2010: the worst movie year ever?

Sabin
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Postby Sabin » Sun Aug 01, 2010 1:02 pm

One of the reasons that we're seeing such an influx of crap Hollywood films is resultant still of the Strike a few years back, but, like all things in this recession, the system is just going to make this the new status quo. This is absolutely not the worst movie year ever. In their desperation to fill the summer, studios have pushed hard on their franchises and shuffled what would normally be spring movies to July and August.

I don't buy the hype that this is the worst summer for movies ever, but we are seeing a lot of movies that seem like the worst movies ever like Sex and the City 2, The Last Airbender, Dinner for Schmucks, The A-Team, and Cats & Dogs 2. But they're not. We'll have worse next year. This is just a lame sauce year the Academy just needs to get through.

But who cares about Hollywood selling us crap when there is an abundance of great films in limited release? I haven't done a top ten list yet, but if I did a top five would look thus far like this:

****
1. Everyone Else
2. Dogtooth

***1/2
3. Exit Through the Gift Shop
4. Winter's Bone
5. The Kids Are All Right

...and that's not including Toy Story 3, The Ghost Writer, Mother, and Shutter Island which I think are all of merit. Everyone Else and Dogtooth are amazing and I haven't even seen Wild Grass yet amongst other must-sees.
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Postby Hollywood Z » Sun Aug 01, 2010 11:24 am

anonymous wrote:
Sonic Youth wrote:One of the comments someone left in the article (albeit, one of 133) had this to say:

"It amazes me how people always refer to today's movies as garbage. Maybe it is because I wasn't old enough to appreciate or enjoy some of the 'classics' out there, but have you watched any of these so called masterpieces lately? By and large, by today's standards they are awful. The acting is very stiff and feels forced, the dialouge unrealistic, and visually the films look old and dull. From a quality standpoint, today's movies are so so much better. You might not like the story being told, but the acting/production quality doesn't even compare. I recently tried to watch The Godfather, and I couldn't get more than 20 minutes into it before I had to shut it off because the film quality was just that bad."

If this person is over 16 years old, he or she deserves to get sterilized, stat.

Bah! I discovered this film when I was fifteen. I say if this person is above 14 to have them promptly sterilized!
"You are what you love, not what loves you." - Nicholas Cage; Adaptation

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Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:04 am

Sonic Youth wrote:One of the comments someone left in the article (albeit, one of 133) had this to say:

"It amazes me how people always refer to today's movies as garbage. Maybe it is because I wasn't old enough to appreciate or enjoy some of the 'classics' out there, but have you watched any of these so called masterpieces lately? By and large, by today's standards they are awful. The acting is very stiff and feels forced, the dialouge unrealistic, and visually the films look old and dull. From a quality standpoint, today's movies are so so much better. You might not like the story being told, but the acting/production quality doesn't even compare. I recently tried to watch The Godfather, and I couldn't get more than 20 minutes into it before I had to shut it off because the film quality was just that bad."

If this person is over 16 years old, he or she deserves to get sterilized, stat.

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Postby Sonic Youth » Sun Aug 01, 2010 9:11 am

One of the comments someone left in the article (albeit, one of 133) had this to say:

"It amazes me how people always refer to today's movies as garbage. Maybe it is because I wasn't old enough to appreciate or enjoy some of the 'classics' out there, but have you watched any of these so called masterpieces lately? By and large, by today's standards they are awful. The acting is very stiff and feels forced, the dialouge unrealistic, and visually the films look old and dull. From a quality standpoint, today's movies are so so much better. You might not like the story being told, but the acting/production quality doesn't even compare. I recently tried to watch The Godfather, and I couldn't get more than 20 minutes into it before I had to shut it off because the film quality was just that bad."




Edited By Sonic Youth on 1280672118
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Postby Hollywood Z » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:28 pm

taki15 wrote:
anonymous wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:
Sonic Youth wrote:[b]The Worst Movie Year Ever?
Coming soon to a theater near you: absolutely nothing you want to see. Why Hollywood keeps trying to sell us on pointless sequels, lame remakes and the stardom of Shia LaBeouf.

The article is very funny, but it doesn't answer its own question. Why does Hollywood keep trying to sell us this crap?

Simple answer: Because we keep buying them.

More likely because the teenagers keep bying them.

Or more accurately, they encourage audiences to be stupid. Think about it, last year, they denied a critics screening to G.I. Joe because they were afraid of the box office impact their reviews might have. This move signified two things:

1. Studios would rather churn out sub par products and try to pass them off on unsuspecting audiences while at the same time empowering them with the mindsets of "critics don't know audiences" and that they should "make up their own minds." Mainstream movie audiences today have become no different than the drive thru lines at McDonald's. They wait in line for their crap, they enjoy the moment of it, surrounded by their bright colors and, once they've finished their meal, barely remember it, don't have any fond memories, but their appetite, for now, is satisfied.

2. They thought that the target audience for G.I. Joe would actually read well thought out and clearly concise reviews of movies. That was more like a crisis of conscious there. As stated before, audiences have become consumers rather than viewers, so of course they won't read reviews. Even if the reviews came out, people would ignore them. Look at The Last Airbender, people had to actually shell out nearly $150 million dollars for them to discover it was crap. But, hey, they got to make up their own minds.

Rather than try to be challenging to their audiences, studios have adverting firms and marketing MBAs running their companies to drive up revenues. They empower audiences to be mediocre while at the same time, wonder why people aren't choosing smarter material. You can only slap people in the face for so long for choosing the good products before they stop going to them. People argue that the movie industry is still a business. Well, if this economy has taught us anything, it's that businesses need to stop being allowed carte blanche and need to start being more responsible with their products if they ever want their glory days to return.

Audiences have the capacity to be smart. Case in point: The Dark Knight, Spider-Man 2, Inception, Toy Story 3 and The Bourne Ultimatum have all grossed a staggering amount of money. Sure, you can't reinvent the wheel every day of the week, but you can always try your hardest. If you fail in the process, than at least you tried something new and right now, it would be a welcome change. My rationale for going to a movie was always this: If I've worked this hard for my money, I better see that every other person behind the movie had worked just as hard as I have to earn that money (and I don't just mean the crew and the CGI generators).

A revolution is boiling right now, a revolution against the marketplace. Sure, they're riding their crest wave of easily swayed pre-teenage girl test markets, but they get older fast and start living in the real world (well, some of them do, anyway). Once that happens, these Twilight and Jonas Brothers products won't be looked back on with the same fondness that people today in their late 20s & early 30s look back on the 1980s. The nostalgia will die and all that will be left will be an embittered generation that will feel swindled and taken advantage of. They will rebel and they will be led by the intellectuals that have been cast aside. When that day comes, all I will be able to say is Viva La Revolucion!
"You are what you love, not what loves you." - Nicholas Cage; Adaptation

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Postby taki15 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:08 am

anonymous wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:
Sonic Youth wrote:[b]The Worst Movie Year Ever?
Coming soon to a theater near you: absolutely nothing you want to see. Why Hollywood keeps trying to sell us on pointless sequels, lame remakes and the stardom of Shia LaBeouf.

The article is very funny, but it doesn't answer its own question. Why does Hollywood keep trying to sell us this crap?

Simple answer: Because we keep buying them.

More likely because the teenagers keep bying them.

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Postby anonymous1980 » Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:43 pm

Big Magilla wrote:
Sonic Youth wrote:[b]The Worst Movie Year Ever?
Coming soon to a theater near you: absolutely nothing you want to see. Why Hollywood keeps trying to sell us on pointless sequels, lame remakes and the stardom of Shia LaBeouf.

The article is very funny, but it doesn't answer its own question. Why does Hollywood keep trying to sell us this crap?

Simple answer: Because we keep buying them.

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Postby Big Magilla » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:41 pm

Sonic Youth wrote:[b]The Worst Movie Year Ever?
Coming soon to a theater near you: absolutely nothing you want to see. Why Hollywood keeps trying to sell us on pointless sequels, lame remakes and the stardom of Shia LaBeouf.

The article is very funny, but it doesn't answer its own question. Why does Hollywood keep trying to sell us this crap?
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Postby Sonic Youth » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:05 pm

The Worst Movie Year Ever?
Coming soon to a theater near you: absolutely nothing you want to see. Why Hollywood keeps trying to sell us on pointless sequels, lame remakes and the stardom of Shia LaBeouf
By JOE QUEENAN
The Wall Street Journal



In the new movie "Inception," Leonardo DiCaprio burrows deep into the subconscious of a self-absorbed plutocrat to plant a powerful idea that will change the world. If the technology used in "Inception" were available in real life, Mr. DiCaprio might burrow into the subconscious of Hollywood plutocrats and plant these paradigm-altering ideas: Stop making movies like "Grown Ups," "Sex and the City 2," "Prince of Persia" and anything that positions Jennifer Aniston or John C. Reilly at the top of the marquee. Stop trying to pass off Shia LaBeouf—who looks a bit like the young George W. Bush—as the second coming of Tom Cruise. Stop casting Gerard Butler in roles where he is called upon to emote. And if "Legion" and "Edge of Darkness" and "The Back-up Plan" and "Hot Tub Time Machine" are the best you can do, stop making movies, period. Humanity will thank you for it.

In a millennium that has thus far produced precious few motion pictures in the same class as "The Godfather," "Jurassic Park," "Casablanca," "Gone with the Wind," "My Fair Lady" and "The Matrix," there is a knee-jerk tendency to throw up one's hands and moan that the current year is the worst in the history of motion pictures. But 2010 very possibly is the worst year in the history of motion pictures. Where once there was "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves," there is now "Robin Hood," prince of duds. Where once we could look forward to "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "The Last of the Mohicans," we can now look forward to "Dinner for Schmucks" and "The Last Airbender." This time two years ago we were treated to the ingenious, subversive "Iron Man"; this year we have the insipid, uninspired "Iron Man 2." What does it say about the current season that the third installation of "Toy Story" is better than the first installation of anything else? Or that people are actually looking forward to a sequel to the 1982 flop "Tron"? Does this mean that a sequel to "The Rocketeer" will soon be on the way? Quick, Leonardo: Penetrate somebody's subconscious. Fast.

Hollywood's historical mission is not merely to provide a steady stream of engaging movies for a society that simply can't wait for the weekend. It is also to generate a continuous sense of excitement about movies themselves. It's not just that people like to watch movies; they like to anticipate movies, to talk them up long before their release. Sometimes this is because of the epic scale of the undertaking ("Titanic," "Avatar," "Cleopatra," "GoneWith the Wind"), sometimes because of dark rumblings about serious problems with the film ("Ishtar," "Vanilla Sky," "The Passion of the Christ," "Waterworld"), and sometimes because of an entirely unforeseen event, like Madonna's decision to invade an industry that was getting along just fine without her ("Desperately Seeking Susan") or Heath Ledger's untimely death scant months before the public got to see his amazing turn as the Joker in "The Dark Knight." And sometimes it's simply because, as in the case of "Avatar," "Braveheart" and "Apocalypto," everyone in the film has his face painted blue.

Traditionally, the public gets all revved up for films during the winter and spring, imagining how much fun the summer is going to be once Neo or Darth Vader or the Terminator gets here. Or, barring that, when those great white sharks, pesky gremlins or designer brontosauruses blow through town. No such excitement exists this year. Go into a movie theater any day of the week and watch as the audience sits listlessly through a series of lame, mechanical trailers for upcoming films that look exactly like the D.O.A. movies audiences avoided last week. More films about misunderstood mercenaries. More films about rogue cops. More films about the pivotal role of choreography in rescuing the underclass from its own worst instincts. More movies about congenial thugs from South Boston. More films about boys who do not want to grow up, ever, ever, ever. More movies about cats.

Admittedly, Hollywood is fighting a war on numerous fronts, and losing all of them. Revenues may be holding up but that is only because ticket prices keep rising; overall ticket sales are down. And because of the enormous cost of marketing a film—even a low-budget film—Hollywood likes to play it safe. This is why it's a whole lot easier to get a sequel to "Shrek" or "Tron" or "Predator" produced these days. This is an industry that actually makes sequels to bombs— "The Incredible Hulk" is a case in point—simply because the subject matter of the film is at least familiar to audiences. And because the public will have seen so many bad films between the original and the sequel, it may forget how bad the original "Hulk" was. "The Four Amigos" could soon be on its way.

It's not just a case of cowardice; the industry is legitimately confused. The age of the bankable, surefire matinee idol seems to be over, as the industry has discovered with Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts' most recent films. Freshly minted stars like Clive Owen and Daniel Craig sometimes open big, and sometimes do not open at all. With The Rock unconscionably defecting to the world of kiddie comedies, Hollywood is still casting about for a bona fide action star. This year it has auditioned Jake Gyllenhaal ("Prince of Persia"), Adrien Brody ("Predators") and even the game but superannuated Liam Neeson ("The A-Team"). None of these are logical heirs to the throne abandoned by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford and Sylvester Stallone. They are certainly not heirs to the throne vacated by Jet Li and Jackie Chan. They may not even be legitimate heirs to the throne vacated by Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude Van Damme. Vin Diesel, come home, all is forgiven. Well, maybe not "The Pacifier." Or "Babylon A.D." On second thought, Vin, stay away.

Every year, by tacit agreement with the public, Hollywood is expected to produce at least one surprise hit, one out-of-nowhere dark horse or, in a pinch, one cunningly hyped movie that either exhumes a noted actor from the grave or greases the skids so some solid journeyman can ascend to the ranks of the Oscar Winners of yore. The movie doesn't have to be especially good—"Crazy Heart" and "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" certainly weren't—nor does it have to be a homegrown product—"La Vita è Bella," "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Amélie" were all imports—nor does it even have to be a financial bonanza—neither "The Wrestler" nor "The Hurt Locker" broke any box-office records. But it has to be the sort of sleeper hit that the American people start talking about, the kind of movie that leads to an unexpected comeback, or spirited blog postings or a fawning Barbara Walters interview.

2010 doesn't have one of these movies. "The Kids Are All Right," arguably the most heartwarming lesbian romantic comedy ever, is trying to fill that slot, but whatever its merits, it's no "Sideways," no "March of the Penguins." The only other candidates for this role would seem to be Robert Duvall's upcoming turn as a crusty old varmint in "Get Low" and Ben Affleck's big-screen comeback in "The Town." Critics also might start banging the drum for the latest film showcasing the ethereal Tilda Swinton or some heartwarming motion picture about lachrymose camels or motorcycling proto-totalitarians or English spinsters who inexplicably decide to become crack dealers, but so far nothing truly phenomenal like "Slumdog Millionaire" seems to be on the horizon.

If movies have a somewhat moldy feel this year, this should come as no surprise. Atom Egoyan's dud "Chloe" was a remake of "Nathalie," a so-so French melodrama about a woman who hires a call girl to seduce her husband, with unsatisfactory results. "Dinner for Schmucks," which promises to be the worst film of the year, is a remake of the brilliant 1998 French comedy "Le Dîner de Cons." Judging from the previews, it is a clump of spittle aimed directly at Lafayette's face. "Predators" is nothing more than "Predator" in Outer Space, with the action taking place on a planet that appears to be Parallel Guatemala. "Piranha 3D" sounds an awful lot like "Piranha," "Repo Men" sounds just a wee bit like "Repo Man," and "Death at a Funeral" is a nearly-all-African-American remake of an English comedy that itself was only intermittently amusing. That film, by the way, was called "Death at a Funeral." Leonardo, burrow deeper.

For similar reasons, one could certainly be forgiven for confusing "A Single Man" with "Solitary Man," and for that matter, "A Serious Man." "Solitary Man," for the record, is the film where Michael Douglas plays an evil businessman whose family despises him. This is not to be confused with the upcoming "Wall Street" sequel where Michael Douglas plays an evil businessman whose family despises him, but who gets along like a house on fire with protégé and apprentice numskull Shia LaBeouf.

It says an awful lot about the industry that the most intelligent movies being released today are animated films like "Alice in Wonderland" and "Toy Story 3." (The best films of the year have a "3" in their titles; the films with a "2" are horrible.) Even the animated duds—standard-issue fare like "Despicable Me" and "Shrek Forever After"—display more overall intelligence and panache than "The Back-up Plan" or "Green Zone."

Late in Game One of the recent NBA Finals between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant stared directly ahead at the action on court and refused to acknowledge the presence of Chris Rock, who had been planted right next to him by minions of an industry that has no sense of occasion. Mr. Rock, himself ensconced next to "Grown Ups" co-stars David Spade, Kevin James and Adam Sandler, repeatedly tried to get Mr. Bryant's attention, but Mr. Bryant refused to even look at him. At the time, it was theorized by sportswriters that Mr. Bryant's pointedly dissing a comic routinely described as the planet's funniest man, without any corroborating evidence for the claim, underscored the ballplayer's "focus": his utter commitment to garnering his fifth championship ring. But a more plausible explanation is this: Mr. Bryant was sitting there the whole time wondering whose idea it was to give the washed-up stars of the worst film of the year—at least until "Dinner for Schmucks"—courtside seats next to one of the greatest players to ever step onto a court.

If the technology Leonardo DiCaprio uses in "Inception" were available in real life, he could burrow deep into the subconscious of the stars and directors and producers of the film and plant this idea, for which humanity would be eternally grateful: "Please just go away. Please."

In the case of the subconscious of those responsible for "Grown Ups," Leonardo might not have to burrow that deep.
"What the hell?"

Win Butler


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