie. So I wouldn't be concerned with Will Smith taking over the entire film. He's definitely a big presence in general, but he doesn't get in the way at all.
    I just can't stand Will Smith. Cos he's Will Smith. Doesn't matter if it's 5 minutes or 50. He'll still just be Will Smith.

    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    2) Interesting. Guardians of the Galaxy is one of my favourite Marvel films - but yes, even there there's little in the way of genuine peril. A couple of bit-parts cark it and a lot of faceless CGI pixels probably get killed when the big spaceship thingy crashes into that city, but even then I think the place was being evacuated, so ... but that was a thoroughly enjoyable film and, strangely enough for a flick with a talking racoon and tree in it, had a fair amount of heart.
    I don't know anything about the comics. But there is seriously nothing drawing me to view the film. If it happens to be on tele one day and I see it, that's when that will happen.

    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    3) There has been an awful lot of superhero movies in the so far this century, undoubtedly ... they seem to be the dominant thing at the moment, they're the westerns of today if you will, as back in the day it was westerns constantly on the silver screen. I think there's a lot of good material out there in comic books to be dipped into, but there's a sore lack in general of brand new ideas and riskier screenplays (particularly from unknowns).
    There probably is, but it doesn't and won't always travel to the screen well. Comics are a strange entertainment. Their stories are often stupid (or laced with some stupid) and you either have to go with them or close the book. Some are very straight faced ('The Walking Dead') and some are just WTF? ('Fables') and some should never be on TV or film. Some shouldn't exist at all. It's a medium that was aimed at 8 year olds originally and has morphed into something that tries to, weirdly, appeal to the widest demographic possible. So, while trying to appeal to a 40 something, it still retains elements of the childish. Again, you got to go with it or not bother. That's partly the reason why some people find it difficult to take to DC cinematic efforts. It largely jettisoned the nativity and brought in tension and drama. They expect Superman to be talking bollocks about phony nonsense like "truth, justice and the American way", when none of that crap is applicable any more to a post Vietnam/Iraq audience. I'm no Snyder fan in any way, but his troubled Superman, struggling with his powers, trying to understand his place and self appointed responsibilities on a world that doesn't entirely trust him (to say the least) is far more "realistic" and fresh to me, than a guy who wears his knickers over his tights and beats criminals over the head, in a totally non lethal manner of course.

    As for risky, Hollywood hasn't done that since the 70's.

    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    These huge budget movies have an awful lot of pressure on them. They are big gambles. If they work then you're quids in, but if they don't then it's a big old disaster.
    Then perhaps pairing back is in order? Or maybe a different focus is needed. Or maybe not expecting ridiculous revenue? Being "disappointed" because your film didn't make a billion is absurd. The money oriented approach is always set to fail sooner or later and Hollywood seems to very slow to see that. And while studios are offset by hits, to minimise their losses, one day the money approach will become so out of control that studios will fold.

    Quote Originally Posted by MinionZombie View Post
    We could really do with a 1970s style 'New Hollywood' movement to help balance out all these gigantic superhero movies. I enjoy most of them, but with all these TV shows about superheroes now as well (I don't personally watch any of them), it does feel like we're getting a bit swamped as a culture by superhero material. We could do with reigning it in a smidge - we don't need to do away with them, no sir, I quite enjoy many of them, but they're part of these 'blockbuster monoliths' that have sucked up almost all the money for mid-range budget films. Now there's so much at stake with all this focus on the opening weekend - it's ridiculous - there needs to be a re-balancing of the Hollywood system entirely, I feel. The most interesting writing seems to always be on telly now - the key? Take risks, try new ideas, get good writers!
    Yep, we really do. Sod the 30's. The 70's was the true golden age of Hollywood and it produced some wonderful pictures that repeatedly trounce a lot of today's output with great ease. Hollywood needs to face a serious bout of extinction anxiety in order to readjust their focus. Studios were facing bankruptcy, so they chucked scripts out to young hopefuls to try and stay afloat. Without that desperation there would have been no Coppola, Lucas, Spielberg, Friedkin or whatever you're having yourself.

    Just look at the disaster that was nu-ghostbusters. That, right there, says everything that is wrong with Hollywood at the moment.

    Imagine, for a second, how many original scripts have gotten binned because of that crap and Sony's efforts to secure a franchise to milk. It's a damn shame.

    The problem with the superhero stuff, though, is that it's just so by the numbers now. The viewer can almost guess every beat of a film before seeing it. It's become stale. It's also largely forgettable. I honestly cannot remember anything from the two Avengers films, except for Iron Man's joke about some guy playing games on that massive ship.

    True, writing on TV now beats a lot of films. Because TV networks can take the risk. If 'Stranger Things' was shite, they could simply move on and take the hit. If 'Fear the Walking Dead' doesn't get another series, AMC won't really care that much.

    Sony, however, is set to lose upwards of $100,000 million on their 'Ghostbusters' failure and the place is in meltdown. Will they learn their lesson though?

    Me arse they will.
    Last edited by shootemindehead; 15-Aug-2016 at 09:53 PM. Reason: cos I can't spell GDDAMMIT!
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  14. #464
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootemindehead View Post
    That's partly the reason why some people find it difficult to take to DC cinematic efforts. It largely jettisoned the nativity and brought in tension and drama. They expect Superman to be talking bollocks about phony nonsense like "truth, justice and the American way", when none of that crap is applicable any more to a post Vietnam/Iraq audience. I'm no Snyder fan in any way, but his troubled Superman, struggling with his powers, trying to understand his place and self appointed responsibilities on a world that doesn't entirely trust him (to say the least) is far more "realistic" and fresh to me, than a guy who wears his knickers over his tights and beats criminals over the head, in a totally non lethal manner of course.

    Being "disappointed" because your film didn't make a billion is absurd. The money oriented approach is always set to fail sooner or later and Hollywood seems to very slow to see that. And while studios are offset by hits, to minimise their losses, one day the money approach will become so out of control that studios will fold.

    Yep, we really do. Sod the 30's. The 70's was the true golden age of Hollywood and it produced some wonderful pictures that repeatedly trounce a lot of today's output with great ease. Hollywood needs to face a serious bout of extinction anxiety in order to readjust their focus. Studios were facing bankruptcy, so they chucked scripts out to young hopefuls to try and stay afloat. Without that desperation there would have been no Coppola, Lucas, Spielberg, Friedkin or whatever you're having yourself.
    Yep. You've gotta represent the times in which you're situated - sometimes folks can go too far with being 'tough and gritty' in a post 9/11 world, but at the same time you've got to reflect that. Get the balance right, and I think they've generally done that with Cavill's Superman, and it works and makes sense for the time. Even Captain America's got a furrowed brow and has to deal with the moral grey areas of the 21st century - the simple "good guys and bad guys" of WW2 is long gone.

    Agreed - failing to cross a billion dollars being considered a failure is just crazy. The numbers are getting so big now, and the expectations that go with them - budgets and box office - and yet they're obsessed with the opening weekend. They're so quick to judge, too, in the media - remember when Jurassic World came out? It didn't kick off so hot in the first day or two and the story was "MAJOR LOSS INCOMING!!!", but then positive word of mouth saw it do gangbusters money and all of a sudden the story was "BOX OFFICE HIT!!!" ... the movie itself is alright and fun enough, but it's nowhere near the quality of the original (nowhere near). The vast numbers are just daft, and with the decline of 3D (and the inflated ticket prices associated with it) and you're getting a squeeze coming down the pipeline - that's probably a considerable reason why Star Wars 7 couldn't best Avatar, simply because not enough folks saw it in 3D (the stats say as much). It's all a bit on-the-edge, isn't it? A little tip too far overboard and it's dunzo.

    There's too much business in the movie biz now, and nowhere near enough creativity and risk taking. I've been on a bit of a Pacino kick lately - you'd never get Dog Day Afternoon, or Serpico these days, at least not in their current form. They'd be watered down and rounded off and boosted with unnecessary action, most likely. There's some raw and dangerous and challenging about the New Hollywood of the 1970s that makes many of those movies work so well to this day. Now it's too often about quadrants and product placement and PG-13 and chasing that Chinese dollar regardless of narrative sense. Too many boxes to tick, the overheads are too high, and not enough creative minds in power.

    You can be daring, but as long as it's for $5m or less (unless you've got a big name(s) attached, and even then don't rock the boat) and is in a genre that can sell internationally (e.g. horror). If Pacino was up-and-coming now, what movies would he be ending up in?

    The really interesting stuff's on telly. That's where today's Pacinos are.

  15. #465
    Chasing Prey shootemindehead's Avatar
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    Ya know, the movie business kind of reminds me of the banking sector and its collapse in 2008. Rampant money/profit oriented boom/bust merchants engaging in increasingly reckless deals, abandoning common sense and reason, furthering their risks (in money terms), creating their own demise and completely ignoring all the warnings til it goes pop and blows up in their face. The film biz is pretty much the same. It's going to have to face the bullets if it's to realise the ridiculous edges it walks on.

    You're entirely correct. The suits and bean counters have taken over and the artistry has largely disappeared. Studios are more interested in what the guy with the projections has to say rather than the writers/directors that actually make the product (a dreadful scenario that is repeated across all businesses these days I'm afraid). People with graphs and absolute bollocks talk engaging in mere guesswork and filling peoples heads with all sorts of bullshit projected profits, none of which rely on the real world. That opening weekend malarkey is a prime example of that silliness. Since when was it so important to go to the cinema on day one to see a bloody film? Must be an American thing that. The problem is that touting that as "a thing" means you kind of turn it into a self fulling prophecy in a lot of cases. If you're film does so-so on the first weekend, you're sort of done. What kind of business model is that?

    You make a good point about the import studios now place on PG-13 and China. It ends up meaning that films become more and more generic, harmless and forgettable. It telling how a lot of cinema goers her PG-13 and go "oh balls". Because they know what they're going to get. The new Chinese marketing, too, is an example of really risky (if not outright reckless) hopes for revenue. China is a strange market for any film and to rely on them for profit is mental. They can take to something or they can completely reject it too. Imagine how much more crapper 'Ghostbusters' would have been, if the makers had taken into account China's approach to ghost movies? It would have been an even blander mess, than what we got, to get more bums on seats. They really did miss the boat on that one though. I'd say Sony shat themselves when China said "no".

    As for a 'Serpico' or a 'Dog Day afternoon', those days are well gone, unfortunately. They just wouldn't make the money that Hollywood is interested in. Maybe indie film makers can pull those likes out of the bag, like a 'Blue Ruin' or 'Room', but Hollywood? No.
    I'm runnin' this monkey farm now Frankenstein.....

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