Monday, August 10, 2009

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AO Scott "spoon-fed cinema" on the infantilization of the cinema. There's no solution in this piece, just despair. But it's hard to argue with the points raised -- the box office does prove that even adults prefer movies aimed at toddlers and their "AGAIN!" refrain.
Roger Ebert is also exasperating by the dumbing down. Hey... might this have anything to do with GI Joe?
fourfour a 10 second review of GI Joe. Funny funny although I guarantee Channing has regular genitalia, having seen it.

Boy Culture Did you know that Channing Tatum was once a male stripper? Neither did I.
Edward Copeland commits heresy "a pox on all your awards shows"

Finally, if you've ever seen Mike Figgis's fascinating quartered-screen experiment Time Code (2000) you owe it to yourself to check out Nick and Tim's wordy, passionate, thorny, funny and appropriately confusing discussion for Nick's ongoing series Films of the 00s. Bonus points: Lots of love for Holly Hunter therein. Holly always carries bonus points with her.


Fernando Moss said...

OT: Antonio Banderas is 49 today... and still very very HOT...

Seeking Amy said...

Okay, Nathaniel, after posting this heart-racing post, how did you manage to see Channing's precious? Or is this something everyone else has seen except me?!

Seeking Amy said...


Juno101 said...

I totally agree, channing Tatum is worthless to movies. He doesn't even deserve experience to get better at acting, there's already far more better unknown actors that completely deserve a chance.
Anyway, why are critic getting so serious? Did he say their more "evolved"? Their just movies. Their acting as if movies determine a persons worth. Honestly the hurt locker looked a bit boring. Reviews aren't gonna brainwash me to go see movies they like. They talk as if their opinions are facts. If someone enjoys transformers fine, go see it. Its not like people are saying its one of the greatest movie they have ever seen, its just entertainment. And the whole thing about teenagers not seeing movies like the hurt locker because they would be seen as "weirdos" to their friends is stupid. When you go with a group of friends to the movies your obviously looking for a good time. Your not gonna see a serious movie like "the hurt locker" where a guy digs inside the body of a kid for a bomb, your gonna see some popcorn flick. If your gonna go out looking for a goodtime and maybe the opposite sex, your gonna go to a club and maybe sleep with a hot stranger not to some historical monument in hopes of finding your soulmate.

Christine said...

I love Roger Ebert's post-illness blog posts. I think he has a refreshing honesty. That being said, I think he's off-base here. I first started going to movies seriously when I was a teenager in the mid-80s and the same arguments were made then: kids don't care about quality; they just want to go to the most popular film. While this is true for a lot of kids, I think the number of teenagers who have posted on this blog contradict the idea that no young people are interested in film.

Also, it's not as if a lot of adults I knew in the 80s were going to independent films. It's a small-ish subset of the population in general. If anything, over the past few years, I've seen an increased interest in small films as tools like online distribution and Netflix have made it possible for people to view a wider range of films.

Glendon said...

I couldn't care less if people's idea of a great movie is Transformers or G.I. Joe and in turn those films make millions of dollars and The Hurt Locker makes next to nothing. I think the first 2 movies look terrible and I won't see them. I thoroughly enjoyed The Hurt Locker.

But. I'm invested in watching film. Most people aren't, and more power to them. To quote another site, if someone asked me what car I thought was good a reasonable answer might be "Oh, the Honda Civic is nice." If a car aficionado hears my answer they'll probably be repulsed.

It's the same thing with movies. Some people might see 3 movies a year, and I won't mourn the death of society if their choices are "beneath" mine.


Glendon... but these numbers determine what kind of movies get made at all. So in that way it's very scary that the market for anything other than juvenilia (i love some of it but there's way too much of it) is miniscule these days.

Glendon said...

Hey Nat, I know what you mean. The idea of studios being only concerned with how the movie plays the first weekend, rushing production to meet a deadline without concern for quality, and general unoriginality is scary. About juvenilia crowding out quality, I have hope. George Clooney may not draw the crowds in anymore, but he still gets to make the movies he is passionate about. I hope he's not just the exception to the rule, although the news about Moneyball is a little sobering.

I disagree that we're in a dark age though. I think cinephiles need to stop looking at the intimidating box office results for dumb summer tent poles (the most naked examples of movies-as-products) and realize how good we have it. DVD has made foreign and independent films easily accessible. The internet has allowed those looking for an alternative to Transformers to hear about hidden gems.

Without a doubt though, I agree that this summer's offering has been disappointingly lame.

Unknown said...

Good points all around on the summer movie doldrums (and mainstream movie doldrums in general)...


I only agree with lumping the latest Harry Potter with the rest in theory. In practice, I think it's right up there with The Hurt Locker and Up as one of the year's best so far. Honorable mentions to Star Trek, 500 Days of Summer, Julia, Coraline, and Drag Me to Hell.

Now that I think about it, if those movies are any indication, this could be a fascinatingly offbeat year (though maybe not qualitatively the most impressive).

Glenn Dunks said...

Anybody who thinks movies are worse today should read this:


i dunno Glenn. Poland has some good points but if you look at things like "adult comedy" and "adult product" and even "fx wannabes" i think you'll find qualitative differences in favor of the past.

i dunno. i still think hollywood has become so perfect at the franchise mentality / marketing (i think AO Scott is right that even to the audience quality is a sidebar... good if you can get it but it's not going to affect whether or not you show up at the movie)

i've talked to so many people (and i've even done this myself) where they readily admit they aren't expecting a lot but they want to see it. If moviegoers don't expect a lot from an adult themed drama THEY JUST DON'T GO.

so there's a major difference not in favor of the survival of non CGI movies.

but yes yes. the sky is always falling.

Wayne B said...

I normally agree with Roger Ebert but I feel he's missing something in his analysis. A good number of professional film reviewers do come across as snobs in their writing styles. Teenagers don't respond to that sort of person, so why would they care about what this person has to say about movies?
It's also a bonding experience for a group of teenaged friends to go to a bad movie and to critique it together afterwards. I certainly enjoyed tearing "Planet of the Apes" and "Jurassic Park III" apart with my friends back in the day. I DO LIKE the points he makes about the current education system and media bombardment of commercial films.

stacey said...

Stop with the ChanTa Hate !

ChanTa might not be Day-Lewis or Michel Simon, but he's one of the only actors around who can plagy wigger convincigly !

Long Live ChanTa !