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September 6, 2011: "Junk Food" 
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Post September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
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Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:45 am
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
Yeah Five Guys!!


Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:33 pm
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
Quote:
How long until multiplexes and amusement parks merge with a McDonald's next door to each one? Then we can pig out all day on junk food and junk cinema before going home and watching Dancing with the Has-Beens on TV. Who said life isn't worth living?


Love this quote. So funny, but sadly so true as well. Unfortunately the path of least resistance is often the most appealing for a lot of people (myself included oftentimes) simply because it's the path of least resistance! LOL! Good insight as always, James. By the way, I'm kinda curious, what film was it about which you had written "every once in a while, it's fun to turn off the mind and simply enjoy an excess of pyrotechnics and special effects?" Just wondering.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:08 pm
Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
I just see whatever films look and sound appealing to me, and that just happens to include many so-called "mindless" blockbusters(though i'll fervently argue that Inception and Avatar are no smarter then the Transformers films, despite what they want you to believe) I do see intelligent films from time to time, problem those films often only get limited releases in theaters, so one usually has to wait for them to hit DVD before seeing them, i'd LOVE to see something like Red State in theaters, but the odds are pretty strong it's not going to be playing anywhere near where I live. I personally see othing wrong with the prospect of more blockbuster films, and trying to stop the masses from paying to see the latest box-office extravaganza is like trying to convince people that aliens exist, it's just not gonna happen.

I do agree with your hatred of reality-tv though, I used to watch it once-upon-a-time when I was very bored, but nowadays I hardly ever watch TV on a regular basis, stuff like Jersey Shore is worse then any mindless film, it's depressing to see people so shallow be celebrated for drinking and regularly getting in trouble.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:24 pm
Director

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:28 pm
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
Vexer wrote:
I just see whatever films look and sound appealing to me, and that just happens to include many so-called "mindless" blockbusters(though i'll fervently argue that Inception and Avatar are no smarter then the Transformers films, despite what they want you to believe) I do see intelligent films from time to time, problem those films often only get limited releases in theaters, so one usually has to wait for them to hit DVD before seeing them, i'd LOVE to see something like Red State in theaters, but the odds are pretty strong it's not going to be playing anywhere near where I live. I personally see othing wrong with the prospect of more blockbuster films, and trying to stop the masses from paying to see the latest box-office extravaganza is like trying to convince people that aliens exist, it's just not gonna happen.

I do agree with your hatred of reality-tv though, I used to watch it once-upon-a-time when I was very bored, but nowadays I hardly ever watch TV on a regular basis, stuff like Jersey Shore is worse then any mindless film, it's depressing to see people so shallow be celebrated for drinking and regularly getting in trouble.


It makes me sad that bullshit like Jerser Shore will draw big ratings and have a long life on the tube, while more worthy shows would be lucky to draw one tenth of the ratings and last more than six episodes. I may actually hate my generation.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:40 pm
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
corpen11 wrote:
Vexer wrote:
I just see whatever films look and sound appealing to me, and that just happens to include many so-called "mindless" blockbusters(though i'll fervently argue that Inception and Avatar are no smarter then the Transformers films, despite what they want you to believe) I do see intelligent films from time to time, problem those films often only get limited releases in theaters, so one usually has to wait for them to hit DVD before seeing them, i'd LOVE to see something like Red State in theaters, but the odds are pretty strong it's not going to be playing anywhere near where I live. I personally see othing wrong with the prospect of more blockbuster films, and trying to stop the masses from paying to see the latest box-office extravaganza is like trying to convince people that aliens exist, it's just not gonna happen.

I do agree with your hatred of reality-tv though, I used to watch it once-upon-a-time when I was very bored, but nowadays I hardly ever watch TV on a regular basis, stuff like Jersey Shore is worse then any mindless film, it's depressing to see people so shallow be celebrated for drinking and regularly getting in trouble.


It makes me sad that bullshit like Jerser Shore will draw big ratings and have a long life on the tube, while more worthy shows would be lucky to draw one tenth of the ratings and last more than six episodes. I may actually hate my generation.

I know how you feel, I don't hate my generation, but I am somewhat dissapointed in it, seems like most of the shows I like don't last very long(Wonderfalls being one such example)


Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:48 pm
Director

Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:28 pm
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
I'm being a bit overzealous about "hating my generation," but it baffles me that people would enjoy garbage and tripe that that. Just watch something that has some meaning to it?


Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:52 pm
Profile YIM
Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
Personally, I think that the current generation of movie-goers vacuuming up the garbage flicks and begging for more is a product of the decline of the American education system. The more ignorant a person is, the more importance flashiness hold for that person when it comes to choosing entertainment. Straighten out the education system, and more people will come to believe in the concept of "More matter and less art", to quote Shakespeare (Gertrude in Hamlet).


Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:59 pm
Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
As a card carrying 'academic', my favourite movie of the year so far has been 'Sucker Punch' (I've still not seen Thor). I love being the exception to the 'rule' ;)


Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:29 pm
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
Bleak sentiments, but unfortunately, look to be true.

The problem is that Hollywood has attached itself to dumb fun movies for two reasons: one, fanboys, hipsters and kids are easily defined markets, and Hollywood knows how to attract them successfully.

But the main reason is the obsession with attracting foreign markets. Big budget movies are very visual to attract viewers from different parts of the world, but they lack character and plot because different countries have different values, and won't respond to the characters and storylines that attract American audiences. That's why the Transformers movies made so much money; they're very visual action movies, but they don't have any interesting characters or involving plotlines to avoid turning off foreign viewers. They think they're just as bland as we do, but they love action movies and Hollywood markets them there as aggressively as they do here, so they turn out in droves.

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:10 pm
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
The one savior for some people regarding "smart entertainment" has been cable TV. A lot of popular actors and actresses are doing movies and TV shows for networks like HBO, Showtime, Starz, etc. It seems these days cable movie channels are where the quality programming is mostly at.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:21 pm
Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
One of the many strange paradoxes of the information age is that the nutritional content of what we consume (be it food or culture) is no longer a mystery to us. We have a readily available wellspring of information about it, plus information about the bevy of alternatives. This is information that people can use to improve their lives vastly, but it seems that most don't.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:38 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2009 9:21 pm
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
In an odd way this can been just by watching Episodes 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the Star wars series. It is amazing to watch 4 and 5 and realize the same guy made those and 2 and 3. There is always a Batman or Iron Man that sneaks through, but most people would rather be 'fed' than have to 'eat' when it comes to movies.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:03 pm
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
Quote:
How long until multiplexes and amusement parks merge with a McDonald's next door to each one?


STOP!!!

You're giving them ideas!

Ken wrote:
One of the many strange paradoxes of the information age is that the nutritional content of what we consume (be it food or culture) is no longer a mystery to us. We have a readily available wellspring of information about it, plus information about the bevy of alternatives. This is information that people can use to improve their lives vastly, but it seems that most don't.


I can't believe that you didn't mention the "Cheeseburger". I'm disappointed. Snarf.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:22 pm
Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
JB, I'm sorry, but all you have to do to find the source of the problem is look in a mirror. Modern audiences trust critical consensus more than they ever have before, treating rottentomatoes like the bible. When critics support that kind of hype, what do you expect to happen? People sit through moronic shit like Avatar, but are able to convince themselves that it's a once in a lifetime experience, because "the critics said so." Your observation is sad, but true; 3D will probably never go away now. You may have found the film enjoyable enough to give it 4 stars, but the effect it has had, the only effect it could have had on the industry, is a 0 star trend. It made studios realize that people will pay extra, not just pay but pay extra, for absolutely anything. I wish more critics had realized this at the outset.


Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:37 am
Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
ed_metal_head wrote:
I can't believe that you didn't mention the "Cheeseburger". I'm disappointed. Snarf.

Looks like I didn't have to.


Wed Sep 07, 2011 12:58 am
Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
Wow, it seems like JB's columns are trudging deeper and deeper into a blast of excess cynicism, but......

I couldn't agree more.

You can draw so many paralells between the movie industry and the economy in general, at least as far as the mentality that got us into the mess we're in today. JB's piece here is full of them. The part about going after huge dollars instead of being happy with being profitable; that perfectly mirrors our obsession with not just living "solid," but going for excess millions and one day joining the ranks of the Upper 1%.

I've been seeing fewer and fewer movies every year in theaters. Part of it is that my attention has drawn more to sports and video games. The other part is that a lot of movies do look and feel very much like an assembly line product. My peers will see movies like Transformers 3, Hangover 2, and every superhero movie, but rarely do I hear anyone exclaiming "Oh my god, you HAVE to see this!" The buzz is gone. It's very much like junk food; you go for a fix but never have much to say about it other than a mild "it was good."

I know it's popular nowdays to say everything looks like shit. Hell, the power of the internet has made every single one of us more cynical than we otherwise would be. But JB is right on the money. Is this column the beginning of the end? Will Reelviews be gone in a few years?

Or will a fall of movies for adults (or "Oscar Bait" as certain people on this forum prefer) make us forget all about this?


Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:26 am
Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
As Vexy has pointed out, Oscar season might imply smarter, more grown-up movies, but it's no guarantee.

It is truly depressing to see the mark of prestige bestowed upon movies that are only marginally more challenging and intelligent than their summer brethren, and marketed just a little bit less lavishly.


Wed Sep 07, 2011 1:54 am
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
I watch American Idol because when you get down to the top 10 singers, some of them are actually pretty decent. It depends on the season. Last season was pretty blah. But I think I'm done with Idol anyway because Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez suck as judges. Even Randy doesn't seem so great anymore.

The problem with this article? I don't agree with it. I actually think this has been a stellar summer. I loved Bridesmaids, Super 8, Cowboys & Aliens, Larry Crowne, The Help. And some great art house fare like The Tree of Life and my favorite film of 2011 so far, A Better Life.

As far as reality television goes, I don't watch much. Besides Idol, I watch Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef on the occasion. They are not appointment television but I enjoy them.

But there are a LOT of great shows on right now. Both on cable and on the networks.


So yeah. I don't agree with this article.


Wed Sep 07, 2011 3:27 am
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Post Re: September 6, 2011: "Junk Food"
ilovemovies wrote:
I watch American Idol because when you get down to the top 10 singers, some of them are actually pretty decent. It depends on the season. Last season was pretty blah. But I think I'm done with Idol anyway because Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez suck as judges. Even Randy doesn't seem so great anymore.

The problem with this article? I don't agree with it. I actually think this has been a stellar summer. I loved Bridesmaids, Super 8, Cowboys & Aliens, Larry Crowne, The Help. And some great art house fare like The Tree of Life and my favorite film of 2011 so far, A Better Life.

As far as reality television goes, I don't watch much. Besides Idol, I watch Hell's Kitchen and Master Chef on the occasion. They are not appointment television but I enjoy them.

But there are a LOT of great shows on right now. Both on cable and on the networks.


So yeah. I don't agree with this article.


Though I don't agree with your specific selections, I do think you're right that anyone who was really disappointed in this summer is perhaps expecting too much. Five of the huge releases I thought to be quite good, and I don't see how it's ever gonna be much better than that.


Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:15 am
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