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December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'" 
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Post December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
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Tue Dec 27, 2011 9:40 pm
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
I too have noticed my local theaters both phasing out the 35MM format, it was only six months ago that both theaters carried the option for every film, now it's all digital. Digital has plenty of benefits, but 3-D is one i could do without.

I was forced to see Darkest Hour in 3-D since it was the only option and despite being filmed in 3-D, it was barely utilized in the film at all aside from a few shots, which made it seem rather pointless. While the film itself was pretty decent, (about the same level as Skyline, but not as good as Battle: LA) the whole time I was watching I was thinking about how i'd much rather be watching the film in 2-D, the film didn't look washed out or anything, I just didn't see any compelling reason why it couldn't have been shown in 2-D. It appears several of the films I want to see next year are in 3-D (Avengers and The Ghost Rider and Underworld sequels) i'll probably opt to see them in 2-D unless 3-D is the only option, in which case I hope the films utilize the 3-D well and it isn't just a transparent attempt to squeeze more money from my wallet.


Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:58 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
But Hugo has flopped, and deservedly so. Nobody, including Scorsese fans, wants to see 3D succeed in any way, shape, or form. As a lifelong fan of both Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, I felt betrayed by Hugo, but more especially as a fan of Scorsese's Personal Journey through movies documentary. How could this iconic movie buff think that 3D, a cheap gimmick that should have died 60 years ago, would actually have artistic viability? Why not stick to the lessons he learned from his own films and from the films he praises so intelligently in that documentary? Personally, I consider 3D an absolute evil, but the instances of forced conversion, such as Harry Potter, are meaningless. The ones I really hate are films like Hugo and Avatar, which actually have the gall to claim artistic viability in this method. Here's the truth: you can stick your finger in a pile of shit and use the shit to draw a picture of a rainbow, but you can't change the fact that it's made of shit. Thankfully, general audiences are getting the picture, and I hope films like Hugo will continue to tank.


Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:25 am
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
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Still, despite the shift in what we're seeing when we see movies, most pundits will see 2011 as the year when the masses showed signs of weariness with Hollywood's relentless pursuit of formula entertainment. So many movies underperformed that it's impossible to list them all in the space I have available.


I strongly suspect that people have gotten to where they've had it up to here with formula blockbusters. Signs of that started showing in 2010 (See: http://articles.cnn.com/2010-07-08/entertainment/summer.movies.bad_1_persia-box-office-movies?_s=PM:SHOWBIZ). But this was the year in which it became obvious.

Hugo succeeded where Avatar failed: in offering a compelling story and memorable characters.

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Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:48 am
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Formula blockbusters I can take, 3-D i'm really losing patience with, no matter how good the 3-D looks, it always feels unnecessary to me.


Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:46 pm
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
I typically 100% agree with the fact that 3D is a bad idea, and is normally used ineffectively at best. However, count me in the camp that loved the use of 3D in Hugo. I mentioned in another thread that I loved the way scenes were captured using 3D in this film, especially when the camera was following Hugo around the train station. I felt absorbed into the film, and going "through" the steam added to the dreamlike quality the film had for me. It would be interesting to hear an in depth discussion from the film-intelligent Scorsese on his reasons for filming in this format.

This being said, it seems to be a personal preference, and some people I saw the film with didn't notice or care. They view movies as entertainment only. They enjoyed Hugo, but enjoy stupid action films and by-the-numbers RomComs also. I don't think I would miss 3D terribly if it were to go away, and almost prefer that, than to have studios post convert films, which always looks bad.

Other than Hugo, I've only seen Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon in 3D. Hugo was the only one that I enjoyed on an artistic level. The other two were just fun to watch. Avatar because it was the first time a film actually "felt" 3D to me, and HTTYD because who wouldn't want to experience flying on a dragon?


Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:24 pm
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
jnice wrote:
Other than Hugo, I've only seen Avatar and How to Train Your Dragon in 3D. Hugo was the only one that I enjoyed on an artistic level. The other two were just fun to watch. Avatar because it was the first time a film actually "felt" 3D to me, and HTTYD because who wouldn't want to experience flying on a dragon?


'Dragon' was great in 3D and I actually enjoyed the movie more than 'Avatar' on a second viewing!

Okay then, I admit defeat; digital wins. Now when will the price of a movie ticket come down in price along with the drop in quality? Just because the average Joe cannot tell the difference between cell and digital, it doesn't mean said difference isn't there. Frankly it's an insult to be charged MORE for an inferior product, and then told that the difference is 'too negotiable to matter'.

A multiplex near me frequently had issues with sound. Far too many times, the sudden and quick squawk of badly compressed digital sound could be heard booming out of the speakers. My complaint was ignored because I was apparently the only person who noticed or cared.

You don't NEED digital projectors for 3D since proper IMAX is shot and projected on/from the large format prints.


Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:08 pm
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
But Hugo has flopped, and deservedly so. Nobody, including Scorsese fans, wants to see 3D succeed in any way, shape, or form. As a lifelong fan of both Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, I felt betrayed by Hugo, but more especially as a fan of Scorsese's Personal Journey through movies documentary. How could this iconic movie buff think that 3D, a cheap gimmick that should have died 60 years ago, would actually have artistic viability? Why not stick to the lessons he learned from his own films and from the films he praises so intelligently in that documentary? Personally, I consider 3D an absolute evil, but the instances of forced conversion, such as Harry Potter, are meaningless. The ones I really hate are films like Hugo and Avatar, which actually have the gall to claim artistic viability in this method. Here's the truth: you can stick your finger in a pile of shit and use the shit to draw a picture of a rainbow, but you can't change the fact that it's made of shit. Thankfully, general audiences are getting the picture, and I hope films like Hugo will continue to tank.


I don't think the reason HUGO has underperformed has much to do with the 3-D. It's more because there's no real audience for this kind of movie (sadly). It doesn't appeal to a lot of Scorsese films because it's nothing like he has done before and it's too cerebral for the normal "family film" audience. It's really an art-house movie but is not being marketed or sold as such. (Although, if it was, the 3-D would be a problem, since few art houses are equipped to show 3-D and few art house patrons have interest in it anyway.)


Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:21 pm
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
But Hugo has flopped, and deservedly so. Nobody, including Scorsese fans, wants to see 3D succeed in any way, shape, or form. As a lifelong fan of both Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, I felt betrayed by Hugo, but more especially as a fan of Scorsese's Personal Journey through movies documentary. How could this iconic movie buff think that 3D, a cheap gimmick that should have died 60 years ago, would actually have artistic viability? Why not stick to the lessons he learned from his own films and from the films he praises so intelligently in that documentary? Personally, I consider 3D an absolute evil, but the instances of forced conversion, such as Harry Potter, are meaningless. The ones I really hate are films like Hugo and Avatar, which actually have the gall to claim artistic viability in this method. Here's the truth: you can stick your finger in a pile of shit and use the shit to draw a picture of a rainbow, but you can't change the fact that it's made of shit. Thankfully, general audiences are getting the picture, and I hope films like Hugo will continue to tank.


*rolls eyes* I'm sure you would also have "felt betrayed" by sound films in the 1920s, color films in the 1940s, and widescreen in the 1950s.

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Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:17 pm
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
JamesKunz wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
But Hugo has flopped, and deservedly so. Nobody, including Scorsese fans, wants to see 3D succeed in any way, shape, or form. As a lifelong fan of both Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, I felt betrayed by Hugo, but more especially as a fan of Scorsese's Personal Journey through movies documentary. How could this iconic movie buff think that 3D, a cheap gimmick that should have died 60 years ago, would actually have artistic viability? Why not stick to the lessons he learned from his own films and from the films he praises so intelligently in that documentary? Personally, I consider 3D an absolute evil, but the instances of forced conversion, such as Harry Potter, are meaningless. The ones I really hate are films like Hugo and Avatar, which actually have the gall to claim artistic viability in this method. Here's the truth: you can stick your finger in a pile of shit and use the shit to draw a picture of a rainbow, but you can't change the fact that it's made of shit. Thankfully, general audiences are getting the picture, and I hope films like Hugo will continue to tank.


*rolls eyes* I'm sure you would also have "felt betrayed" by sound films in the 1920s, color films in the 1940s, and widescreen in the 1950s.


You have no idea what I'm trying to say. What I'm betrayed by is deliberate anachronism. The Artist is an equally good example. I would have been excited by sound in the 1920s, but I'm repulsed by a silent film in 2011. Similarly, 3D was a gimmick of the 1950s. It had it's chance to succeed, but people recognized it for the cheap parlor trick that it was 60 years ago. Trying to make it viable again neglects 50 years of cinematic advancement. Scorsese was a fool if he thought some so-called vision of his was going to change that. Speaking of which, I feel sure that my great grandparents would have been equally put off had they lived through the final scene of Hugo. A slurry of Melies shorts after having experienced Griffith, Keaton, and all those others? Give me a break.


Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:49 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
JamesKunz wrote:
*rolls eyes* I'm sure you would also have "felt betrayed" by sound films in the 1920s, color films in the 1940s, and widescreen in the 1950s.


I don't agree that it is the same thing at all.


Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:03 pm
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
But Hugo has flopped, and deservedly so. Nobody, including Scorsese fans, wants to see 3D succeed in any way, shape, or form. As a lifelong fan of both Goodfellas and Taxi Driver, I felt betrayed by Hugo, but more especially as a fan of Scorsese's Personal Journey through movies documentary. How could this iconic movie buff think that 3D, a cheap gimmick that should have died 60 years ago, would actually have artistic viability? Why not stick to the lessons he learned from his own films and from the films he praises so intelligently in that documentary? Personally, I consider 3D an absolute evil, but the instances of forced conversion, such as Harry Potter, are meaningless. The ones I really hate are films like Hugo and Avatar, which actually have the gall to claim artistic viability in this method. Here's the truth: you can stick your finger in a pile of shit and use the shit to draw a picture of a rainbow, but you can't change the fact that it's made of shit. Thankfully, general audiences are getting the picture, and I hope films like Hugo will continue to tank.


It's just a new tool. It can diminish the film (as most of the time it does), or enhance the film, as this instance here. Scorsese used a new tool he had to tell his story, and if it suits him, it should suit everyone else. Forgive me if I don't believe in the 3D they had 50 years ago. That was a gimmick. Today, at least some directors are using 3D to be more than a gimmick. They are using it as a new tool that they think can help them tell their story better; a new tool that can better convey what they want to convey to their intended audience. Sure, I think 3D applied in post production is nothing more than a money grab, but films shot in 3d today, and the ones that are going to be shot with even newer and better 3D cameras tomorrow, should prove to be a more and more awesome experience.

What will really help this take off, is when we don't have to wear glasses any more.


Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:59 pm
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
Nobody, including Scorsese fans, wants to see 3D succeed in any way, shape, or form.


I don't think it's true that nobody wants 3D to succeed - it's that the current incarnation of 3D movies is a poor value proposition. The surcharge + wearing those glasses just isn't worth what you get out of it, especially when some of us feel that you actually get an *inferior* experience in 3D. We're completely right in rejecting this type of 3D. But if we're talking about a true "3D" immersive experience where you are actually in the scene as an observer, a la "Star Trek Holodeck" technology, I think many more people would be pulling for this type of "3D" to succeed (the theory being that immersive experience is the endgame and today's "3D" is a stepping stone towards that goal). It would completely change the way directors present their stories and it would be a totally different experience for the audience, similar to what sound and colour did for motion pictures in the past. Why wouldn't we want something like that?


Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:01 am
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Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Dragonbeard wrote:
I don't agree that it is the same thing at all.

There seems to be something missing from this post.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:03 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
qbert wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Nobody, including Scorsese fans, wants to see 3D succeed in any way, shape, or form.


I don't think it's true that nobody wants 3D to succeed - it's that the current incarnation of 3D movies is a poor value proposition. The surcharge + wearing those glasses just isn't worth what you get out of it, especially when some of us feel that you actually get an *inferior* experience in 3D. We're completely right in rejecting this type of 3D. But if we're talking about a true "3D" immersive experience where you are actually in the scene as an observer, a la "Star Trek Holodeck" technology, I think many more people would be pulling for this type of "3D" to succeed (the theory being that immersive experience is the endgame and today's "3D" is a stepping stone towards that goal). It would completely change the way directors present their stories and it would be a totally different experience for the audience, similar to what sound and colour did for motion pictures in the past. Why wouldn't we want something like that?


Totally agree with you. I see this technology as a new tool to tell a story. First, we have to get where we don't where glasses anymore. Off the top of my head, that entails some type of polarized screen (or whatever it takes?) a couple of inches in front of the movie screen. This is being developed now and will appear on home TVs within the next 3-5 years. The holodeck experience is waaaaay far off...probably 20 years or more.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:47 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
JB, I gotta say, the last few sentences of the article was a grand slam.

Quote:
After two down years, the studios and theaters need a bounce-back. If 2012 doesn't provide it, it's time to wonder whether we have entered an era of contraction. Maybe the future isn't just digital. Maybe it's something more radical.


By "contraction," do you mean that there may just be fewer movies released altogether? I personally wouldn't mind that. Quality over quantity.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:54 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
qbert wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Nobody, including Scorsese fans, wants to see 3D succeed in any way, shape, or form.


I don't think it's true that nobody wants 3D to succeed - it's that the current incarnation of 3D movies is a poor value proposition. The surcharge + wearing those glasses just isn't worth what you get out of it, especially when some of us feel that you actually get an *inferior* experience in 3D. We're completely right in rejecting this type of 3D. But if we're talking about a true "3D" immersive experience where you are actually in the scene as an observer, a la "Star Trek Holodeck" technology, I think many more people would be pulling for this type of "3D" to succeed (the theory being that immersive experience is the endgame and today's "3D" is a stepping stone towards that goal). It would completely change the way directors present their stories and it would be a totally different experience for the audience, similar to what sound and colour did for motion pictures in the past. Why wouldn't we want something like that?


Your theory is not only naive, but also contradictory. You say It would be a totally different experience for the audience, while at the same time comparing it to color? FYI: color did not change the viewing experience, it was merely another tool to make a film better. Are you familiar with the following statement from Hitchcock?

Silent films were flawed because mouths moved with no words coming out. (paraphrased).

Now, I'd like to challenge anyone to draw the same analogy to 3D. What exactly is wrong with the way movies are now that 3D would correct? 3D is NOT A TOOL, the way some suggest, it is a gimmick, and in my opinion, not only a cheap gimmick but a downright evil one.

Quote:
(the theory being that immersive experience is the endgame and today's "3D" is a stepping stone towards that goal).


You have to get that theory out of your head, because it's a false dream. Avatar is it guys. There is no "endgame" following Cameron's travesty. Movies cannot be bigger than that, and this "more immersive" idea exists nowhere except inside your head. Don't you understand that unless the movie theater seats blast off and fly into the screen, the "immersive" shit will remain inside your head? Hugo flopped. Nobody gives a shit that a "major artist" utilized it creatively. Even if Hugo were a great film, which I don't think it is, I would still despise Scorsese for opening the 3D can of worms. I no longer consider him a really great director, and Hugo's flop may be the greatest example of poetic justice since Snakes on a Plane got ignored.

There's one more thing I wish you would realize, and that is that posts like yours are the reason why 3D continues to pollute movie theaters today. If I were a studio executive, I would read your post as a reason to continue the current practice, because I would say to myself "you know, deep down, they really want to see 3D succeed...they're waiting for it; so why not promote it even more? we have nothing to lose." I plead: is there anyone else out there with the balls to just say no to 3D?


Thu Dec 29, 2011 2:43 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
Your theory is not only naive, but also contradictory. You say It would be a totally different experience for the audience, while at the same time comparing it to color? FYI: color did not change the viewing experience, it was merely another tool to make a film better. Are you familiar with the following statement from Hitchcock?

Silent films were flawed because mouths moved with no words coming out. (paraphrased).

Now, I'd like to challenge anyone to draw the same analogy to 3D. What exactly is wrong with the way movies are now that 3D would correct?
They're flat.

MGamesCook wrote:
3D is NOT A TOOL, the way some suggest, it is a gimmick, and in my opinion, not only a cheap gimmick but a downright evil one.
I think things like the Third Reich and the Spanish Inquisition were evil, but hey. Different strokes.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:19 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
Ken wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Your theory is not only naive, but also contradictory. You say It would be a totally different experience for the audience, while at the same time comparing it to color? FYI: color did not change the viewing experience, it was merely another tool to make a film better. Are you familiar with the following statement from Hitchcock?

Silent films were flawed because mouths moved with no words coming out. (paraphrased).

Now, I'd like to challenge anyone to draw the same analogy to 3D. What exactly is wrong with the way movies are now that 3D would correct?
They're flat.

MGamesCook wrote:
3D is NOT A TOOL, the way some suggest, it is a gimmick, and in my opinion, not only a cheap gimmick but a downright evil one.
I think things like the Third Reich and the Spanish Inquisition were evil, but hey. Different strokes.


Shade once pointed out that I was very presumptuous in assuming that I was the only aspiring filmmaker on here, and he said that I had no way of knowing that for sure. But this is how I know. No one with a real passion for movies takes 3D seriously. I don't deny that Cameron had both passion and vision in his day, but somewhere along the road he lost it. Similarly, much as I admire Scorsese's earlier work, I think Hugo is a sign that he has no more stories to tell.

By the way Ken, have you ever heard of a thing called focus puller?


Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:52 am
Post Re: December 27, 2011: "Reviewing 2011: The Death of 'Film'"
MGamesCook wrote:
Shade once pointed out that I was very presumptuous in assuming that I was the only aspiring filmmaker on here, and he said that I had no way of knowing that for sure. But this is how I know. No one with a real passion for movies takes 3D seriously.
Nobody who actually has a valid point to argue has to resort to illogical nonsense like this.

MGamesCook wrote:
By the way Ken, have you ever heard of a thing called focus puller?
Yes. I have pulled focus. And because I am more familiar with it than anybody here, I can confidently assure everybody that pulling focus is EVIL.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:26 am
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