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Post Re: General Movie News
peng wrote:
First trailer for The Giver's adaptation

The book is so beautifully low-key (haven't read since I was a kid though), but the film seems to abandon that uniqueness to emulate The Hunger Games and its ilk. Meryl Streep's sudden appearance has me slightly intrigued though.


I haven't read it since I was a kid either, but remember it well enough. Looks magnificently disproportionate to the book. Trying to look like Hunger Games, as you say, even though there's no reason why it should. The casting of Jeff Bridges in that key role doesn't seem quite right. I thought it was a solid, interesting book, but it's no epic and it doesn't suddenly become one by shooting in widescreen and on expensive sets. I think this YA craze is becoming a bit silly.


Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:49 am
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Post Re: General Movie News
MGamesCook wrote:
I think this YA craze is becoming a bit silly.


It has long passed 'is becoming'.

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Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:38 pm
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Seems like an expansion of a marketing strategy. They've remade about everything that 30 - 60 year olds are nostalgic about, so now they're mining a younger set of memories. It does seem to be where the market is though. Whenever I go to the movies I see mostly teenagers and 20 somethings. I haven't seen any except for The Hunger Games, but I thought well enough of that. I guess the Lego Movie probably plays on that aspect only with video games and Lego sets substituting for books in the young memories. I thought it was great entertainment. Most don't look that good to me and so I don't see them.


Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:07 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
Mark III wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
I think this YA craze is becoming a bit silly.


It has long passed 'is becoming'.

It's either that or more superheroes. At least YA has more of a diversity of genres and peoples.

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Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:51 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
That's either unbearably cynical or a realistic appraisal of how things are. Which leaves us with the possibility that a realistic appraisal sounds like cynicism.

The problem isn't from where content gets drawn but the conveyance of so much content as middle-to-lowbrow glitz. Or: we live in a time when, to better drive sales, Wuthering Heights is integrated into Teen Fiction and a filmed adaptation of The Great Gatsby is the movie equivalent of shaking keys to distract a cat's attention.

It's Young Adultification and, while superherofication is what has driven a ton of ordinary public narrative (it drives entire television networks and will often get peddled in a package of lowbrow glitz), it takes perfectly good art and twists the life out of it so that it may be consumed by a demographic that really should know better or, why not, possibly deserves better. What could be called 'creativity', in the case of this latest stab at The Great Gatsby, is really just cheapening. Art always stands in for other art, this is what makes adaptations both inevitable and a possible to threat to something you, any of us, love.

It's got to bother you. How could it not bother you?

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Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:25 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
Both the Marvel craze and the YA craze remind me of the scene in Buster Keaton's Sherlock Jr:

Keaton finds a dollar in the trash, but has to give it back to an old lady when she says she lost it. Then another person comes over and asks for their dollar so he has to give them one of his own. Then the big scruffy guy comes over, pushes Keaton aside, and retrieves an entire wad of bills from the pile of trash. At that moment, Keaton freaks and empties the entire trash, scrounging for any more bills he may have missed.

It feels like the day Hunger Games outdid expectations, or the day Iron Man 1 did the same, every producer instantly turned into Buster Keaton. Desperately searching for any more value to be squeezed from the same pile.


Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:54 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
It only sounds cynical if you persist in the fantasy that people in the movies are financing art for the art. While I'm sure plenty of creative people in the movie business do art for the art, they're not the ones who decide what gets made.

The people who have to decide which project has the best chance of turning around a 100 million dollar investment do not have the luxury of doing it for the art. They also probably don't give a crap about art, but that's beside the point.

I mostly find it a relief that they still make movies from novels. With comic books, video games, TV shows, toys, and other movies, you have something visual for the pitch meeting. You can plop it down and say "I want you to help me make a movie that looks like this."

With a book, what do you do? Describe your movie in words? What if the financiers don't have the visual imagination necessary to figure out what you're talking about?

In this case, here's what I imagine is happening in Hollywood today: you say "I want to do Great Gatsby, and it's going to look like Romeo+Juliet", or "I want to do The Giver, and it's going to look like the Hunger Games." Associate the project with something that's already out there, something they can recall in detail--preferably something that has already been proven successful--and they might give your project a shot.

Given the amount of money that movies are expected to turn around these days, I can't help empathizing with the people responsible for making those decisions. We all get stuff wrong at our jobs sometimes. It happens with human beings. But when these people get something wrong, it's very big and very bad.

One thing I'd love to see change is a reduction of the amount of money that movies are expected to turn around, but that's not going to happen. It's a genie that's out of the bottle. And that's realism.

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Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:03 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
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In this case, here's what I imagine is happening in Hollywood today: you say "I want to do Great Gatsby, and it's going to look like Romeo+Juliet", or "I want to do The Giver, and it's going to look like the Hunger Games." Associate the project with something that's already out there, something they can recall in detail--preferably something that has already been proven successful--and they might give your project a shot.


This is correct. Looper was pitched using footage from Se7en and one or two other things. Man of Steel's pitch must have included a reference to Alien, perhaps to Dark City as well.

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One thing I'd love to see change is a reduction of the amount of money that movies are expected to turn around, but that's not going to happen. It's a genie that's out of the bottle. And that's realism.


Yeah, it's disappointing. But still might happen eventually.


Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:06 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
Well I was pleasantly surprised by Divergent and actually loved it surprisingly. So I'm okay with the YA craze if we continue to get movies like Hunger Games and Divergent.


Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:18 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
It looks like there's been a course of action decided for Fast and Furious 7 in regards to Paul Walker....body doubles and CGI.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/fast-furious-7-double-time-walker-article-1.1728704


Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:39 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
patrick wrote:
It looks like there's been a course of action decided for Fast and Furious 7 in regards to Paul Walker....body doubles and CGI.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/fast-furious-7-double-time-walker-article-1.1728704


Sounds like they're going to any and all lengths to not drastically alter the screenplay? Might be a cool way to give both Walker and the franchise a strong sendoff.


Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:31 pm
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Post Re: General Movie News
MGamesCook wrote:
patrick wrote:
It looks like there's been a course of action decided for Fast and Furious 7 in regards to Paul Walker....body doubles and CGI.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/fast-furious-7-double-time-walker-article-1.1728704


Sounds like they're going to any and all lengths to not drastically alter the screenplay? Might be a cool way to give both Walker and the franchise a strong sendoff.

Sounds good, people will be happy as long as Walker's character isn't killed off(and I highly doubt he will be, as I can't imagine the rest of the cast being comfortable with acting out a scene like that)


Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:29 am
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Post Re: General Movie News
patrick wrote:
It looks like there's been a course of action decided for Fast and Furious 7 in regards to Paul Walker....body doubles and CGI.
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/fast-furious-7-double-time-walker-article-1.1728704

I'm not too convinced this will work. It all relies on whether the whole uncanny valley thing is (finally) resolved. I'm not convinced it will be (if anyone has seen a film with a CGI HUMAN that is indistinguishable from the real thing, let me know!).


Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:59 am
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Post Re: General Movie News
nitrium wrote:
patrick wrote:
It looks like there's been a course of action decided for Fast and Furious 7 in regards to Paul Walker....body doubles and CGI.
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/confidential/fast-furious-7-double-time-walker-article-1.1728704

I'm not too convinced this will work. It all relies on whether the whole uncanny valley thing is (finally) resolved. I'm not convinced it will be (if anyone has seen a film with a CGI HUMAN that is indistinguishable from the real thing, let me know!).

Eh i'm not too worried, I generally don't notice those sorts of things.


Sun Mar 23, 2014 2:38 am
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Interesting thinking on this thread.

It reminds me a bit of that episode of the Simpsons when Lisa concludes that the more you know, the unhappier you become. I don't believe this is true in the macro sense, but it's certainly true in isolated pockets.

Once you learn a bit about film, and your expectations become inflated, you are setting yourself up for disappointment, and thus find the 10:30pm Monday night showing of Armageddon intolerable, where once you found it a bit of brainless fun.

Continuing this train of thought, I am greatly looking forward to watching the Lego Movie after the reviews I've read. Yet all of them have a similar theme. Namely that the movie is a deliberate and sometimes sarcastic retort to modern culture with particular regard to film itself. That's all very well, but it's somewhat a shame when a rare and perhaps unexpected gem is only so popular because it trades heavily on taking pot-shots at the status-quo. I haven't seen the film, so my presumption here may be off target, but this is the basic message I get from reading a number of appraisals.

Anyway, everything is awesome ...

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Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:34 am
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Post Re: General Movie News
Ken wrote:
It only sounds cynical if you persist in the fantasy that people in the movies are financing art for the art. While I'm sure plenty of creative people in the movie business do art for the art, they're not the ones who decide what gets made.

The people who have to decide which project has the best chance of turning around a 100 million dollar investment do not have the luxury of doing it for the art. They also probably don't give a crap about art, but that's beside the point.

I mostly find it a relief that they still make movies from novels. With comic books, video games, TV shows, toys, and other movies, you have something visual for the pitch meeting. You can plop it down and say "I want you to help me make a movie that looks like this."

With a book, what do you do? Describe your movie in words? What if the financiers don't have the visual imagination necessary to figure out what you're talking about?

In this case, here's what I imagine is happening in Hollywood today: you say "I want to do Great Gatsby, and it's going to look like Romeo+Juliet", or "I want to do The Giver, and it's going to look like the Hunger Games." Associate the project with something that's already out there, something they can recall in detail--preferably something that has already been proven successful--and they might give your project a shot.

Given the amount of money that movies are expected to turn around these days, I can't help empathizing with the people responsible for making those decisions. We all get stuff wrong at our jobs sometimes. It happens with human beings. But when these people get something wrong, it's very big and very bad.

One thing I'd love to see change is a reduction of the amount of money that movies are expected to turn around, but that's not going to happen. It's a genie that's out of the bottle. And that's realism.


I believe we're all complaing to much about how commercial decisions trump artistry these days. It has always been like this. Once it is proven that a formula works, it gets repeated over and over again until it doesn't work anymore. It's just that we tend to forget about the bad and derivative movies of yore. How many Beach Party movies have you seen? How many Elvis movies?

I also think that it's strange to complain about the ubiquity of movies based on superhero comics or young adult books. If it doesn't interest you, don't go and see it.


Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:05 am
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Post Re: General Movie News
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I also think that it's strange to complain about the ubiquity of movies based on superhero comics or young adult books. If it doesn't interest you, don't go and see it.


This misses the point. We're here to review movies and the world of movies in general. That will inevitably encompass talking about trends we don't like. It has nothing to do with not seeing films that don't interest you. I don't think many people go out of their way to see films they don't want to see anyway.

Bottom line, it's legitimate to criticise stuff you don't like.

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Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:12 am
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Post Re: General Movie News
NotHughGrant wrote:
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I also think that it's strange to complain about the ubiquity of movies based on superhero comics or young adult books. If it doesn't interest you, don't go and see it.


This misses the point. We're here to review movies and the world of movies in general. That will inevitably encompass talking about trends we don't like. It has nothing to do with not seeing films that don't interest you. I don't think many people go out of their way to see films they don't want to see anyway.

Bottom line, it's legitimate to criticise stuff you don't like.


Yes, it is legitimate to criticise stuff you don't like. But the discussion here wasn't about the quality of, for instance, superhero movies, it was about the quantity of superhero movies etc. I don't see how it would be a problem for anybody that there are lots of superhero movies these days, unless you were making the argument that they keep other, more interesting and less formulaic movies from being made or shown in cinemas. And if you would make that argument, you would blank out that experimental, challenging and inventicve movies have rarely, if ever been given the budgets which are regularly allocated to commercial mainstream fare with a box-office proven formula.

It's as if I would criticise 'Skyfall' for being yet another James Bond movie. As if we didn't have enough of those. They were big in the 60ies, but there is a time to move on. It''s not that they were ambitious filmaking in the first place. Ken Loach could have made 10 movies with more relevant subjects with the budget of 'Skyfall'. Why do they keep on making them, year after year (or rather every two years or so)? 23 sequels and counting, talk about the movie industry's lack of imagination. And now this latest factory line-produced adventure is clogging up three out of ten screens at my local multiplex!

You see where I'm getting at? I haven't made any criticism of the movie as such. I've just lamented its existence, which shouldn't really bother me, should it?


Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:20 am
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Post Re: General Movie News
Unke wrote:

Yes, it is legitimate to criticise stuff you don't like. But the discussion here wasn't about the quality of, for instance, superhero movies, it was about the quantity of superhero movies etc. I don't see how it would be a problem for anybody that there are lots of superhero movies these days, unless you were making the argument that they keep other, more interesting and less formulaic movies from being made or shown in cinemas. And if you would make that argument, you would blank out that experimental, challenging and inventicve movies have rarely, if ever been given the budgets which are regularly allocated to commercial mainstream fare with a box-office proven formula.


I would say it's the quantity and the quality. The two being intimately entwined. And although it was once said that the commercial fodder funds the creative stuff through the backdoor, I'm just not sure it works like that.

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It's as if I would criticise 'Skyfall' for being yet another James Bond movie. As if we didn't have enough of those. They were big in the 60ies, but there is a time to move on. It''s not that they were ambitious filmaking in the first place. Ken Loach could have made 10 movies with more relevant subjects with the budget of 'Skyfall'. Why do they keep on making them, year after year (or rather every two years or so)? 23 sequels and counting, talk about the movie industry's lack of imagination. And now this latest factory line-produced adventure is clogging up three out of ten screens at my local multiplex!


Bond is an institution. And one which there is genuine, lasting demand for. I don't think you can compare Bond to the recent superhero flicks in the IronMan mould, nor the by-numbers historical melodramas like Pearl Harbour or science and prophesy paranoia like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012. And Bond itself has stalled at various times in the past. 23 in 52 years sounds impressive, but there were times when the project was on its proverbial ass and the franchise has had to consciously change direction to respond to viewer needs. Whatever Bond is, it's rarely been filler. At least it tries to have some kind of cultural resonance. I'm not meaning this to turn into a defend Bond-athon, but it's a weak argument to justify the slurry pouring onto cinema screens by saying "but Bond has been around for 50 years". Captain Planet won't make 23 films in 50 years because, box-office ratings aside, no-one really gives a shit. Least of all its producers, who would drop it the moment it failed to cover its own costs.

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You see where I'm getting at? I haven't made any criticism of the movie as such. I've just lamented its existence, which shouldn't really bother me, should it?


It's perfectly legitimate to roll your eyes at the continued existence of Bond. If you watch closely, the latter day ones seem to acknowledge this themselves. Of course it's all a bit silly. Remember Silva's line in Skyfall "England, the Empire, Mi6" with the accompanying roll of the eyes?

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Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:13 am
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Post Re: General Movie News
NotHughGrant wrote:
Unke wrote:

Yes, it is legitimate to criticise stuff you don't like. But the discussion here wasn't about the quality of, for instance, superhero movies, it was about the quantity of superhero movies etc. I don't see how it would be a problem for anybody that there are lots of superhero movies these days, unless you were making the argument that they keep other, more interesting and less formulaic movies from being made or shown in cinemas. And if you would make that argument, you would blank out that experimental, challenging and inventicve movies have rarely, if ever been given the budgets which are regularly allocated to commercial mainstream fare with a box-office proven formula.


I would say it's the quantity and the quality. The two being intimately entwined. And although it was once said that the commercial fodder funds the creative stuff through the backdoor, I'm just not sure it works like that.

Quote:
It's as if I would criticise 'Skyfall' for being yet another James Bond movie. As if we didn't have enough of those. They were big in the 60ies, but there is a time to move on. It''s not that they were ambitious filmaking in the first place. Ken Loach could have made 10 movies with more relevant subjects with the budget of 'Skyfall'. Why do they keep on making them, year after year (or rather every two years or so)? 23 sequels and counting, talk about the movie industry's lack of imagination. And now this latest factory line-produced adventure is clogging up three out of ten screens at my local multiplex!


Bond is an institution. And one which there is genuine, lasting demand for. I don't think you can compare Bond to the recent superhero flicks in the IronMan mould, nor the by-numbers historical melodramas like Pearl Harbour or science and prophesy paranoia like The Day After Tomorrow or 2012. And Bond itself has stalled at various times in the past. 23 in 52 years sounds impressive, but there were times when the project was on its proverbial ass and the franchise has had to consciously change direction to respond to viewer needs. Whatever Bond is, it's rarely been filler. At least it tries to have some kind of cultural resonance. I'm not meaning this to turn into a defend Bond-athon, but it's a weak argument to justify the slurry pouring onto cinema screens by saying "but Bond has been around for 50 years". Captain Planet won't make 23 films in 50 years because, box-office ratings aside, no-one really gives a shit. Least of all its producers, who would drop it the moment it failed to cover its own costs.

Quote:
You see where I'm getting at? I haven't made any criticism of the movie as such. I've just lamented its existence, which shouldn't really bother me, should it?


It's perfectly legitimate to roll your eyes at the continued existence of Bond. If you watch closely, the latter day ones seem to acknowledge this themselves. Of course it's all a bit silly. Remember Silva's line in Skyfall "England, the Empire, Mi6" with the accompanying roll of the eyes?


NotHughGrant, could you explain why you think that the quantity of movies in any particular genre and the quality of these movies are "intimately entwined"? I don't think that there is that much of a relation.

I think that you may have misunderstood my comparison to the Bond movie franchise. The argument on this board was, in short: "There are a lot of superhero (etc.) movies, they are all commercial and formulaic and that's a bad thing. Do we really need more of them?" My (tongue in cheek) counterpoint is: "There are a lot of James Bond movies (albeit not at the same time), they are all commercial and formulaic. Isn't that a bad thing as well and do we really need more of them?" Saying "Bond is an institution" doesn't really address this, because I can also make the point that comic book superheroes are an essential part of 20th century American/ Western pop culture and, hence, must be represented in the movies, too. Arguing about the longevity of either doesn't really get us anywhere, too. Superheroes have been around much longer than Her Majesty's finest superspy: Adolf Hitler himself was already reeling from Captain America's right hook! Also, don't you think that people might stil be making Batman movies in 50 years time? They've been around since 1966, you know.

You and I both love James Bond movies. Many people do. I also like superhero movies. Many people do, you don't. That's fine. But the existence or ubiquity of either of these genres is not problematic in itself. You simply don't watch a superhero movie but something else instead, which you might enjoy. And for me, there's only a problem if I watch a bad superhero movie, but I'll still enjoy what I think of as a good superhero movie.


Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:59 am
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