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December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment" 
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
As long as Superhero films continue to be profitable, they're not going to end anytime soon. Remakes have been around for decades, and although there have been many failures, Hollywood is still willing to take the risk to find those few that succeed, the only remakes I really had a problem with were the foreign horror remakes like One Missed Call and Shutter, and the watered down PG-13 remakes like Prom Night and The Stepfather. Now that those seem have to finally died down, i'm pretty content, I'm one of the few people who's actually looking to the Total Recall remake. Sequels are among the most profitable films in existence, so it's highly unrealistic to expect an end to them, though i'll admit that Hollywood should definitely at least scale back on them, as there's been too many sequels that no one even wasked for, like Basic Instinct 2, seriously, who was asking for that one?


Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:38 pm
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Vexer wrote:
I'm one of the few people who's actually looking to the Total Recall remake.


Count me in for that one as well. I enjoyed Len Wiseman's last movie (Live Free or Die Hard), the fact that it doesn't involve Mars at all means they're trying something new, and I like seeing Bill Nighy and Bryan Cranston in the cast list.

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Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:54 pm
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
I find midnight show crowds to be remarkably well-behaved, as opposed to the opening weekend crowds as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 was a great moviegoing experience. No one texted during the movie, no small kids were running around and everyone laughed and cheered at appropriate moments. Seeing Hugo last week was equally rewarding; especially since the showing I went to had no families, just older folks who knew theater etiquette very well (no texting, no obnoxious commentary). That's what the moviegoing experience should be like. Unfortunately, that's a rare occurrence.

Oh, and James, most theaters are switching over to digital now (not just because of the 3D explosion). If the projectors don't start automatically, the employees can actually start the movie without any previews -- but usually our company has a rule that we can't start preview-free movies unless it's after 10 minutes when a patron tells us or when we're checking the projectors. It takes a few seconds on a touch screen, and voila! Problem solved.


Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:20 am
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
It's not the superhero movies themselves that I mind. I dislike the sense that Marvel Studios has a laundry list of movies to make and that they're cranking them out in the same assembly line fashion as many of their struggling monthly publications. It seems to me that a big-budget movie is their chance to get these characters out of that ghetto of perfunctory storytelling and production. But then you run into the problem of high-risk, which isn't nearly as much of a drag on comics as it is on movies.

The superhero really isn't a bad archetype and film hasn't even begun to explore it. I just hope the genre doesn't choke on bland cookie-cutter movies before it learns to take some chances on film.

johnny larue wrote:
We have a local drafthouse with large cushy chairs with side tables for food and such...a couple of love seats strewn here and there. They have table service and alcohol. It's a nice change of pace but it's an old single screen theater, so they don't have a lot of choice for movies. The last film I saw there was Super 8 and, frankly, they had the volume cranked too loud. Also, being in such comfy chairs (and with a couple of beers in you) can make it real easy to doze off if the movie doesn't sieze and hold 100% of your attention; the threshold for that is lower in the more cramped seats of a multiplex.

Fair enough. I personally think that getting a wee bit roasted is the most favorable condition for seeing a movie. Not so tanked that I can't pay attention... but just a wee bit roasted.


Fri Dec 16, 2011 12:30 am
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
MPC wrote:
I find midnight show crowds to be remarkably well-behaved, as opposed to the opening weekend crowds


On average, I find that the worst crowd behavior to come from "Free Preview Screenings". It's not just that you have a packed house, it's that some of the people have a mentality that, since they didn't spend 9 bucks to be there, they aren't "invested" in the experience. Then you have some people who have no interest in the movie (unlike a midnight showing of Harry Potter); they just show up because they have nothing better to do and it's "free".

Worst overall experiences for me personally were at a showing of The Last Boy Scout with a majority African-American audience (the stereotypes about yelling at the screen and across the theater to acquaintences were reinforced) and at a screening of Pirates of the Carribean (part 3) with a majority of suburban white kids where little kids brought in kept moving around the theater and the ambient light from cell phones texting was quite distracting. Cinema rudeness knows no ethnic or economical boundaries, it would seem.

(Those were largely isolated incidents...I have been to other shows with suburban white kid and predominantly African-American audiences with minimal issues.)


Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:52 am
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Iron Man, Thor, Watchmen, Nolan's Batman movies, Captain America, hopefully the Avengers... are these not good movies then? Are they not miles ahead of what was appearing a decade ago when we first got Xmen and Spider-man? Again, not bad movies as such but the recent batch is far better. Even First Class was a good watch, despite the obvious re-write of the movie canon.

Vexer wrote:
As long as Superhero films continue to be profitable, they're not going to end anytime soon. Remakes have been around for decades, and although there have been many failures, Hollywood is still willing to take the risk to find those few that succeed, the only remakes I really had a problem with were the foreign horror remakes like One Missed Call and Shutter, and the watered down PG-13 remakes like Prom Night and The Stepfather. Now that those seem have to finally died down, i'm pretty content, I'm one of the few people who's actually looking to the Total Recall remake. Sequels are among the most profitable films in existence, so it's highly unrealistic to expect an end to them, though i'll admit that Hollywood should definitely at least scale back on them, as there's been too many sequels that no one even wasked for, like Basic Instinct 2, seriously, who was asking for that one?


So you DON'T have issue with the remake of 'Girl with the dragon tattoo'? There is nothing that validates what is going on here, nothing at all. It's an absolute waste of money and time and as pure an act of charlatanism as you can get.

I'll just be brutally honest here (and HYPOTHETICAL, this isn't aimed at anyone in particular!); if you can't be bothered to read subtitles, maybe you also don't have the brain power to appreciate Swedish cinema. Maybe you're better off buying a DVD of Jonah Hill's greatest tits or the Scary Movie box set.

Also, before people slant me for being potentially offensive to dyslexia suffers etc I know plenty of people who have such a problem and are fine with reading subtitles.


Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:04 am
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Johnny Larue wrote:
I find it interesting that most of those movies you mention as being "great about 1999", the vast majorities you describe as "satires" or "critiques". I want to say something about a lack of originality on the part of the filmmakers (I think it's easier to satirize the work or the style of others than to come up with your own original ideas), but am having a tough time coming up with a thesis. Your selection/description of movies just struck me as odd in describing 1999 as "the last great year of film."


First off, re: satirizing the style or work of others. I think what you mean is parodying them. That's not what I meant.

Satire in the purest sense of the word is humor with a point. That point can be taken to outrageous levels (Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"). But that's often the intent.

Prime examples of satire include the movies I mentioned previously as well as classcis like Dr. Strangelove and Network. Parodies would include Airplane, any of Mel Brooks movies, cinematic excrement like Meet The Spartans.

To further expand on my point: Three Kings was released in 1999 by Time Warner, a major studio. The film was made by David O'Russell, a director who had made two relatively successful films prior. But he wasn't the hottest or most respected director in America (and he isn't the most respected as a person director as of right now and that's his own fault. But I digress). George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg were well-known at the time, yet they weren't major stars and Ice Cube was known primarily as a rapper. So you had a mjor studio release a film by a not-so-well known director with stars who weren't yet major stars and a script that pulled no punches in criticizing American foreign policy and American government (Some people claimed Three Kings was anti-American. No. It was anti-American foreign policy. It was anti-American government).

Today would a movie like that get released by a major studio? Call me cynical. But I doubt it.

The main thing about much cinema that came out in the 1990s was that a lot of it (particularly the independent cinema) was about pointing out the disparity between the way people up top said things were and the way people saw them as really being. In a way 1999 was thr prime example.

Since then, we've had pretty good years for cinema (2003, 2006) and years that will likely be remembered ambivalently for the most part (2002, 2011). But in 1999 you had a lot of under the radar films rising to the top (the ones I mentioned previously). You had decent to great studio pictures (The Insider, The Matrix, Go).

Why has so much chnaged since then? Reason 1: What haooened in that era was a cycle. Cycles change (as in nay business). The reason for why the cycle changed could be traced to the high number of studio mergers that occured in the two years after.

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Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:47 am
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Iron Man, Thor, Watchmen, Nolan's Batman movies, Captain America, hopefully the Avengers... are these not good movies then? Are they not miles ahead of what was appearing a decade ago when we first got Xmen and Spider-man? Again, not bad movies as such but the recent batch is far better. Even First Class was a good watch, despite the obvious re-write of the movie canon.

Vexer wrote:
As long as Superhero films continue to be profitable, they're not going to end anytime soon. Remakes have been around for decades, and although there have been many failures, Hollywood is still willing to take the risk to find those few that succeed, the only remakes I really had a problem with were the foreign horror remakes like One Missed Call and Shutter, and the watered down PG-13 remakes like Prom Night and The Stepfather. Now that those seem have to finally died down, i'm pretty content, I'm one of the few people who's actually looking to the Total Recall remake. Sequels are among the most profitable films in existence, so it's highly unrealistic to expect an end to them, though i'll admit that Hollywood should definitely at least scale back on them, as there's been too many sequels that no one even wasked for, like Basic Instinct 2, seriously, who was asking for that one?


So you DON'T have issue with the remake of 'Girl with the dragon tattoo'? There is nothing that validates what is going on here, nothing at all. It's an absolute waste of money and time and as pure an act of charlatanism as you can get.

I'll just be brutally honest here (and HYPOTHETICAL, this isn't aimed at anyone in particular!); if you can't be bothered to read subtitles, maybe you also don't have the brain power to appreciate Swedish cinema. Maybe you're better off buying a DVD of Jonah Hill's greatest tits or the Scary Movie box set.

Also, before people slant me for being potentially offensive to dyslexia suffers etc I know plenty of people who have such a problem and are fine with reading subtitles.

No, I most certianly do not have issues with Tattoo remake like you do, because unlike you, I never read the books and I wans't a huge fan of the original trilogy, why do you assume that because I want to see the remake I can't read subtitles? that's an incredibly asinine and narrow-minded assumption to make, there's quite a few foreign-language films i've greatly enjoyed(though i'll admit i've never seen a Swedish film before, but that could change), why do you care so damn much if I want to see Finchers film anyways? I'm very excited to see Fincher's take on he subject. Unlike most remakes, Fincher actually cares about the source material, true there's nothing that really valiate it, but the same could be said for all remakes, so really it's kinda grasping at straws if you ask me, I personally wouldn't mind paying to see that film in theaters one bit, if you don't want to see it, tha'ts fine, but you're sure as hell not going to convince me that's it's a waste of time to see it.

I just dont' see why you feel the need to insult for wanting to see a remake? I've never insulted for your film tastes, I know plenty of people who would call you crazy for liking Sucker Punch, but not me, i'm glad i'm not the only one who actually understood that film. So please don't assume people can't read suttitles because they have an interest in seeing a reamke of a foreign film.


Fri Dec 16, 2011 1:09 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
I did actually say that it wasn't aimed at anyone in particular!

You answered your own question; the same IS said about ALL remakes. Did someone on this very thread not just say that they believe reamking movies to be one of the big problems with cinema? (one of the ones I actually agree with).

I'm curious to see what he's done as well, since he used to be one of my favourite directors. However it doesn't appear as if he HAS actually reinterpreted the story at all, he has simply created a literal scene for scene remake (according to screen shots) and used the same Swedish character names (Know many Americans called Mikel Blomkvist?). In addition, it's not crucial to Lisbeth's character for her to be pierced and gothed/punked up, yet there she is. How subtle.

I apologise for sounding as if I was being personal but I'm not. I care because I care about the culture, as well as caring about the medium of film as an art form as well as entertainment. In addition, the hypocrisy of the situation irks me somewhat. Hollywood is the bully that makes the wimpy kid do their homework for them. They take from people who they know nobody will care about. When is the last time Hollywood remade a Bollywood movie? They wouldn't, people wouldn't stand for it.

I'm not saying people shouldn't see it. I'm merely pointing out that if 'quality' is one of the big issues that is affecting cinema, this is a prime example to place under the microscope.


Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:00 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Jeff Wilder wrote:
First off, re: satirizing the style or work of others. I think what you mean is parodying them. That's not what I meant.


Like I said, I was having a difficult time formulating my idea. I know the difference between satire and parody. I guess what I was saying was that these films are commenting on an existing idea, or current event, or genre, or whatever. So the filmmakers are not really starting from "ground zero" and building up a story; they are starting with another idea or event and saying "now what can I say about that?" I'm not saying that's a bad thing, I'm just saying that just about every movie you cited as being a "great movie" from that year was in that vein. So in essence, using just your original post, 1999 was a great year for satires.


Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:05 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Dragonbeard wrote:
Iron Man, Thor, Watchmen, Nolan's Batman movies, Captain America, hopefully the Avengers... are these not good movies then? Are they not miles ahead of what was appearing a decade ago when we first got Xmen and Spider-man? Again, not bad movies as such but the recent batch is far better. Even First Class was a good watch, despite the obvious re-write of the movie canon.

Vexer wrote:
As long as Superhero films continue to be profitable, they're not going to end anytime soon. Remakes have been around for decades, and although there have been many failures, Hollywood is still willing to take the risk to find those few that succeed, the only remakes I really had a problem with were the foreign horror remakes like One Missed Call and Shutter, and the watered down PG-13 remakes like Prom Night and The Stepfather. Now that those seem have to finally died down, i'm pretty content, I'm one of the few people who's actually looking to the Total Recall remake. Sequels are among the most profitable films in existence, so it's highly unrealistic to expect an end to them, though i'll admit that Hollywood should definitely at least scale back on them, as there's been too many sequels that no one even wasked for, like Basic Instinct 2, seriously, who was asking for that one?


So you DON'T have issue with the remake of 'Girl with the dragon tattoo'? There is nothing that validates what is going on here, nothing at all. It's an absolute waste of money and time and as pure an act of charlatanism as you can get.

I'll just be brutally honest here (and HYPOTHETICAL, this isn't aimed at anyone in particular!); if you can't be bothered to read subtitles, maybe you also don't have the brain power to appreciate Swedish cinema. Maybe you're better off buying a DVD of Jonah Hill's greatest tits or the Scary Movie box set.

Also, before people slant me for being potentially offensive to dyslexia suffers etc I know plenty of people who have such a problem and are fine with reading subtitles.


I personally don't have a problem with the remake. I read the book in October and saw the Swedish film in November. Like Vexer railing against the next Smurfs movie and hypothetically asking "Who asked for this?" my answer would be...don't go see it. What harm does it do to you if they release "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo On Mars" in 3-D?

While I found the Swedish version to be quite good, I am interested to see the places Fincher takes it. And if it makes it more accessible to "dumb Americans who don't like to read," well there's a market there too. What was the last subtitled movie to make significant money in the US market? The Passion of the Christ? I find it interesting that you would damn the Fincher project without having even seen it.


Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:11 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
He's 'taking it' the exact same way it already was taken, by the looks of things :P

I feel I've been clear on this but I'll say it again for the sake of clarity. I WILL be seeing it, since I have a friend who shares my like of the original, wants to see the new one and won't go alone.

Of course I can damn it without seeing it, based on the knowledge that I already have (screen shots that are composed the SAME way as the originals etc). What does it mean? My opinion is of no consequence :P


Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:41 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Dragonbeard wrote:
He's 'taking it' the exact same way it already was taken, by the looks of things :P

I feel I've been clear on this but I'll say it again for the sake of clarity. I WILL be seeing it, since I have a friend who shares my like of the original, wants to see the new one and won't go alone.

Of course I can damn it without seeing it, based on the knowledge that I already have (screen shots that are composed the SAME way as the originals etc). What does it mean? My opinion is of no consequence :P


:lol:
I really don't know that much about it beyond the stars and director. I've seen a few of the TV commercials, but I usually am in FF mode on my DVR so I don't know how it will compare and deviate from the original film and/or book. My desire to see it is based on Fincher's resume and the source material. Hopefully it won't be like the Psycho remake, the only difference being it is in English.


Fri Dec 16, 2011 2:49 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
I think what the Hollywood industry might not realize is that once people are driven away from theatres, it'll be really hard to get them to come back. We are creatures of habits and convience. Once streaming movies on netflix or watching DVD's/blu rays at home becomes ingrained, most people will stop going to theatres altogether.

What theatres really need to do is start focusing on the customer experience first, then they can start thinking up strategies to weasel all the money they can out of our pockets. The strategies they have now (big blockbusters with 3D surcharges) may turn a profit now, but I don't think this model is sustainable.

What needs to be done is quality control, a small number of trailers fine. Screen ads before the showtime, okay. But f*ck tv ads for non movies and more than 3 trailers before a movie starts is ridiculous. And 3D is an overpriced nuisance, nothing more.
-Jeremy


Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:19 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
thered47 wrote:
I think what the Hollywood industry might not realize is that once people are driven away from theatres, it'll be really hard to get them to come back. We are creatures of habits and convience.


I think you just answered your own argument there. Baseball is a prime example...

PS Subtitles RULE. I wish they had them on ALL movies, because half the time there is SO much that can be missed... I wouldn't have understood a chunk of Social Network if it weren't for subtitles, from the mumbling and overloud music...

and I have no probs with a redo of Dragon Tattoo... I heard the original was very good but it was on video before it was even released in the US, if it ever actually was, and since I want to see it on a big screen, come on with the redo!


Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:16 am
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
MrGuinness wrote:
thered47 wrote:
I think what the Hollywood industry might not realize is that once people are driven away from theatres, it'll be really hard to get them to come back. We are creatures of habits and convience.


I think you just answered your own argument there. Baseball is a prime example...

PS Subtitles RULE. I wish they had them on ALL movies, because half the time there is SO much that can be missed... I wouldn't have understood a chunk of Social Network if it weren't for subtitles, from the mumbling and overloud music...

and I have no probs with a redo of Dragon Tattoo... I heard the original was very good but it was on video before it was even released in the US, if it ever actually was, and since I want to see it on a big screen, come on with the redo!


THANK YOU! I am SO sick of actors mumbling their lines to create "intensity." It doesn't work, and only annoys the viewer.

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Sat Dec 17, 2011 2:47 pm
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
To my perception, sound mixing has been very sloppy in the last decade or so - voices are far back, music and SFX come to the front. I switched from cinemas to DVD because cinemas were always so loud... but even that doesn't fix a bad mix. (Stereo is usually better than 5+1 for this.)


Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:24 pm
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
The best deal in my town (and we frequented it almost every weekend through the summer) was a local drive in. Two screens and two movies each night for a whopping $6 per person over 5. As my son has gotten older and more interested in movies, noticing trailers he wanted to see alot of movies this summer. So we took in tons of movies 2 at a time for the entire summer to the tune of $2 a person per movie.

Concessions are usually a gouge, but the ticket prices matched the concession prices. The multiplex humongous bucket of popcorn only cost $3.50. And they had all kinds of items from jalapeno poppers to foot long corn dogs, burger, and hot wings. So even if we bought popcorn and a burger, and an icee we are still looking at another $12.

$24 for 3 people to see two movies isnt bad, but if you are anti social like me you get to sit in your own private movie theater (your car) and not have to put up with talking and the other activities that go on is just icing on the cake.

If we ever do have to goto the multiplex we will usually keep an eye out for groupon deals for $2 tickets, or other discounted tickets through fandango. They run these deals every so often and I stock up.


Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:17 am
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
MrGuinness wrote:
thered47 wrote:
I think what the Hollywood industry might not realize is that once people are driven away from theatres, it'll be really hard to get them to come back. We are creatures of habits and convience.


I think you just answered your own argument there. Baseball is a prime example...

PS Subtitles RULE. I wish they had them on ALL movies, because half the time there is SO much that can be missed... I wouldn't have understood a chunk of Social Network if it weren't for subtitles, from the mumbling and overloud music...

and I have no probs with a redo of Dragon Tattoo... I heard the original was very good but it was on video before it was even released in the US, if it ever actually was, and since I want to see it on a big screen, come on with the redo!


Most theaters offer screenings for the hearing impaired. They use a little rear view mirror kinda thing and have captions at the rear of the auditorium. I've seen it used but never asked for one myself.


Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:19 am
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Pedro wrote:
If I'm seeing a film that's not a matinee screening, it's either a date or a poorly planned social get-together.


That's been the case for me for a long time. I don't think I've been to a single movie since I graduated from college (which was way back in 1984) just to see the movie--it's been a social outing. Before that, there were times I would go to a movie by myself if it was something I particularly wanted to see, but I can't imagine going to a movie by myself nowdays. OTOH, this isn't driven by price considerations--back when I would go to a movie by myself, waiting for it to be released on DVD (or even video) wasn't an option yet.


Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:05 pm
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