Originally posted by eviljonhunt81And just because they appeal to people doesn't make it right. It's laziness on the part of the consumer that makes these movies successful.
We're talking about ENTERTAINMENT here. Some people have very difficult jobs -- doctors, lawyers, cops, etc. -- and have to make difficult decisions every day of their lives. They like to go to a movie and FORGET about all of that for two hours and have a good time. Not everyone LIKES to sit and critically assess a film. And not everyone SHOULD. It's their right to go and do just that. You may not like it, but that's the way the ball bounces. Let them have their fun. And don't hate Hollywood for doing that. I went through this phase about 8 years ago. I quickly realized many many people -- including my friends -- wanted nothing to do with me because I couldn't just relax and enjoy something for what it is. I had to critically asses EVERYTHING all the time.
Originally posted by eviljonhunt81These movies fail as a serious attempt to start any critical thought, and they fail as "mindless entertainment" in that they strive to be more than that. It's this fake middle ground where people feel like they've done something important thought provoking without having done anything.
So where does a movie like BLAZING SADDLES fit into all of this? If all movies are in one of the two categories you outlined, certainly this must fit into one of them. But wait. It doesn't strive for critical thought and it doesn't make the audience feel like they've done something important and thought provoking without having done anything. It's there to MAKE THEM LAUGH. To ENTERTAIN THEM.
Originally posted by eviljonhunt81 So, just because people like it doesn't make it alright. Hell, people liked Slavery, but that isn't a justification for it.
I'll defer to CRZ on this one.
Originally posted by eviljonhunt81 In a theater, you cannot stop and think about what has happened so far, and any movie that would allow you to do so would be pretty boring.
That's the compelling thing about film. Especially GOOD film. Good movies get better with repeated viewings. And if you can't "think" in a theater, you might have some serious problems with multi-tasking. All I've done during some films is think and analyze what's being put in front of me.
And now with the advent of DVD and HOME theater, you CAN stop the movie whenever you want and think about what has happened so far.
With the success of Star Wars, Hollywood began to push big action movies more heavily, which soon surpassed other genres to become the highest grossers of the year. Right around the same time, Hollywood's more "serious" dramas became tired and cliched, and the movies that receive Best Picture have changed as a result. no longer do we get the Deer Hunter or One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but A Beautiful Mind and Shakespeare in Love.
Beautiful Mind may not have been the best movie I've ever seen, and maybe it doesn't sit on the same level as Deer Hunter or Cuckoo, but Shakespeare in Love sure as hell does. And it wasn't a Drama, really, more of an absurdist/existentialist romantic comedy (although that's probably still selling it short); and a brilliant one at that. You should try watching it again, like, with the sound on or something.
The change seems to happen at right around the same time, and Star Wars would seem to have some responsibility in the change between dramas being the big movies and action movies being the big movie. But why, then, do dramas become so much shittier, while action movies stay at roughly the same level of quality (some good some bad.)?
The dramas became shittier, huh? I'm assuming you mean, `non-action' by the way you seem to lump everything else in as `drama'. I agree that in the last twenty years the good to bad ratio has dropped severely, but you're talking like nothing worthwhile is made, let alone awarded. If you want to see good movies that aren't necessarily big-budget, wide-release, star-studded attempts at epic, but are challenging, enduring, and well-made pieces of cinematography, try reading the winners list from Sundance, or Cannes.
Hollywood is driven by money, not love. Every now and then, through luck, something great comes out of Hollywood; but 99% of the time the political morass drags even the good stuff down. Don't like it? Don't watch it.
If you really care, here's some movies I like. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Freaks, Silent Running, Road Warrior, Rashomon, Scanners, Altered States, Battle Royale, Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis, Blair Witch Project, Day/Dawn of the Dead. I don't know. I could name more, but I don't think it matters. I'm not afraid of being positive, I just don't think any of this is relevant.
The irony of this is astounding. Most of those are B-movies; most of them intentionally so. Conquest of the Planet of the Apes speaks to you in some profound way? Dawn of the Dead too? No wonder you got nothing out of Shakespeare in love...too much dialogue, not enough ass-kicking monster ackshun, I guess.
And as for your Burt Bacharach/*NSync comment, you go ahead and blame Burt Bacharach for *NSync. And I'll just sit here and laugh at you. Burt Bacharach has written some saccharine-sweet pop music, but he's also written some good stuff. *NSync is more about the boy/girl-band genre, a genre that pre-existed Bacharach's career and which he had absolutely nothing to do with. You want to blame somebody, blame Frankie Lymon, or Richard Barrett, or the Jackson 5, not Burt Bacharach. Burt writes music for a living, he doesn't engineer teen pop groups.
And candy-pop was around for years before Bacharach ever wrote any. Take a listen to some early Frank Sinatra or some Bing Crosby. Hell, grab some Andrews Sisters from the '30s or '40s. Or even some Al Jolson. The music is PAP. It's some of the best pap ever made, but that's what it is. The Beatles (one of the greatest bands ever) put out four or five albums of the same stuff before they made their `masterpieces'.
Care to make any other broad sweeping generalizations?
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I totaly agree with Papercuts. There comes a time when you grow up and get tired of being a nazi about comics, movies and music. I think many people go through phases where they start bitching about perfectly acceptable popcorn-munching fare like Spider-man and Attack of the Clones and all they want to watch is "intellectual" films. But there's only so many times you can watch Requiem for a Dream or Pi or Dancer in the Dark before you are sickened by all of the "deep" pretentiousness and go back to watching stuff that can actually entertain. I definitely feel the need to zone out with a movie every now and then and stop bitching about it. There are plenty of good movies like Memento and Fargo that are artsy and intellectual without losing their pop appeal. Sometimes you need to watch Akira or The Crying Game or something like that, but sometimes you need to watch something with explosions and big tits, just because your life doesn't include explosions and big tits. (This is also the reason I'm a wrestling fan) Ah hell. This is a fruitless argument. I just get tired of guys like eviljonhunt crapping on everything, then lauding a list of b-movie schlock as their favorite films. Sometimes life calls for Radiohead, but sometimes you need Motley Crue, you know? It's called diversity.
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Originally posted by eviljonhunt81Hell, people liked Slavery, but that isn't a justification for it.
Wow, I was worried you'd bring up Hitler and the Nazis, too.
Hey, I use extreme points in my arguments all the time...
Except, in this case, it IS justification. Movies don't exist on principles of right or wrong, really. It's about liking it or not liking it. Slavery required a moral justification. You can't chain people because of their color. Maybe because they've committed a crime, but not because of racism. Movies are, well, freakin' movies.
Trying to condemn the Oscars as wrong is a dead-end street. You can call them stupid all you want, and I think most people in this thread will agree with you. But wrong?
Oh, and Shakespeare in Love sucked. Big tawdry love story. :)
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Well, I never grew out of my desire to be critical/overly critical of a popular culture product. Of course, like a few other people, it's also been my job, so that may be part of it.
I did however get to the point where I learned to temper my vocalizations of them. When I came back from grad school, my friends constantly made fun of my inability to articulate things in a non-academic faction.
As for the dichotomy between "high" and "low" culture pertaining to movies, both are enjoyable if done correctly. If there's nothing on TV, I'm just as likely to watch Blazing Saddles on DVD as I am Citizen Kane.
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Originally posted by odessastepsWell, I never grew out of my desire to be critical/overly critical of a popular culture product.
I'm in the same boat. My biggest "test" came when my mother in law turned on HBO a couple years ago, only to excitedly proclaim "Ooooh! Here's a Pauly Shore movie I haven't seen!" I cringed. Hard. But I didn't say a THING. For the record, I'm not encouraging anyone to *NOT* be critical. I'm simply saying there's a time and place for everything and when it comes to entertainment, BOTH FORMS can co-exist. They have to. Many high caliber actors wouldn't be able to do the artsy projects without doing the empty-headed stuff, too. It's the nature of the beast.
Originally posted by odessasteps I did however get to the point where I learned to temper my vocalizations of them. When I came back from grad school, my friends constantly made fun of my inability to articulate things in a non-academic faction.
Again, same thing happened to me.
Originally posted by odessastepsAs for the dichotomy between "high" and "low" culture pertaining to movies, both are enjoyable if done correctly. If there's nothing on TV, I'm just as likely to watch Blazing Saddles on DVD as I am Citizen Kane.
While I disagree mostly with Jon on this topic, I do have to throw out some support to Dawn of the Dead. Yeah it's zombie-blasting survival horror (gotta love RE), but there is a pretty great statement being made in this movie. Don't believe me? Watch the zombies in the mall...watch the heroes in the mall...notice anything?
If the Acadamy was so great pre-Star Wars though, where was Hitchcock's Oscar? Or Kubrick's? Hell, Psycho and 2001 weren't even nominated.
If anything, the Acadamy Awards have gotten a little bit more diverse since Star Wars was nominated. They nominate more movies that aren't teary dramas like LOTR, Beauty and the Beast, and Pulp Fiction (not that they have a snowball in hell's chance of winning though).
thanks for the support on Dawn of the Dead. And I think I named maybe 3 "B" movies. I think most B sci-fi movies have more to say about life than most anything out there. Movies, literature, you name it. Sci-fi is an amazing genre, when treated right.
Furthermore, none of the movies I named strive ot be more than they are. That is the problem I have with mainstream cinema. I have nothing wrong with just wanting to be entertained, but it's films that act like they carry a serious message and turn out to be drivel that bothers me. And how can any of you say that you aren't critical of popular culture? It amazes me that people who demand so much out of their wrestling can sit back and accept banality on so many other levels. I have no problem with "low brow" movies like Blazing Saddles (my favorite Mel Brooks movie happens ot be Spaceballs, perhaps the most "low brow" of them) and decent aciton movies. I am arguing against movies that pretend to take on a serious issue, or engage the viewer in critical thought, but end up as nothing more than bland sentimentality.
I agree that the Oscars have become more diversified in the nominations, but that seems to reflect the box office these movies had rather than any serious chance of winning. I imagine they are nominated to attract viewers that don't care about Titanic or The English Patient. A ratings ploy, in other words.
If not wanting movies to simply make me feel like I did something is being a Nazi, then so be it. I can't sit back and accept second best when I know better stuff is out there. You all use the same argument about Pro Wrestling all the time, so why doesn't it apply here?
Well, here's what it all comes down to. The mighty BUCK. I think when Star Wars hit, hollywood realized that if they could make movies with no critical approval (Star Wars was panned by PLENTY of them back then) then why not? That's why we got stuff like Iron Eagle and Navy Seals.
And John has a point. "Films that act like they carry a serious message and turn our to be drivel bother me." Amen to that. I can go see a millon Thelma and Louise women's lib movies, A million "intellectual" flicks like a Beautiful Mind, and a kajillion dramas like Philidelphia and at one point or another in the movie they feel so contrived. Like someone's trying to oppress their point of view on me. But don't get me wrong, I can also see Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Escape From New York and feel the same way. No matter what, just about anything can feel contrived at some point.
But no! I'm not jaded! Just annoyed!!
And on the Academy, I don't see crap for diversification there. I'll take it straight from Christopher Priest to throw out my point: "Oh sure, everyone is screaming to me that its great that Hallie Berry won an Academy Award. But lets take a look at why: It seems a little too convenient that after years of excellent acting that she'd only get a nomination, much less a win, after exposing her chest for America to see." Now I know I'll get a lot of flack for that, but man, its the straight up truth. The Academy is so full of it with its nominations that the most important thing is getting their judges paid off. They can nominate all the independant movies they want, but its just to gloss over the fact that drivel like Gladiator and Titanic are given to win. Its all about who pays the Academy to win, just like in Politics. There's a reason why Hitchcock never got the nod, he didn't fork up the dough. Simple as that.
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I don't understand all this 'Beautiful Mind' bashing going on. I thought it was a well done movie, maybe not best of the year, but better than most. Of those nominated I would have gone with 'In the Bedroom'.
Originally posted by BigDaddyLocoI don't understand all this 'Beautiful Mind' bashing going on. I thought it was a well done movie, maybe not best of the year, but better than most. Of those nominated I would have gone with 'In the Bedroom'.
Beautiful Mind was manipulative crap, with cliched "mental" acting by Russell Crowe and a horribly annoying gimmick.
But that's me.
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Originally posted by PandaMaskNow I know I'll get a lot of flack for that, but man, its the straight up truth.
How can YOU get a lot of flack for something you didn't say in the first place? Shouldn't Priest be the one "getting all the flack?" You also totally missed the point Priest was trying to make -- not that I'm surprised.
Does anyone know if there's an "ignore" feature on the board?