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Ineffective Film Defense - Page 2

post #51 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Bain View Post

I was told, on two separate occasions, "you think about this stuff too much".

 

The first was because of my disappointment with Prometheus.

 

The second was because of my love for Drive.

 

I was about to forfeit several friendships over Drive. They had a hatred for it that seemed undue, even for them.

 

Yeah, I've gotten the "you think too much" argument, as well. I find myself having to adjust how I say what I'd like to say depending on the people I go see a movie with. Thankfully, I usually see movies alone.

post #52 of 172

What is it with Drive?? I've had a few discussions with non-movie geeks about that one as well, once again they were outraged because the imdb rating overhyped it. Jesus.

 

And yeah, I agree that if you're gonna post about a movie on a forum, or engage in a discussion, you should bring the content. It's definitley not a "one size fits all" scenario. I pointed out that not everyone has to think intensely about film only because I know, from painful personal experience, that if you're deep into a certain topic it's very easy to fall into the trap of thinking everyone else must be, too. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post

 

But isn't that the point?  Why bother?

 

And many, many of these people are brainless.  They are the same ones that watch (and believe) Fox News, eat up the Kardashians, read People religiously and camp out to see the next Twilight.  I am not speaking of the people that just watch movies and move on.  (Although I still don't understand the point of that either).  I am talking about a shockingly large group of indifferent people.

 

Perhaps I am just too exposed to the people that think things like The Fountain or Looper don't deserve discussion, yet they will wax on for hours about how awesome The Dark Knight was, or how they are getting in line for the midnight show of Breaking Dawn.  Many of these people are completely shallow individuals and they dedicate zero philosophical thought to anything in their lives.  They happily reside in the 'Matrix'.  They love the blue pill.

 

Often, these people ask me what I think of a movie and I get glazed eyes in reply.  By the time I finish with my critique, I hear: "you are so critical!  I thought it was entertaining."

 

That's a fucking cop-out, bullshit answer (and a waste of my time).  If you just want to pass the time put on TBS or TNT or USA all afternoon and you can get plenty of crap that doesn't engage you.  Instead, you claim to be a fan of movies, you see several in the theater and as a result Transformers happens.

 

Anymore, most movies suck these days because "it was entertaining" has become the resigned response from the masses.  It's not even a matter of bad taste.  It's just that they don't care.  I am not nearly as eloquent or well-spoken like a majority of Chewers, but I am passionate.  And this topic is a pet peeve of mine.

 

I think you run the risk here of gathering all your peeves into one composite profile. I'm not saying the people you mention don't exist, but it doesn't seem that simple to me.  There are people who love Twilight and dissect it as passionately as you or I would other movies; there are people who voted Obama that keep up with the Kardashians. I can't even stress how far left I am by American standards, but I also can't really ignore that there are plenty conservatives and republicans who are deep into cinema and would probably blame the "it's entertaining!" crowd on leftist post-modernism/the decline of elite western thought. 

 

As for your last paragraph, call me a cynic, but I doubt that cinema appreciation ever really went beyond "it was entertaining" for the great majority of people at any point in history. It's just that the standards for what "entetaining" means have shifted - today it's "there were explosions", a few decades ago it was "there was a musical number" or "there was a guy with a gun and a cowboy hat".

post #53 of 172

The lady who tried to sue because DRIVE wasn't more like FAST & THE FURIOUS is probably emblematic of the negative reaction towards it from non-film-geeks.

post #54 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielRoffle View Post


I think you run the risk here of gathering all your peeves into one composite profile. I'm not saying the people you mention don't exist, but it doesn't seem that simple to me.  There are people who love Twilight and dissect it as passionately as you or I would other movies; there are people who voted Obama that keep up with the Kardashians. I can't even stress how far left I am by American standards, but I also can't really ignore that there are plenty conservatives and republicans who are deep into cinema and would probably blame the "it's entertaining!" crowd on leftist post-modernism/the decline of elite western thought. 

 

As for your last paragraph, call me a cynic, but I doubt that cinema appreciation ever really went beyond "it was entertaining" for the great majority of people at any point in history. It's just that the standards for what "entetaining" means have shifted - today it's "there were explosions", a few decades ago it was "there was a musical number" or "there was a guy with a gun and a cowboy hat".

 

Of course, I was generalizing and ranting, so it was more unbalanced than intended.  The jab at republicans was mostly a joke - with a very small snippet of truth.  And yes, to a degree, there have always been disposable movies.  However, the ratio of good/bad is much higher today than it has ever been.  There is a reason people refer to a golden age of film-making.  There was a time when substance was being produced and people were eating it up.

 

Ultimately, I don't expect people to have good taste.  It boils down to their inability to think beyond the surface.  This is commentary regarding everything in society though.  We should celebrate art and philosophy far more than we do.  In general, we have become passive, sheep and dullards.

 

Does it bug me that people watch Twilight and actually adore it?  Yes.  Does it bug me that people watch Twilight and defend it with: it's just entertaining?  Yes - and far more so than their bad taste.

 

Mike Judge really did nail it in Idiocracy.  We are closer to Ass: The Movie than we realize.

post #55 of 172

I love James Rocchi's take on the various stupid points people make to discourage discussion, from his review of Transformers 2:

Quote:
And, to deal with the token objections of the film's defenders, I have an inner child; he's just not an inner idiot. And if how much money something made had any correlation to how good it actually is, doctors would recommend you get more cocaine instead of more leafy greens. And no, I can't shut my brain off and have fun, anymore than I could rip out my tongue and enjoy a meal, because my brain is where I feel fun.
post #56 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielRoffle View Post

 

Wary of coming across as the bland tolerant police here, but...some people spend more of their life thinking about science, or politics, or music, or relationships, or food. Just because we have these intense relationships with film doesn't mean anyone who doesn't is brainless.

 

Case in point: a Tibetan monk whom had only ever seen two films in his life (Gone With the Wind and the original King Kong) proclaimed that Kong was the best actor he'd ever seen.

 

(I don't remember where I read that but it was far too clever for me to have imagined it or made it up myself).

post #57 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post

 

Of course, I was generalizing and ranting, so it was more unbalanced than intended.  The jab at republicans was mostly a joke - with a very small snippet of truth.  And yes, to a degree, there have always been disposable movies.  However, the ratio of good/bad is much higher today than it has ever been.  There is a reason people refer to a golden age of film-making.  There was a time when substance was being produced and people were eating it up.

 

Ehhhh. People refer to a golden age of film-making because they're old, mostly; notice how said era can be the 40's, the 70's or even the 80's depending on who you talk to. A movie can have substance and be a box office hit, but it's seldom related, I think. I will agree that we are in a particuarly sad era for mainstream Hollywood filmmaking, but I think that's actually more the result of people not watching stuff (or rather, not paying to watch stuff) than watching garbage. Cinema is still nowhere near being able to adapt itself to the new media landscape and so safeness rules the day. 

post #58 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post

I saw all three Prequels in theaters, and while Phantom Menace was just as boring with a  crowd as it was on DVD, AOTC and RoTS played like gangbusters in the theater. I mean theaters packed with an all-age audience, all of whom rocked out when Yoda fought Dooku etc (of course they also laughed at the "love story" too).

I suspect a lot of people can't reconcile the fact that they had a good time seeing the Prequels in the theater when objectively they fail as movies, and that fact sinks in once you are away from the crowd.

I must admit that watching The Phantom Menace in theaters was such a terrible experience that I watched the remaining two prequels on my laptop.
post #59 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan View Post

 

Case in point: a Tibetan monk whom had only ever seen two films in his life (Gone With the Wind and the original King Kong) proclaimed that Kong was the best actor he'd ever seen.

 

(I don't remember where I read that but it was far too clever for me to have imagined it or made it up myself).

 

Some people from the meditation group I used to practice with took a monk with no knowledge of American pop culture to see Jim Carrey's Grinch movie. Afterward, the monk asked sincerely, "Was the green man Jesus?"

post #60 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendrix View Post

 

Some people from the meditation group I used to practice with took a monk with no knowledge of American pop culture to see Jim Carrey's Grinch movie. Afterward, the monk asked sincerely, "Was the green man Jesus?"

 

Oh god, the poor monk...he had to watch that.

post #61 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by bendrix View Post

 

Some people from the meditation group I used to practice with took a monk with no knowledge of American pop culture to see Jim Carrey's Grinch movie. Afterward, the monk asked sincerely, "Was the green man Jesus?"

 

In fairness to the monk, on average he's not really missing all that much when we stop and really think about it. 

post #62 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Happenin View Post

 

Oh god, the poor monk...he had to watch that.

 

If anything, his karmic debt was erased.

post #63 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielRoffle View Post

 

Ehhhh. People refer to a golden age of film-making because they're old, mostly; notice how said era can be the 40's, the 70's or even the 80's depending on who you talk to. A movie can have substance and be a box office hit, but it's seldom related, I think. I will agree that we are in a particuarly sad era for mainstream Hollywood filmmaking, but I think that's actually more the result of people not watching stuff (or rather, not paying to watch stuff) than watching garbage. Cinema is still nowhere near being able to adapt itself to the new media landscape and so safeness rules the day. 

 

Hmm, I haven't heard any decade other than the 60's referred to as the golden-age of film.  I'm only 32 and I believe it was.  I buy, maybe 2, films a year.  I see about 8-10 movies in the theater a year.  On the other hand, the 60's would have bankrupted me.  I see a marked downhill trend in quality following the 60's.  And this is coming from a guy that loves many movies from the 80s.

 

The thing is; although I think there are way too many people perpetuating un-engaging shit, there are enough people watching quality.  A few fall through the cracks, but there are good ones that are fairly successful.  Yet, dammit, studios still seem afraid to keep it up.  I truly believe it's because Joe-the-plumber would rather watch a pair of wrecking balls dangle off a robot like the balls hanging off the back of his truck hitch.  45 years ago, that same Joe-the-plumber would have gladly seen The Graduate or Cool Hand Luke.

 

The irony is; I probably have more "guilty pleasures" than most people on this board - and, in general, I think a genuine movie geek's guilty pleasures are often a casual viewer's treasure.

 

I apologize for dragging this out.  I guess I just have little faith in the general public.  Further evidence that I am a snobby, cranky dude. :) Your points are interesting though and I do appreciate the discussion.

post #64 of 172

What gets to m is perfectly valid defenses applied incorrectly.  Example:

 

"Who cares about (plot hole, generally stupid shit)?  It's not about the plot!"

 

This is true, or can be.  A movie (or book or whatever) doesn't have to have a great plot to be great.  But this is or should be a defense of films that have thin or no plotting.  Because it's dumb to complain that the plot of Annie Hall or Dazed and Confused are scattered and threadbare, or that those of Mulholland Drive or Last Year At Marienbad are nonsensical.  But 99% of movies are not Annie Hall or Last Year At Marienbad, and you mostly see this arise as a defense of bad plotting.  

 

If you want a cheat sheet for when it's okay to play the "it's not about the plot!" card, I'll give you one.  If someone is complaining that nothing happens in the movie, fire away.  If someone is complaining that what does happen is aggressively stupid, then you're better off just accusing them of being joyless scolds.  And if an important character in the movie is a superhero, detective, spy, or jedi, then I'm sorry, but it really is mostly about the plot.  

post #65 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post

 

Hmm, I haven't heard any decade other than the 60's referred to as the golden-age of film.

 

Err, never? Getting into a tangent, but I'm pretty sure the 70's are almost universally considered better. There are tons of classics in the 60's, but as an 'era' it's kind of an odd mix of the death throes of the old studio system and the early days of 'New Hollywood', and I wouldn't say either were at their peak.

post #66 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

 

Err, never? Getting into a tangent, but I'm pretty sure the 70's are almost universally considered better. There are tons of classics in the 60's, but as an 'era' it's kind of an odd mix of the death throes of the old studio system and the early days of 'New Hollywood', and I wouldn't say either were at their peak.

Weird, I always thought the '30s and '40s were universally recognized as the Golden Age of Hollywood, in large part because of movies like "Citizen Kane""Casablanca""The Wizard of Oz", and "Gone with the Wind". I figured the designation also came from how Hollywood was so much more glamorous in that period with the competitive studio system leading to more prestige pictures/epics and stars like Bogart & Bacall, Spencer & Hepburn, Gable, Hayworth, etc. 

post #67 of 172

Depends on whether you're talking about the:

 

Golden Age of HOLLYWOOD... (studio system)

 

or the

 

Golden Age of CINEMA (EVERYOOOOONE)

post #68 of 172

And my point crumbles before my eyes.  I guess there isn't a universal golden-age.  My exposure to that phrase must have been quite limited it seems. My apologies.

 

I consider the 60's the golden-age because (generally speaking) I feel the 60's were the last time we got mostly films.  The medium had been refined and explored enough that risks could be taken, but within proper context.  Yes, there are some wonderful films from the 70's.  However, it also ushered in movies.  Near the end of the decade, flicks were becoming more bombastic.  Technical achievements were starting to take the spotlight and substance was beginning to wane.

 

I guess I think about it this way; at the end of every year, it gets increasingly difficult to pick a top ten of the year.  The 2 or 3 movies that knock my socks off each year, were being released by the truckload 40, 50, 60 years ago.

post #69 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post

And my point crumbles before my eyes.  I guess there isn't a universal golden-age.  My exposure to that phrase must have been quite limited it seems. My apologies.

 

I consider the 60's the golden-age because (generally speaking) I feel the 60's were the last time we got mostly films.  The medium had been refined and explored enough that risks could be taken, but within proper context.  Yes, there are some wonderful films from the 70's.  However, it also ushered in movies.  Near the end of the decade, flicks were becoming more bombastic.  Technical achievements were starting to take the spotlight and substance was beginning to wane.

 

I guess I think about it this way; at the end of every year, it gets increasingly difficult to pick a top ten of the year.  The 2 or 3 movies that knock my socks off each year, were being released by the truckload 40, 50, 60 years ago.

And I thought the last golden age of auteur-driven studio films was the 70s. Maybe I read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls too many times.

 

As for a top 10, 2007 has about 15-20 stone cold classics that were made that year. Sometimes I think we yearn for the past because our memories suck.

post #70 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

And I thought the last golden age of auteur-driven studio films was the 70s. Maybe I read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls too many times.

 

As for a top 10, 2007 has about 15-20 stone cold classics that were made that year. Sometimes I think we yearn for the past because our memories suck.

 

Who remembers a mediocre film from 1953 that did middling box office? The present seems lousy in part because all the lousy is fresh. In thirty years, thinking back on 2012, we're not going to even remember that either Snow White movie or Twilight or Battleship came out this year, or maybe even Amazing Spider-Man. The ones we still remember will be the ones hold up. The rest won't even be remembered as bad or mediocre; they'll likely not be remembered at all.

post #71 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

And I thought the last golden age of auteur-driven studio films was the 70s. Maybe I read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls too many times.

 

As for a top 10, 2007 has about 15-20 stone cold classics that were made that year. Sometimes I think we yearn for the past because our memories suck.

 

I agree with all of that.

 

My observations are just that they weren't as consistently produced as they were in the previous decade.  They were there, but it seems that there were fewer.

 

And yup, a year comes along where some awesome movies come out.  I loved 2007.  I just wish every year was 2007.

 

I would struggle big time to create a top ten of this year.

post #72 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post

The 2 or 3 movies that knock my socks off each year, were being released by the truckload 40, 50, 60 years ago.

You and I are of a kind. This is exactly how I've been feeling over the past few months, and the main reason I've been more interested in snatching up as many '30s, '40s, and '50s classics as I can instead of checking out new releases. It's fun to relate!

 

post #73 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Grimm View Post

 

Who remembers a mediocre film from 1953 that did middling box office? The present seems lousy in part because all the lousy is fresh. In thirty years, thinking back on 2012, we're not going to even remember that either Snow White movie or Twilight or Battleship came out this year, or maybe even Amazing Spider-Man. The ones we still remember will be the ones hold up. The rest won't even be remembered as bad or mediocre; they'll likely not be remembered at all.

 

Thank you! We yearn for a golden age and think it is sometime other that now because "well, back in my day" (not that anyone on this board was around back in the 50s). The ratio of good films to bad films has, undeniably I'm sure, shifted more towards the bad, but that doesn't mean it's so overwhelming. Time has been the great yardstick of film appreciation and where and when certain eras had occurred. Time, and home video. You can bet your ass that if a film had performed as bad and was as bad as whatever Eddie Murphy last starred in back in the day, it probably would not have been all that carefully preserved and suddenly, the films we do care seem to glow a little brighter because there's one less piece of trash in the world. I mean, they've been making bad movies since they first started making movies, just take a look at MST3K. In 30 years, the ones that last, the ones that made an impact or told a tale so mesmerizing will still be there, sitting alone and unloved on the bottom of some box at a yard sale (I am assuming we'll still have yards in the future, of course).

post #74 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

The lady who tried to sue because DRIVE wasn't more like FAST & THE FURIOUS is probably emblematic of the negative reaction towards it from non-film-geeks.

 

I have a suspicion that the success of the game Hotline Miami at the moment is due in no small part to people who think it's like the version of Drive they thought the trailer promised them. It's a really fun game and it deserved to have done well but it mixes Drive's aesthetics, plus the cartoonish non-stop ultraviolence these people expected the first time.

post #75 of 172

The "you're not approaching the movie on its own terms!" argument has always really irritated me, as part of the "you had a preconceived notion of the movie before you went into it!" position. There isn't a person in the world who's a blank slate when they walk into a movie, and trying to deny that is just another way of trying to align with and discern authorial intentionality. That's a pretty fruitless endeavor, and isn't even technically possible. Why try to throw away that which makes you a unique viewer, with your own interpretive angle?

post #76 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMulder View Post

The "you're not approaching the movie on its own terms!" argument has always really irritated me, as part of the "you had a preconceived notion of the movie before you went into it!" position. There isn't a person in the world who's a blank slate when they walk into a movie, and trying to deny that is just another way of trying to align with and discern authorial intentionality. That's a pretty fruitless endeavor, and isn't even technically possible. Why try to throw away that which makes you a unique viewer, with your own interpretive angle?

 

 

It's not about being a unique viewer as much as the assumptions one makes before seeing a film, and how they psychologically prepare you for it. Think back to the states of overhype people were getting into before The Phantom Menace, or recently Prometheus, or the recent negativity over The Hobbit (Which, although coming from legitimate questions, some people are running with a little too enthusiastically). 95% of the internet at any given time is people taking a few grains of reason and turning it into a whole heap of unfounded opinion, especially so for movies.

While I agree that the 'meet it at its own level' argument is highly limited and becomes moot if people are arguing from a place of reason (And have preferably seen the film in question), but there's a difference between judging a film based on your own tastes and the benefit of an open mind, and essentially investing psychologically into a film being good or bad before you've even seen it.

post #77 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post

And I thought the last golden age of auteur-driven studio films was the 70s. Maybe I read Easy Riders, Raging Bulls too many times.

 

As for a top 10, 2007 has about 15-20 stone cold classics that were made that year. Sometimes I think we yearn for the past because our memories suck.

 

The Top Ten (gross) from 2007:

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Spider-Man 3
Shrek the Third
Transformers
Ratatouille
I Am Legend
The Simpsons Movie
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
300

 

1967:

 

The Graduate
The Jungle Book
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Bonnie and Clyde
The Dirty Dozen
Valley of the Dolls
You Only Live Twice
To Sir, with Love
The Born Losers
Thoroughly Modern Millie

 

1977:

 

Star Wars
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Saturday Night Fever
Smokey and the Bandit
The Goodbye Girl
The Rescuers
Oh, God!
A Bridge Too Far
The Deep
The Spy Who Loved Me

 

We can deduce from these lists that the average cinema-goer watched a far wider variety of movies in previous decades, and there were considerably fewer sequels. I understand you're not just talking about highest grossing films of 2007 but bear in mind that the 77 and 67 lists are by no means "best of" lists in terms of quality.

 

The obvious change in movie watching seems to be that adults are less welcome at the multiplexes these days.

post #78 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glisten View Post

 

The Top Ten (gross) from 2007:

 

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Spider-Man 3
Shrek the Third
Transformers
Ratatouille
I Am Legend
The Simpsons Movie
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
300

 

1967:

 

The Graduate
The Jungle Book
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Bonnie and Clyde
The Dirty Dozen
Valley of the Dolls
You Only Live Twice
To Sir, with Love
The Born Losers
Thoroughly Modern Millie

 

1977:

 

Star Wars
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Saturday Night Fever
Smokey and the Bandit
The Goodbye Girl
The Rescuers
Oh, God!
A Bridge Too Far
The Deep
The Spy Who Loved Me

 

We can deduce from these lists that the average cinema-goer watched a far wider variety of movies in previous decades, and there were considerably fewer sequels. I understand you're not just talking about highest grossing films of 2007 but bear in mind that the 77 and 67 lists are by no means "best of" lists in terms of quality.

 

The obvious change in movie watching seems to be that adults are less welcome at the multiplexes these days.

 

(Or that adults seem less likely let go of their childhood interests.)

post #79 of 172

What's really changed is the kind of movies that get backed with a big budget and marketing push.  Then you mix in how tastes of the current generation of adults has changed in general. 

post #80 of 172

Since when have box office and quality ever had a causation-correlation relationship? Oh, that's right, NEVER. Citizen Kane flopped big on initial release. Guess what people think of it now?

 

Big hits can certainly be good or great movies, but whinging about the types of films that were big hits 45 years ago and the ones that are now tells me little beyond the fact that tastes have changed. Which, duh. That happens.

post #81 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Spider View Post

Since when have box office and quality ever had a causation-correlation relationship? Oh, that's right, NEVER. Citizen Kane flopped big on initial release. Guess what people think of it now?

Big hits can certainly be good or great movies, but whinging about the types of films that were big hits 45 years ago and the ones that are now tells me little beyond the fact that tastes have changed. Which, duh. That happens.

Well in 1967 the highest grossing movie was The Graduate, in 1968 it was 2001 Space Odyssey, in 1969 it was Butch Cassidy, and so on. So it appears that there was a point where quality films did tend to be popular. I agree that it's not really like that anymore though.
post #82 of 172

It goes back and forth, is what I'm saying. Some popular films are good, some aren't. Out of the highest grossing 2007 movies list you posted, Ratatouille is certainly "good", even "great".

post #83 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Grimm View Post

 

Who remembers a mediocre film from 1953 that did middling box office? The present seems lousy in part because all the lousy is fresh. In thirty years, thinking back on 2012, we're not going to even remember that either Snow White movie or Twilight or Battleship came out this year, or maybe even Amazing Spider-Man. The ones we still remember will be the ones hold up. The rest won't even be remembered as bad or mediocre; they'll likely not be remembered at all.

 

Interesting if you chose 1953 at random as that was quite a good year for film (including at least a couple of mediocrities that did middling box office we do remember). Also, on a side note, a lot of top (and not so great but well known) actors were born that year.

post #84 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shan View Post

 

Interesting if you chose 1953 at random as that was quite a good year for film (including at least a couple of mediocrities that did middling box office we do remember). Also, on a side note, a lot of top (and not so great but well known) actors were born that year.

 

It was actually just a random year I pulled out. And I don't doubt there are a few memorable mediocrities we remember. I just imagine there are more mediocrities we don't remember.

post #85 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Workyticket View Post

 

I have a suspicion that the success of the game Hotline Miami at the moment is due in no small part to people who think it's like the version of Drive they thought the trailer promised them. It's a really fun game and it deserved to have done well but it mixes Drive's aesthetics, plus the cartoonish non-stop ultraviolence these people expected the first time.

Dude, I dunno about that--That game is weird.  But I also think that part of its success is totally because it resonates strongly with that film.

 

 

 

Quote:
The "you're not approaching the movie on its own terms!" argument has always really irritated me, as part of the "you had a preconceived notion of the movie before you went into it!" position. There isn't a person in the world who's a blank slate when they walk into a movie, and trying to deny that is just another way of trying to align with and discern authorial intentionality. That's a pretty fruitless endeavor, and isn't even technically possible. Why try to throw away that which makes you a unique viewer, with your own interpretive angle?

Honestly, I think that's a fair argument, but it totally depends on its context . I try to watch every movie with that approach and I think it does me well. Obviously, I have my own biases on what constitutes as a good film, (who doesn't?) but I'm really loose in regards to what that actually means. If a film wants to go in a certain direction, I'm mostly fine with it--just don't forget to be entertaining.

post #86 of 172

"You're thinking too much" has already been well covered, and that's my most hated shitty defense of movies, but I want to go into one that was just touched on:

 

"It's good for what it is."

 

What a meaningless phrase. What else can a movie be? Yeah, The Avengers makes a terrible coaster.

post #87 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteboy Jones View Post

 

What a meaningless phrase. What else can a movie be? Yeah, The Avengers makes a terrible coaster.

 

Not if you get it with the digital copy.

post #88 of 172

Oh how bout this:

 

"This was too much like everything else."

 

Okay, that's a fair argument. Personally, I'm fine with a traditional genre film so long as it's executed properly. IF YOU'RE GONNA COPY SOMETHING, DO IT WELL.

 

So then I'm like "I'mma show you this film that ain't like anything you've ever seen before."

 

And then I get: "I didn't like it--that was too weird."

 

WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WANT THEN?!!!!!!!!!

 

Also: I invited a couple of friends to see In Bruges; everyone loved it, except for one who went:

 

"I didn't like it; I thought it was kind of pointless."

 

What does that even mean?

post #89 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post

 

Also: I invited a couple of friends to see In Bruges; everyone loved it, except for one who went:

 

"I didn't like it; I thought it was kind of pointless."

 

What does that even mean?

 

That's pretty amazing, what with In Bruges being one of the most thematically obvious films going. I take it your friend isn't a Catholic?

post #90 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post

 

"I didn't like it; I thought it was kind of pointless."

 

What does that even mean?

 

People usually don't have a problem not understanding a poem or a painting, but when it's a film they often go the route of trying to deny there's any meaning to be found at all (although I guess that happens with stuff like abstract art as well.)  I suppose it's just because film is such a populist form, but often there's a stark division between those who feel like really dumb movies should be criticized for wasting their time, and those who feel like movies that attempt to be a little bit challenging should be criticized for... trying too hard, I guess?  There's often very little middle ground.  And the funniest thing is the length they will go to deny meaning they may have missed when you attempt to present it to them.  That's when you get the "P" word.  Or when they say "You're reading into it too much."  Or when they bring up "intelligent design."  Oh, wait.  That's a different subject.

 

Tends to be the same people, though.

post #91 of 172

Most of the big offenders have been brought up here, but nobody's mentioned this gem (that I've seen anyhow):

 

"Well, it doesn't have to be Shakespeare or anything!"

 

Any defense of that sort just drives me batshit. No, it fucking doesn't have to be Shakespeare. It doesn't have to be Voltaire or Pope or Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Hugo or Bronte or Austen or Byron or Atwood or anything, it just has to be good, and you don't need to have talent that rivals that of the greatest storytellers who ever lived to tell a good story. Fuck a Shakespeare, I just want competently made narratives. If everything was Shakespeare then "Shakespeare" would have no meaning as a barometer of quality (however hyperbolic a barometer it is in this particular example)!

 

I hate this sort of shit because it paints the accused as someone with insanely unrealistic expectations. It's cheap, lazy, and dishonest. I nearly had an aneurysm over a coworker coming to Stephanie Meyer's defense using this sort of logic-- I think it takes a lot of stupid audacity to use that sort of argument to defend someone that hackish.

post #92 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Most of the big offenders have been brought up here, but nobody's mentioned this gem (that I've seen anyhow):

 

"Well, it doesn't have to be Shakespeare or anything!"

 

This pisses me off in part because it's being unfair to Shakespeare, whose stuff is full of sex and violence and melodrama and comic relief and who often is quite low-brow with it, when the material demands it. They should say it doesn't have to be Proust or Robert Musil or something, not the guy who wrote "exit, pursued by bear".

post #93 of 172

Not to mention "country matters."

post #94 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

Most of the big offenders have been brought up here, but nobody's mentioned this gem (that I've seen anyhow):

 

"Well, it doesn't have to be Shakespeare or anything!"

 

Any defense of that sort just drives me batshit. No, it fucking doesn't have to be Shakespeare. It doesn't have to be Voltaire or Pope or Hemingway or Fitzgerald or Hugo or Bronte or Austen or Byron or Atwood or anything, it just has to be good, and you don't need to have talent that rivals that of the greatest storytellers who ever lived to tell a good story. Fuck a Shakespeare, I just want competently made narratives. If everything was Shakespeare then "Shakespeare" would have no meaning as a barometer of quality (however hyperbolic a barometer it is in this particular example)!

 

I hate this sort of shit because it paints the accused as someone with insanely unrealistic expectations. It's cheap, lazy, and dishonest. I nearly had an aneurysm over a coworker coming to Stephanie Meyer's defense using this sort of logic-- I think it takes a lot of stupid audacity to use that sort of argument to defend someone that hackish.

 

The irony is, Shakespeare's themes and stories are extremely basic and ultimately slathered all over the garbage many of these people actually care to enjoy.

post #95 of 172

That's one thing that gets me. It's not like Shakespeare is super-duper high-intellectual or anything; the hardest part about reading his texts is being able to suss out surface meaning based on the language he used. You're translating period dialogue. That's it. You might need to have a brain in your head to do it, but Shakespeare isn't (to use Daniel's example) Proust.

post #96 of 172

Well, unless you're like me and don't particularly care for Proust or his ilk.

post #97 of 172

 

I bite my thumb at you, sir.

post #98 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanielRoffle View Post

 

This pisses me off in part because it's being unfair to Shakespeare, whose stuff is full of sex and violence and melodrama and comic relief and who often is quite low-brow with it, when the material demands it. They should say it doesn't have to be Proust or Robert Musil or something, not the guy who wrote "exit, pursued by bear".

 

Yeah, it's like they've never read the book or plays in question. Like they were talking about, some other...Book. Maybe a Good book. Funny. Sounds like the exact same kind of people who defend both.

post #99 of 172
Quote:
Originally Posted by wd40 View Post

 

But isn't that the point?  Why bother?

 

And many, many of these people are brainless.  They are the same ones that watch (and believe) Fox News, eat up the Kardashians, read People religiously and camp out to see the next Twilight.  I am not speaking of the people that just watch movies and move on.  (Although I still don't understand the point of that either).  I am talking about a shockingly large group of indifferent people.

 

Perhaps I am just too exposed to the people that think things like The Fountain or Looper don't deserve discussion, yet they will wax on for hours about how awesome The Dark Knight was, or how they are getting in line for the midnight show of Breaking Dawn.  Many of these people are completely shallow individuals and they dedicate zero philosophical thought to anything in their lives.  They happily reside in the 'Matrix'.  They love the blue pill.

 

Often, these people ask me what I think of a movie and I get glazed eyes in reply.  By the time I finish with my critique, I hear: "you are so critical!  I thought it was entertaining."

 

That's a fucking cop-out, bullshit answer (and a waste of my time).  If you just want to pass the time put on TBS or TNT or USA all afternoon and you can get plenty of crap that doesn't engage you.  Instead, you claim to be a fan of movies, you see several in the theater and as a result Transformers happens.

 

Anymore, most movies suck these days because "it was entertaining" has become the resigned response from the masses.  It's not even a matter of bad taste.  It's just that they don't care.  I am not nearly as eloquent or well-spoken like a majority of Chewers, but I am passionate.  And this topic is a pet peeve of mine.

 

This is pretty dead on.  

 

The problem is Hollywood has conditioned audiences to invest little to no thought into what they watch.  Part of what helps this is the traditional 3 act narrative structure that's been in use for many decades with very little variation.  When people go to the movies, they have a pretty good idea of what they're going to see and how it's going to play out...the only thing that changes are the actors, scenery, and very minor details in the plot that are fairly inconsequential.

 

Who can blame an audience who is used to seeing the same 7 stories continually repackaged over and over and over and over again?  They put no thought into it because it doesn't require any thought.  It's one of the reasons why even I don't put any thought into most of these movies.  There is nothing to think about.  These days I spend very little time in threads like TDKR, or Skyfall, or Spider-Man, or Man of Steel or World War Z (unless it's to make fun of it)....or pick your mainstream studio film.  TDKR did nothing to surprise me.  I'm not a Bond fan because I feel like it's beyond formulaic.  Ditto for Spider-Man, Man of Steel, etc...

 

It saddens me that threads like The Master, Looper, Cosmopolis, Upstream Color, The Bay, Django, etc, get very little replies compared to the more mainstream threads.  I don't think TDKR deserves 2,700 replies.  I'd expect that film to get massive responses on a yahoo message board, not a cinema lovers paradise like Chud.  Not that it doesn't deserve to be talked about, but when TDKR has 2,700 responses and Cosmopolis has 79...I scratch my head and wonder what the fuck is on people's minds.

 

Cinema is a rich cultural art form with HUUUUGE amounts of potential, and I feel like Hollywood is tapping maybe 10% of it.  Budgets are so massive they can't take any chances.  The shareholders simply wouldn't allow it.  And since studios control the vast majority of what gets seen by the masses, everything gets collapsed into the dull, lazy, formulaic wasteland of mainstream filmmaking.  The films themselves have never looked and sounded better, but the content is probably the worst its ever been.  Bad movies have always existed, but the bad movies of yesteryear were created by filmmakers simply failing at doing a good job.  The studios used to compete with each other in terms of "who's got the best film".  Today they compete purely from a box office point of view, "who's got the number one film?".  This is an ass backwards way of making movies, and it's no wonder the audience has been bludgeoned into stupidity.  

 

It is still a choice though.  Studios only follow the money.  If the masses stopped flocking to fucking Spider-Man and Men In Black in droves, and started going to see Looper and Cosmopolis in greater numbers, we'd have a better balance.  I honestly think The Avengers is part of the problem.  I liked it, but $1.5B???  It just gives the studios little reason to stop making movies for retarded 13 year old boys.  Not that The Avengers wasn't well made, but for every well made comic book film, Hollywood becomes like a gambling addict in Vegas, and just starts throwing dice with a blind fold on.  And very little of that massive box office take goes to financing more Loopers, The Master, Cosmopolis...those guys have to BEG for money (and usually have to find overseas financing instead of studio money), and considering the studios are making huge profits, you would think they'd finance more challenging films (and I don't mean Oscar bait, and quirky indie borefests...I'm talking stuff that pushes the medium like the films I just mentioned).  One Avengers success could finance a dozen Masters or Loopers.  But it doesn't work that way.  If it DID, I would be more than happy to keep supporting these huge mainstream movies.   

post #100 of 172

Oh look, another tiresome wall-of-text about how we should all feel bad for giving thousands of replies to mainstream films, and how Hollywood was apparently once this golden paradise of quality filmmaking that was never EVER concerned with pure profit (newsflash: it never was).

 

Dude, I think you're very smart and perceptive, but these harangues are getting a little annoying. Here's a fact: I am not able to see most of the smaller films where I live. If I see them, and when I see them, I will comment on them.

 

Good movies will always exist, and so will bad ones.

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