January 25, 2018

20 minutes of movie trailers — yes, I went to the movies — left me feeling utterly creeped out by Hollywood.

This is what I was forced to look at before getting to see what I'd paid to see (and which ended up putting me in the worst mood for seeing what I'd come to see):







Notice how they all have strong female characters at the center but everything is paranoid, violent, and sexual. This is what Hollywood gives me? I felt like I was dragged into the mind of one of the sexually abusing Hollywood producers. Of course, the actresses do what they are told, and I, the little person in the dark, passively sit there watching this fantasy. I'm free to leave. Why don't I?

With trailers, you keep thinking this is almost over, and the actual movie will start next. But the trailers went on and on and I watched and judged. Hollywood is sick. Evil. Corrupting our soul.

Then the movie I came to see started (after the short film about how we're not supposed to talk and we ought to look out for our personal belongings (thieves slithering along the floor, presumably, or so I thought, paranoically)).

The movie was "I, Tonya," which brimmed with domestic violence. Not only did Nancy Kerrigan get slammed in the knee with a police baton in that one famous incident, but Tonya Harding got smacked around in dozens of unfamous incidents. From the screenplay:
He’d beat the living hell outta me. And I thought it was my fault. Look, Nancy gets hit one time — and the whole world shits. For me, it was an all the time occurrence.
Why am I sitting here watching a woman getting abused? I've heard that in crowded theaters, there's lots of laughter. That led one reviewer to say:
Give Harding a redemptory arc and humanize her character? I can get behind that. The thing that’s harder to champion is the way I, Tonya sets about doing it. For, you see, the path it takes is akin to watching an R-rated, live-action Looney Tunes cartoon. It is casual violence, domestic abuse, misogyny and psychological torment wrapped up in goofy frivolity. The perpetrators? Clownish buffoons with bruised fists. Wise-cracking Gorgons who will throw a kitchen knife at you if you step out of line. Portraits of the lowest socioeconomic class painted in broad, chaotic colors so that we’re programmed to laugh at their exploits, no matter how brutal and disgusting they end up being presented as actual humans.

The film wants to have its own cake and eat it, too. Midway through, Margot Robbie’s Tonya looks us directly in the eye (because the Brechtian breaking of the fourth wall is one of the film’s central conceits) and tells us outright that we’re complicit in the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan) because of our lurid fascination with the media coverage. But, wait. Weren’t we just doing the very thing that she calls us out on? Weren’t we just getting a kick out of the seamy details of Tonya’s domestic life, set to various needle drops of popular ‘70s and ‘80s radio hits?
Yeah, well, I didn't feel complicit. I felt distanced and sensitized to the insensitivity to violence, and, anyway, there was no crowd in my theater, so there was no laughing all around me to give the place a jaunty comic feeling that would then make me susceptible to getting called out as complicit.

190 comments:

David Begley said...

The book "Red Sparrow" by Jason Matthews is very good. The third book in the triology is out next month.

madAsHell said...

You went to a movie theater, and paid to watch yesterday's news.

What did you expect??

Fernandistein said...

"Jurassic Park" was the last time I was in a theater, and that was to scare a kid.

Nowadays they run credits over the beginnings of a movie (plus 5 to 10 minutes of junk at the end); if you were reading a book it'd be like having little inserts between paragraphs telling you that "Joe Blow supplied the paper". That'd be almost as bad as the Internet.

rcocean said...

That's why we don't show up till 15 minutes past the scheduled movie "Start time".

The only exception was "The Force Awakens" - that movie didn't have trailers, because they were trying to show TFA as many times as possible per day.

BTW, aren't all these kind of movies the same? They just need a flimsy story to cover what people really want: Sex and Violence.

David Begley said...

I should add that Jason Matthews is a former CIA agent and he writes about Russia. Russia! Russian spies. American spies. Spy versus spy.

Art in LA said...

It's weird that they're still called "trailers" ... "previews" should be more common. Our local theater has reserved seats. It's very easy to avoid the trailers knowing you have a confirmed spot in the theater. Just show up 20 minutes later than the showtime.

Ann Althouse said...

"You went to a movie theater, and paid to watch yesterday's news. What did you expect??"

I expected something that I got in part: an extremely well-acted, well-scripted story about the relationship between the processed news-and-sports and the lives of people who get caught up in a news story — something really sharp about American culture.

Nonapod said...

The entertainment industry seems to be riding a wave of 90s crime nostalgia lately. Last year there was that OJ miniseries. Netflix had that Unibomber miniseries. What's next? Will there be stuff done on the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Rodney King and the 1992 LA riots?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Margot Robbie’s Tonya looks us directly in the eye... and tells us outright that we’re complicit in the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband, Jeff Gillooly.

No. Fuck no.

We are not complicit. If your husband abused you, that's on him. If you chose to stay with him after the first time, that's on you.

FleetUSA said...

IMHO Over the years the trailers have gotten worse and worse with 90% not worth seeing. Plus they tend to ramp up the sound...ditto for the feature film. We aren't deaf.

victoria said...


We have a theater chain here in California called "Arclight". No more than 3 trailers, a total of less than 5 minutes. then.... the film. Can pick out your seats in advance. Awesome. You can also take a glass of wine in to the theaters. Does it cost more, yes it does. Is it worth it, heck yes.

Vicki from Pasadena

rcocean said...

Its weird how people in movie theaters will laugh at anything.

Someone falls down. Gales of laughter.

Why did the chicken cross the road? People rolling on the floor.

Grandma or a Kid using profanity? Hilarious.

Didn't realize how humorless I was, till I went to a Movie.

Jay Vogt said...

I don't mind trailers except for the volume they present them with.
Over the holidays, I was telling my kids about the experience of going to the movies when I was young and how I would sometime go on a hot summer afternoon just to enjoy the air-conditioning.

I also noted that we were usually treated to two Chuck Jones "Loony Tunes", prior to the feature. So, even of the the feature film was a bust, you came out ahead. Chuck Jones was brilliant.

narciso said...

Yes its a very book, there is a country specific recipe in each chapter, but Lawrence is entirely wrong for the part, with the worse Russian accent since Tina fey in that muppet movie, neither is edgerton the right part for nash

bagoh20 said...

Clearly men need to be hurt badly and often until we are all dead, turn female, or cuck. Then the cucks get the axe too.

Like Althouse, I can't stop thinking about the men who direct, produce, and film this stuff just enjoying their paid sexy gladiators as they get naked and fight before them, all for the chance to be a top gladiator.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Not going to see the movie. Does it pretend that Tonya was not involved ( at least in the planning ) of the attack on Kerrigan?

Ann Althouse said...

The acting is great.

The impersonation of real-life characters is excellent. In the closing credits you see clips of the actual characters and the actors in the secondary characters all looked, talked, and acted just like them.

The actress playing Tonya Harding does not and cannot look exactly like Tonya Harding. She (Margot Robbie) is very beautiful and also 5'6". You can drab her down, but you can't make her as plain as TH and you can't make her body look like TH's. TH was 5'1" and extremely muscular. She just could not convey the grace and beauty that judges looked for in ice skaters.

Ann Althouse said...

"The entertainment industry seems to be riding a wave of 90s crime nostalgia lately. Last year there was that OJ miniseries. Netflix had that Unibomber miniseries. What's next? Will there be stuff done on the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Rodney King and the 1992 LA riots?"

There is a thing about Waco coming out soon.

Also on right now is a series on the murder of Gianni Versace.

narciso said...

Good book, 50 shades of depravity, I'll pass on that.

Bob Boyd said...

"the lowest socioeconomic class...end up being presented as actual humans."

Well that's not helpful.

rhhardin said...

I used to skip previews on DVDs but now they're about the only source of movies I might want to watch. What you find out is the intended audience.

The Amazon recommendations don't cover the field very well and go on what you bought or browsed and not what you wound up liking. And they may get you liking it for the wrong reason.

imdb is another good related-movie source.

JAORE said...

I'll take you at your word that the acting is great.

But,"well-scripted story" sure flies in the face of the review you posted.

Ann Althouse said...

"We have a theater chain here in California called "Arclight". No more than 3 trailers, a total of less than 5 minutes. then.... the film. Can pick out your seats in advance. Awesome. You can also take a glass of wine in to the theaters. Does it cost more, yes it does. Is it worth it, heck yes."

I was at a theater where you get an assigned seat, so I could simply go in late.

It's also a theater with food (all kinds of hot meals in addition to the usual theater fare) and drinks (including cocktails).

Personally, I'd rather not have someone eating a hot meal next to me while I'm trying to pay attention to the movie (and I have almost not sense of smell). Frankly, I don't understand why eating during a movie is a thing. Go out and eat after the movie!

rhhardin said...

All three Starship Troopers have inexplicable tit scenes and the basic plot assumption of high school prom date movies. But stuff is blown up so it has redeeming qualities.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

rhhardin said...

All three Starship Troopers have inexplicable tit scenes...

I have an explanation...

rhhardin said...

Flick with pussy scenes are pretty rare, just tit scenes. It's a Hollywood code of some kind.

Jupiter said...

"Will there be stuff done on the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Rodney King and the 1992 LA riots?"

It would be interesting to see a film based on The Third Terrorist, Jayna Davis' book about the Iranians who helped Tim McVeigh blow up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

mockturtle said...

Hollywood is sick. Evil. Corrupting our soul.

For the most part, this sums it up. Hollywood is Satan's own.

narciso said...

Imagine if Anna Chapman and the one who gave her up, were company assets

Bob Boyd said...

I like previews, always have.
Nowadays the previews are often long and give away the whole show. You hear the best lines and jokes, see the best action scenes and you know how it ends. A lot of times, if you see the trailer, you don't even have to see the movie to be able to talk about it with someone who has. Saves time and money.
I rarely go to a movie anymore, but I hate to miss the previews when I do.

rhhardin said...

In the Land of Women (2007) there's a porn movie screenwriter who's called on to fix up some continuity mistake and has an idiotic but workable solution, in a by-the-by incident. But it captured perfectly the idiotic add-on nature of tit scenes.

The plot in this is non-porn and okay romcom, though I don't remember anything but the high points, not having rewatched it. Favorite line, having sex with soon-to-be-ex girlfriend, girlfriend asks "Did you just fake an orgasm?" They part on friendly terms.

This is by way of claiming that the stuff is good enough to watch, and here and there has an insight. Judge movies by their best lines, not their average quality, and you'll be happier. It's like being candid used to be, picking the best parts.

rehajm said...

They don't even try to hide the fact it's all recycled. It's American Psycho meets Heathers. Okay, I got it.

It's Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman

mockturtle said...

Also on right now is a series on the murder of Gianni Versace.

Is it worth watching, do you know? I find the story interesting despite the fact that, when the murder occurred, my kids had to tell me who Gianni Versace was. A very close gay male friend of mine from the past was very like Cunanan, using his youth, looks and witty personality to get rich 'old trolls' [as he called them] to take care of him, financially. I lost contact with him after he moved to NY but always wondered how he fared when his youth departed him. He may have died of AIDS. He was one of the most amusing people I have ever met.

narciso said...

Ready player one, looks interesting from the previews, yes rush tipped off the skydragon premise,

David said...

In the old days, the trailers were ads for popcorn, candy and ice cream. Then they went to advertising local businesses (at least some theaters did). Now Hollywood is advertising its favorite subject, itself.

Basically they need better films not more promotion.

Darrell said...

When a proven liar--like Tonya Harding-- tells her her story, everything you hear is suspect. And when they make it into a movie, everything you see and hear is suspect. Kneecapping Nancy Kerrigan was her idea. Kerrigan was getting better with each meet as her Olympic plan intended. Harding had already peaked as a loser.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Netflix had that Unibomber miniseries"

Episode 6: Ted

That's the episode worth watching. No need to watch any of the others. It stands alone.

Ann Althouse said...

"Not going to see the movie. Does it pretend that Tonya was not involved ( at least in the planning ) of the attack on Kerrigan?"

It examines the matter from many angles, but never to say that she wasn't involved. We see older Tonya interviewed and Jeff interviewed and Shane interviewed -- with conflicting stories.

There's the idea of a plan just to mess with Nancy's mind by sending a death threat, and it mostly seems that Shane gets the idea to have a physical attack. Jeff and Shane are portrayed as very stupid people, and Tonya is also stupid, but a fighter and a great skater.

Tonya's protestations that she too suffered are not offered up as the truth, and her "there is no truth" position in the end is basically held up to ridicule.

Paddy O said...

Hollywood has long engaged in cultural grooming, as powerful men try to shape society (or at least aspiring actresses and actors) to normalize their habits. Art has a prophetic role, though not always (or even often) in a positive constructive way.

Freeman Hunt said...

Fathom Events puts some great movies in theaters. Best to get on their email list for the schedules. They also run opera from the Met.

Ann Althouse said...

The screenplay is easily found on line.

Right after you see the movie title at the beginning, there's a screen with this: "Based on irony free, wildly contradictory, totally true interviews with Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly."

Then we have fun with them. That's what we're supposed to do. They are clowns... but in some way, they are human too.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is it worth watching, do you know? I find the story interesting despite the fact that, when the murder occurred, my kids had to tell me who Gianni Versace was. A very close gay male friend of mine from the past was very like Cunanan, using his youth, looks and witty personality to get rich 'old trolls' [as he called them] to take care of him, financially. I lost contact with him after he moved to NY but always wondered how he fared when his youth departed him. He may have died of AIDS. He was one of the most amusing people I have ever met."

I don't know but Tom & Lorenzo (in their podcast) got me interested in it enough to DVR it. So... maybe I'll have something to say later.

They thought it was great at showing the gay male life at that time. The sets and the styles, etc.

narciso said...

Although red to black from an mi 6 agent, Alex dryden is probably better material.

n.n said...

inexplicable tit scenes

Two possibilities. One, titillation. Two, force male-female equivalence (a la feminists' Slut Walk), where the male and female sex, masculine and feminine genders, are a distinction without a difference.

California Snow said...

Speaking of 90's news my wife and I just watched the Menendez murder series. Interesting no doubt.

narciso said...

Its a fascist regime, but its unisex that's the conundrum which isn't really. But the Buenos Aires as Beverly hills was silly

Unknown said...

I had a similar experience the last time I went to the movies (New Year's Eve) in that they showed a lot of trailers before the feature. I soured on the movie going experience a long time ago, around the time high quality HD TV came available with Blu-ray, and go less and less now; maybe twice per year. It is just not an enjoyable experience. The only movies I prefer to see in a theater are the ones that are best on a really big screen. This past year I saw Dr. Strange and the latest Star Wars movie in the theater. The other problem is that there are very few movies that even interest me these days.

-sw

madAsHell said...

All three Starship Troopers

THREE?? Who knew??

narciso said...

Two went straight to video, the last features a beleaguered regime, and a foolish sky Marshall who wants to make peace with the bugs.

traditionalguy said...

Speaking of 20 minutes of Trailers, they also turn up the volume significantly and make the screen continually flash lights. It is a masochist only environment. But my wife still insists we show up at the posted time, and refuses to use 20 minutes windage.

Try The Darkest Hour.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

That Fifty Shades sequel is some seriously stupid wish fulfillment. "We own this." Standing up to the skanky-ho trying to steal your husband and getting her to submit to you. Some drama in the form of a threatening ex (I presume) who will be dispatched quickly so as to not interfere with the after crisis sex.

Freeman Hunt said...

I went to the movies a week and a half ago to see The Treasure of the Sierra Madre on the big screen. That was worth it.

Paul Snively said...

Dr. Althouse, didn't you get the memo? Any cultural criticism can magically avoid the infinite regress problem by waving a magic wand imbued with the power conferred by the incantations "meta," "ironic," and/or "raising awareness."

madAsHell said...

Tonya even had a sex tape of her honeymoon. My brother-in-law still refers to his penis as a Gillooly....cuz Ron Jeremy would be jealous.

DKWalser said...

With virtually all the trailers, my wife and I whisper to each other, "I'm going to be too busy to see that one." There are just so few movies made today that we would like to see. We're definitely not Hollywood's target audience. Not that we don't watch movies. We do. We watch lots of them -- mostly made in the '30s, 40s, and '50s. We'd pay to watch new films made like those.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

"Notice how they all have strong female characters at the center but everything is paranoid, violent, and sexual. This is what Hollywood gives me? I felt like I was dragged into the mind of one of the sexually abusing Hollywood producers."


Mental defective Hillarywoodland delivers garbage. It's a garbage delivery system filled with violence, paranoia, sexual depravity - that's after you get a healthy dose of leftist propaganda.

JUST SAY NO TO HILLARYWOODLAND.

Gahrie said...

Hollywood is sick. Evil. Corrupting our soul.

We on the Right have been saying this for decades...and been called prudes for doing so.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

A favorite leftist cliche':
Whenever a mass shooting takes place, the collective hivemind left blame the NRA, in unison.
Who pushes gun violence more? The NRA or Hillarywoodland?

Annie C said...

Several sets of young parents I know absolutely love the theaters with dinner. They can get a sitter for three hours for a movie with dinner, but it's not so easy to get one that can sit while they have dinner AND a movie. Especially on a school night.

Gahrie said...

It's very easy to avoid the trailers knowing you have a confirmed spot in the theater. Just show up 20 minutes later than the showtime.

I just bring a book and read until the movie begins.

rhhardin said...

All three Starship Troopers

THREE?? Who knew??


Beats me. It came as a trilogy. I never heard of it before buying it, except Derbyshire quoted a line from it, probably from the book because I don't remember it in the movie.

Decent explosions, is all. Some humor in the mass culture press releases.

Gahrie said...

She just could not convey the grace and beauty that judges looked for in ice skaters.

IIRC, Tonya couldn't either...that was her problem.

Gahrie said...

The entertainment industry seems to be riding a wave of 90s crime nostalgia lately

I just read that Candice Bergen is bringing back Murphey Brown....How long until Will Smith is talked into bringing back the Fresh Prince?

Yancey Ward said...

I will second David Begley's recommendation for Jason Matthews' Red Sparrow. A great, well paced novel. I didn't know he had already published a second one, though I did know he had planned one.

I wonder, though, whether the movie will have the agents seducing and blackmailing an aging American real estate mogul with a golden showers routine. Was Hollywood able to resist that urge?

Ron Winkleheimer said...

How long until Will Smith is talked into bringing back the Fresh Prince?

Who grew up to be a cop in LA who is partnered with an Orc!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EZCBSsBxko

Yancey Ward said...

rcocean wrote:

"Its weird how people in movie theaters will laugh at anything.
Someone falls down. Gales of laughter."


When I saw Titanic in the theaters, the audience laughed at the guy who bounces off the propeller when he jumps from the back of the ship. Definitely odd behavior that I have never had an explanation for.

Yancey Ward said...

This is the best adaptation of the Tonya Harding story. It even has Bette Midler playing the role of Nancy Kerrigan.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Hollywood treats men better than it treats women. There are many examples of male-positive movies. Typically a guy will be placed under stress, by war or crime or something, and how he deals with this determines his success or failure as a man. Think of Michael Corleone in the "Godfather" films.
In most of the Hollywood films I can think of with strong female leads, women respond to stress with spite or with madness, or by taking on typically male traits (Sandra Bullock's character in "Gravity", for an example of the latter). The two "Dangerous Liaisons" films feature both strong male and female leads. In them you can see both male and female story dynamics at work.

Ambrose said...

I read and enjoyed the book "Red Sparrow" - did not know it was being made into a movie.

traditionalguy said...

The opening D-Day Omaha Beach scenes in Saving Private Ryan is being re-played labeled as the Men's March Against Facism.

Martin said...

"Hollywood is sick. Evil. Corrupting our soul."

That was a big part of why Osama bin Laden created al Qaeda and directed it against the US--he feared Hollywood products would corrupt Muslim souls. Really--"US cultural imperialism."

And when you look at a lot of what Hollywood puts out, you have to credit that while he over-reacted, he wasn't crazy to fear that.

Leslie Graves said...

Hillsdale, I assume.

Jupiter said...

Ann Althouse said...

"Tonya's protestations that she too suffered are not offered up as the truth, and her "there is no truth" position in the end is basically held up to ridicule."

So Tonya Harding sold what was left of her reputation to Hollywood, so they could strip it bare for America to laugh at. Did Harvey make her do it, or was she just wired that way?

ALP said...

Notice how they all have strong female characters at the center but everything is paranoid, violent, and sexual.
*********************************
I read a lot of crime/detective fiction, and weird psycho-sexual crimes are a frequent feature. After you've read about 50, the theme is tedious and pretty much a creative-cop out, opting for titillation as the attractant rather than a well crafted story. Same here? Sex sells and that will probably always be true.

Darrell said...

Tonya Harding needs money.
They should have cast her in One Girl, Five Cups. That's what she deserves.

Sigivald said...

If you watch better movies, you get better previews.

(e.g. the latest Star Wars had previews for a horror movie that actually looked interesting, some action stuff, and the new Thor movie.

Not the drek you got for watching that horrible Harding biopic.)

Freeman Hunt said...

"the latest Star Wars"

The last great Star Wars movie came out in 1983.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I was dragged into the mind of one of the sexually abusing Hollywood producers. Of course, the actresses do what they are told,

I thought I was the only one who thought that. Every movie I see I can't help but to think about what the actresses did to get their parts. See the cute, sweet innocent young woman on the screen. Now I see her sucking some old fat man's cock.

It has taken a little of the magic away.

Michael K said...

I went to the movies a week and a half ago to see The Treasure of the Sierra Madre on the big screen. That was worth it.

There is a theater in Oro Valley that does this. I haven't been to one but we may try it out.

walter said...

"Personally, I'd rather not have someone eating a hot meal next to me while I'm trying to pay attention to the movie "
To me, it's the sounds of foraging and chewing that detracts.
Popcorn in the theatre..shitty idea.

FullMoon said...

"OAKLAND, Calif., April 12— On Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, school was closed and a science teacher offered to take 70 high school students to see the Holocaust movie "Schindler's List," although they begged to see "House Party 3." When a trip to the ice-skating rink was thrown in to sweeten the deal, they accepted.

But the field trip ended abruptly when theater patrons complained that some of the Castlemont High School students, most of whom are black, had laughed at a scene in which a Nazi soldier casually shoots a Jewish woman. The theater owner stopped the projector, turned on the lights and told the students to leave.

Although students publicly apologized a few days later, life at Castlemont High has been disrupted ever since. The incident has put the school in the intense spotlight of the news media and drawn the attention of government officials. Several classes have been canceled for assemblies and workshops, where students have listened to historians, psychologists and counselors talk about tolerance, black history and the news media.

On Monday, classes were canceled again for yet another assembly. This time, the speaker was Steven Spielberg, the director of "Schindler's List."

Yancey Ward said...

I have not seen a movie in an actual theater in about 5 years now. The HD television revolution has killed any reason I might have had to do so.

Yancey Ward said...

I think the last movie I saw in a theater was the first movie in The Hobbit cycle.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

The last movie I saw in a theater was Dunkirk. Probably wouldn't have gone to that, but a group I belong to decided to do it as an outing. Before that I went to see the Ya Ya Sisterhood with my wife, earning some serious points. The theater was full, with maybe 4 or 5 guys, including me. I must admit, I actually liked it.

rhhardin said...

The last theater movie I saw was Deep Throat in the mid 70s. A gf wanted to see it. We left early, her curiosity satisfied that there was no plot and nothing interesting.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I think the last movie I saw in a theater was the first movie in The Hobbit cycle.

As a serious Tolkien fan, that would discourage me too.

Earnest Prole said...

Hollywood is sick. Evil. Corrupting our soul.

Hollywood is Jeff Gillooly and you are Tanya Harding: A victim, but still complicit.

Mike Sylwester said...

How did it happen that previews are now called trailers ?

Yancey Ward said...

Ron,

When I went to see it, I didn't know that the book had been broken up into more than one movie. As the movie passed the 90 minute mark and I realized that there was no way the movie could finish the story in the next 30 minutes, I turned to my sister and asked her if the conclusion would come the following Christmas/Thanksgiving season- she then informed me it was going to be three movies. I have yet to watch the last two and, yes, I was a huge Tolkien fan growing up, and loved The Lord of the Rings movies.

I think maybe I was seriously pissed off at the sheer money-grubbing nature of splitting the book into three movies, but I still think my decision was more that I just don't see the appeal of movie-going any longer since the video and audio advantages are no longer all that great.

FIDO said...

Hmm. "Paranoid, violent and sexual".

I suppose one could watch 'Black Velvet" 'Little House on the Parie' or 'Touched by an Angel' to avoid those elements.

Alas, people watch programs for DRAMA and TITILATION (yes, even most normal women. Men didn't buy those stupid 50 Shades books, Ms. Althouse)

So there needs to be danger and pretty girls.

What you feel the lack of is uplifting and socially responsible messages.

For example, that remake of 'Dragnet' by Dan Akyroyd. You had Tom Hanks as the 'edgy' cop, but the GOOD GUYS were fighting for decent values and defeating BAD guys.

In these movies, all you have are bad guys. No good guys around. Good GUYS, Ms. Althouse. No male heroes. Jerks, Assholes, Sugar Daddy/Deviants, or Competent Bad Guys.

This is the Post Modernist society that your colleagues in the Academy have foisted on us. If you wonder who killed Superman, look to your former work mates.

rcocean said...

Watching Trailers with sound off is funny.

Just "pretty girl" "Pretty picture" "Sex Scene" "Someone pulling a gun" "someone getting killed" "Sex Scene" "Pretty picture" "Someone yelling" "Someone crying" "Someone getting hit" - Rinse and repeat.

Crazy Jane said...

Without the opportunity to sneer and laugh at low-class Tonya and her husband and his friend, there would have been no movie.

Yes, there are more women's parts now, but the dominant theme -- woman triumphs against bad men -- relies on the all-women-are-victims assumption. Okay, maybe not Wonder Woman quite so much.

Meryl Street played the WaPo's Katherine Graham as a querulous, hesitant, longtime housewife inching into her publishing job, which was a little true but mostly insulting, in The Post.

This is where we are now.

rhhardin said...

I've never been a SF fan in any form. Never heard of Starship Troopers or anything else.

Captain Video was hilariously bad even when I was a kid, though.

A guy was tumbling through space and you could dimly see video cables on the darkened floor. Perils of live broadcasts. It was an early example of the extended agony plot trick, to fill minutes between commercials.

Ron Winkleheimer said...

I just don't see the appeal of movie-going any longer since the video and audio advantages are no longer all that great.

I think my surround sound is superior to the theater's because I get to control the volume. And the bass levels.

Roughcoat said...

The Versace movie is unpleasant, which means it's quite good. But it's so unpleasant -- the character of Cunanan is so unpleasant, and the actor playing him is so good -- I quit watching it after the first installment.

Speaking of crime-and-murder movies, I'm waiting for a movie about the Westies, I mean a movie about the real Westies, not "State of Grace" which was only very loosely based on the Westies. A movie that really accurately portrays and explores the complexities and characters of Mickey Featherstone, Jimmie Coonan, Billy Beattie, et. al. I think you'd need unknown actors for that, and, I hope, T.J. English playing active advisory role.

I got hold of script based on English's book but it's over 10 years old, and I don't know if it considered to be still in development.

I'm fascinated by the Westies. And, especially, by Mickey Featherstone and his wife, Sissy.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Last movie I saw in a theater was Spectre and now I'm wondering if maybe James Bond isn't supposed to be hung like Ron Jeremy.

MountainMan said...

We got into the habit a few years ago of going to a movie on Christmas afternoon, this began with the three Lord of the Rings movies. I think the last 2 or 3 Christmases it has been Star Wars. The one this Christmas I thought was awful. Like a movie put together by a committee. I thought it was never going to end. I think the best movie we saw at Christmas was a few years ago, "The Imitation Game." Seems like most of the previews now are for films based on comic books or video games, all CGI with lots of noise and explosions. Awful.

I have only been to one other movie this past year, "Dunkirk", which was worth seeing on the big screen. Went by myself for a weekday matinee while my wife was working, she wasn't interested.

Movies being so bad and theater tickets and concessions so ridiculously priced is why we spend most of our entertainment time now streaming series on Netflix, Amazon, or PBS. Right now we are streaming the second season of "Victoria" using PBS Passport. My wife loves it and we have had a good time discussing the history between episodes. Much more enjoyable.

FIDO said...

On the plus side, many theaters have added alcohol, which makes the movies remarkable more watchable after the third Long Island Iced Tea...

Sebastian said...

"he wasn't crazy to fear that" No, but turning to terror to mobilize Muslims into self-protection against movies did show a slight lack of confidence in the faith.

Sebastian said...

"Hollywood is sick. Evil. Corrupting our soul." Any guess as to the number of conservatives involved in this evil enterprise?

Of course, the very people producing this evil will turn around and lecture the Deplorables about their sins. We are being patronized by our inferiors.

Temujin said...

Well...you did choose the movie to see. Imagine Harvey Weinstein, Meryl Streep, and Mark Ruffalo deciding what to put into your head. Thats a taste of Hollywood today. It's filled with some of the worst thinkers in Western Civ history.

I remember when trailers were great and they got you wanting to see the movie next door as soon as possible. Now I rarely go to the theater. And its no better at home where I can scan through 150 channels to find 1 lame show that doesn't necessarily interest me, but it doesn't repel me. That's it's calling card: it doesn't repel me. If it wasn't for live sports, the TV would be gone.

I have to say, I might have to start reading again. At least there's a few hundred years of quality stuff to pore through.

madAsHell said...

We left early, her curiosity satisfied that there was no plot and nothing interesting.

Shouldn't that first comma be a period?

FIDO said...


I have to say, I might have to start reading again.

Funny that. I saw Red Sparrow and considered it intriguing. However, I heard Ms. Lawrence was in it, and so, even though visuals are far more viscerally impacting, I refuse to see any anything with that person as an actress.

She can't act. She isn't that attractive, and she's a Far Lefty. She doesn't need my money.

Sydney said...

Good book, 50 shades of depravity, I'll pass on that.

The actor who plays Christian Gray in the 50 Shades movie plays a serial killer in the series The Fall, which is on Netflix now. The character's motive for killing is to create his own porn. At one point in the show, they play a video he made of one of his victims who is tied up and pleading to be released. Then the video cuts to him saying, "Why are you watching this, you sick fuck?" The detective asks him if he is directing that question to himself, the police, or people who like to watch shows about people like him. Made me feel a little guilty about watching The Fall but also made me wonder if the writers were directing the jibe at Fifty Shades fans.

Jim at said...

Haven't set foot in a movie theater since 1998.
Most likely never will again.

They hate me and what I stand for. Why should I give them my money?

furious_a said...

All three Starship Troopers have inexplicable tit scenes...

Paul Verhoeven (Starship Troopers (one), Soldier of Orange, Basic Instinct, Black Book is a breast man. For some reason breasts were missing from Robocop.

furious_a said...

12 Strong is quite good, although I haven't finished Horse Soldiers yet to check for verisimilitude. In fact, the military movies (Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty, American Sniper, Lone Survivor. 13 Hours) made since the glut of the overtly soldier-as-broken-vessel pity parties went Hollywood-bust have been quite good.

Like Blackhawk Down, they let the viewer draw their own conclusions.

Vader said...

I went to a movie in a theater earlier this month for the first time in years. The Last Jedi. Meh. Probably not as bad as the sequels.

But, yeah, everything you say.

It's creeping into DVDs now. I have one for a movie I rather like that starts with a loud, obnoxious warning not to pirate DVDs. There are so many things wrong with this, but the worst is that you cannot skip over it -- the ad is programmed to disable the skip and menu controls until it is done insulting the morals of the viewer.

I keep thinking to myself: I will actually pay extra money to see a movie without this crap, if that's what it takes to keep your revenue stream on the plus side. I really don't understand the market forces behind this.

Though, in fairness, considering the balance sheet Hollywood is running right now, I'm not sure they understand the market forces behind this either.

Dave in Tucson said...

Home theater technology has advanced to such a point that there's precious few reasons to see a movie in the theaters anymore. Perhaps you want to see the movie (and avoid spoilers) before the Blu ray is released. Watching a comedy with a large group of people can be fun.

But save the price of a couple of tickets, and you're already two-thirds (or more) of the way to the price of a Blu ray (and well over the price of renting a stream). At home, you can start when you want, pause when you want, eat what you want (without paying premium prices). There's no parking, lines, commercials, trailers, noisy patrons, sticky floors, and you can control how loud or soft the volume is.

Michael K said...

"We left early, her curiosity satisfied that there was no plot and nothing interesting."

I went to see Thin Red Line with my son and his wife when it came out.

About half way through I was wondering if it would ever end.

Then I noticed people going out, I thought, for drinks and popcorn. Then I notice they never came back.

By the time the theater was half empty, I asked my DIL and son if they wanted to leave and we did.

Of course, it was nominated for "Best Picture" that season plus 6 other nominations.

And it won, of course,

Kate said...

Is "Red Sparrow" that new Jennifer Lawrence movie? Saw the preview on my last trip to the movies and thought, "Well, that movie's just an excuse to watch a woman get the shit beat out of her." Violence porn. And now it sounds like "I, Tonya" is the same.

readering said...

I hate most trailers but I do appreciate the cushion for arriving late living in a city with terrible traffic and mediocre parking

readering said...

Maybe Thin Red Line would have won Best Picture in 1999 if the Weinsteins had produced it, but they didn't so it didn't.

Second best WW2 picture of the year.

Gordon Scott said...

The trailers you see are determined by the movie you choose. The trailers in the latest Star Wars pic would not be the same as I, Tonya. One might cross over, or perhaps a different version of the trailer would play.

There are companies that will pay you to go to a cineplex and watch the trailers and the first few minutes of every showing of a particular film. You report which trailers play and which ads play. Technically you are not supposed to stay and watch the whole movie but the cineplex staff expects that you will. The reports are entered online, correlated, and sent to whichever company pays to receive them the day after your visit. You might be required to count patrons, and break them down by sex and age, and report their reactions to particular trailers.

I once made some good money because they needed someone to cover a cineplex for the movie Superbad. It was opening on four screens, and I had to be in every showing, so I was there all day watching a start about every half hour. I think I saw the first 15 minutes 24 times, but I've never seen the rest of it. Otherwise, it doesn't pay very well, unless you stay and watch the whole film. Then you can sort of believe you got $10 worth of ticket.

ALP said...

I've been "off" movies for years now. In contrast to the long, "TV" series format, movies always come off as trying to hard to shove a "lesson" down my throat. Its so clunky and obvious - highly offensive and irritating. As if they have forgotten that their job was to entertain me rather than fix me.

FIDO said...

"Well, that movie's just an excuse to watch a woman get the shit beat out of her."

How many 'super' women films do you see? Generally it's a woman in a short dress mowing down COUNTLESS men and they wind up with a few punches, torn stockings and dirt on their faces as they are stepping over the piles of male bodies.

Though to be fair, that 'Red Sparrow' trailer had one garroted man, JL being threatened with a gun, a dead woman in a bath tub, a man being shot, JL in a prison or training facility being hit, man shot in a car park, and JL stabbing a man while lying on top of him.

But if you want to fight the big boys, you might get your make up mussed for sure. Ignoring that creates a stupid Mila Jovovich movie.

Big Mike said...

I haven't seen "I, Tonya," and I don't intend to. Tonya Harding the person, is someone for whom I can feel a lot of sympathy, given that I grew up in a quarry town. She wasn't just poor, she was terribly poor. The sort that James Carville and the Democrats still sneer at as "trailer park trash." It says a lot about her upbringing that her half brother tried to rape her, and her mother took his side.

But she was so strong, so athletic, and possessed of such a will to win that I really want to stand up and applaud her. If only she had come around later, when there were more avenues for a strong, athletic, fiercely driven woman to make a living from sports -- professional basketball, golf, international soccer, beach volleyball -- many more ways than there were back then. For that matter, today's figure skating judging is more even, more objective, less political, and much more accepting of athleticism than it was back then. But she was ahead of her time, and paid for it.

BUT!!! It's only barely possible that Jeff Gillooly knew to have his buddy attack the knee of Kerrigan's landing leg without input from Tonya. Barely. And why would she even put up with Gillooly in the first place? She was strong, she had people on her side. I get that so many of you insane creatures called women just have to have your bad boys, but a man who'd videotape their wedding night and then sell prints to adult video stores is not just bad, he's way beneath the word "contemptible." He beat her? As strong as she was, why not kick his ass up one side of the street and down the other? I don't get it. I suppose it's some sort of woman's thing that males just can never understand.

Nor was that the last word on her self-destructiveness. She smoked. Contemplate that; an elite, international-class athlete who smoked.

So it's possible to be sympathetic, but only so far.

mockturtle said...

The Versace movie is unpleasant, which means it's quite good. But it's so unpleasant -- the character of Cunanan is so unpleasant, and the actor playing him is so good -- I quit watching it after the first installment.

Thanks, roughcoat!

Yancey, I've got you beat. Haven't seen a movie in a theater since Gandhi and that was about 1980, IIRC.

mockturtle said...

If it wasn't for live sports, the TV would be gone.

Amen to that, Temujin!

Big Mike said...

I don't plan to see any of the three movies whose trailers were included in this post. I've seen "12 Strong." I intend to see "Hostiles" and the "Deadpool" sequel. I probably won't see the next "Avengers." There's going to be another "Chris Pratt and the dinosaurs" movie that I'll probably watch. Not sure what else is out there that I'll be bothered with.

JaimeRoberto said...

I get the same feeling when I see a commercial for TV crime shows. It's like they are trying to outdo themselves with sadism. Unfortunately I guess it works.

buwaya said...

This business is not Hollywood.
It is generic to human entertainment.

You will find it in every "damsels in distress" trope.

The sixteenth-century "Orlando Furioso" for instance is chock full of such images. And more, a great deal of modern action-flick stuff is in there, including warrior-chicks.

Ruggiero rescues Angelica by Dore

These things, the chivalric fantasies with which Cervantes' Old Knight burned out his brain, are full of pretty much everything that you'll find in modern entertainment.

Michael K said...

"Second best WW2 picture of the year."

OK I couldn't tell from the IMDB site.

It was still awful and that wasn't just my opinion. Everybody in the theater, the first week it was released, was leaving.

Darrell said...

For some reason breasts were missing from Robocop.

Just short flashes in the locker room, like this--
http://ancensored.com/files/images/vthumbs/u/7a395b314abfcd2fc6d6ac3a92738ee7_full.jpg

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The trailers have gotten totally out of control. Before the last movie we watched in a theater (it was the last Jason Bourne flick, now years ago -- and may I never hear audio that loud and relentless ever again, btw; playing a Shostakovich symphony with my back right in front of the trumpets was as nothing to it. Plus the constantly swerving camera ... urgh). Anyway, I think we had 30 solid minutes of trailers first. All of them instantly forgettable.

Netflix for me, thanks. You can pick your own show time. And volume level. And the popcorn is way cheaper. And no trailers!

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

FullMoon,

I remember that. Except that it must have been a different night, because no one turned the projector off; I just remember a load of black kids laughing their heads off when the camp commandant casually shot a Jewish woman walking past. Apparently that shit is hilarious if you're black.

Static Ping said...

Starship Troopers the book is very good. Recommended.

Starship Troopers the movie is not so good. The special effects were excellent for the time and hold up pretty well today. The news blurbs (ala Robocop) are a nice touch. The rest of it is mostly laughable with a shallow story, shallow characters, and lots of bad acting and/or good actors given ridiculous dialogue to work with. It is more or less meant to be an anti-war, anti-fascism, anti-American joke on the audience, but it is so poorly executed that no one really noticed. These days, if someone knows the movie it is because of the infamous co-ed shower scene, the Doogie Howser dressed in an SS uniform feature, or the RiffTrax show featuring it. Note that it has basically nothing to do with the book other than both involving bug wars. The movie makers decided that the original script was not strong enough to stand on its own, so they licensed the book. Verhoeven admitted he only read a couple chapters of the book before giving up.

The sequels were purely straight to video affairs.

Khesanh 0802 said...

What I do not understand is how Ann could ever have been talked into going to "I, Tonya". It had to be an enormous bet against her doing it or something. Ann is old enough to remember the real Tonya who was a not-quite-talented enough bitch the first time around, who I am sure would have been happy to smash a tire iron across Nancy Kerrigan's knee herself if she thought she could get away with it. From what I could see at the time Harding was rude, crude and obnoxious. Perhaps, because I was in Boston at the time, I got my fill of Tonya news and it wasn't good.

I guess more importantly: what the hell is anyone doing going to a movie theater in the middle of flu season?!? Other than flying in an airplane, I can't think of a better way to guarantee a porcelain bus drive. Ann, what were you thinking?

rhhardin said...

These days, if someone knows the movie it is because of the infamous co-ed shower scene

Hey the third one had a group fitting for bionic uniforms which involved a biological scan, namely the group standing in front of the camera with no clothes on. What was that about, you asked yourself at the time. More tit time than the shower scene however.

The second one, if I recall, had only a seduction scene with brief breasts.

The bugs were the highlight of all of them, and of course blowing stuff up.

Charlie Martin said...

Golly, how soon will those be on-demand?

I might have to go out to the movies.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I have a T-shirt saying "The Book Was Better." It nearly always is.

gilbar said...

"Verhoeven admitted he only read a couple chapters of the book before giving up"

a review at the time said that the movie was based on a screenplay written by a guy "that read the back cover of a Heinlein novel" .

if they'd just made a movie that portrayed the 1st chapter (the raid on the capital of the Skinnies; they would have been much better off. That's the most exciting (and violent) 15 pages ever written.

Bay Area Guy said...

"Hollywood is sick. Evil. Corrupting our soul."

Damn, Althouse is going full Pat Robertson on us!

Not only are the movies crummy, but they sexually harass and assault women, too!

buwaya said...

"if they'd just made a movie that portrayed the 1st chapter (the raid on the capital of the Skinnies; they would have been much better off. That's the most exciting (and violent) 15 pages ever written."

Well, it does have tactical nuclear weapons.

No "skinnies" in the movie either.

mockturtle said...

MDT avers: I have a T-shirt saying "The Book Was Better." It nearly always is.

Nearly always. Two exceptions, both Spielberg movies, are The Color Purple and Jaws.

mesquito said...

Dunkirk, my second theatre visit in 20 years, was preceded by at least a dozen insipid superhero trailers.

Bill Peschel said...

The last movie we saw in the theatre was "Murder on the Orient Express." We're Christie fans (I annotated her first novel) and Branaugh's worth watching.

Had a good time, too. In fact, I think it's the best of the three (beneath the David Suchet version and the old all-star movie). I'm flexible about adaptations these days, since if you don't like this version, good chance another one will appear in your lifetime.

The one thing I can't understand, when we're watching DVDs, is why there aren't more trailers? Some companies are good about them (e.g., Sony), but some movies have none.

Why? Viewers can skip them, and the rest of us are occasionally exposed to something we'd want to watch.

It's a stupid decision not to include them, considering they've already been made and you still have room on the disc.

Rabel said...

Pardon me. I was looking for the Althouse blog and I seem to have wandered into the early-morning Senior's Sunday School class down at First Baptist.

I'll see if I can track down betamax3000 or Titus for directions.

Rabel said...

It all started with Faye Wray's nipples and that big black monkey. It's been downhill ever since.

rcocean said...

Is there anything more lame than:

"Hey, you're just a old fogey/bluenose for not liking the latest piece of Hollywood sewage"?

I guess part of playing the "Hipper than Hip, Hipster" is liking boring movies and watching six trailers before you see the actual film.

No doubt if you're REALLY "young and hip" you appreciate commercials before the film and the complimentary shit sandwiches - but they're only for "cool" people.

rcocean said...

BTW, I saw "Dunkirk" - and its the best movie of the year. Definitively the best war movie since "Thin Red Line".

I happened to enjoy TRL, but I can understand why others didn't. Its an acquired taste.

Lot of walkouts when I saw it back in the late 90s. Peeps thought it was going to be "Saving Private Ryan on Guadalcanal" - and its basically a Vietnam war movie disguised as a WW2 one.



Johnny Sokko said...

Saw Dunkirk last year, it was okay. Might see Coco this year.

That is the extent of seeing recent movies for me.

Most are garbage (but Hollywood has always produced a lot of garbage) but a couple are good. Hollywood suffers from a lack of imagination - too many superhero films, too many sequels, too many rehashing of 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s televisions shows, and way too much gun-play movies. It would be nice if they had movies with actual stories.

Big Mike said...

Ann is old enough to remember the real Tonya who was a not-quite-talented enough bitch the first time around, who I am sure would have been happy to smash a tire iron across Nancy Kerrigan's knee herself if she thought she could get away with it. From what I could see at the time Harding was rude, crude and obnoxious. Perhaps, because I was in Boston at the time, I got my fill of Tonya news and it wasn't good.

@Khesahn, I would not have pegged you as some limousine liberal from Baaah-ston sneering at the trailer park trash. Yeah, Tonya was rude and crude — given the home life that shaped her she could hardly be otherwise — and she sure as Hell could of picked a better husband, but she overcame a lot to claw her way into the record books with sheer athleticism and will to win. There’s a lot to shake your head over, but a lot to admire as well.

buwaya said...

The sort of romance people enjoyed back in the day would make lots of moderns squirm.

From the "Tirant lo Blanc" (fifteenth century), Rudder translation

"Her beauty and discretion so far surpasses all the others that
only a madman could compare anyone else with her. But I saw this
lady with the black gardener, Lauseta, and she was not thinking
of me at all. First I saw them kissing, and I was offended by
the sight. Then I was even more shocked when I saw them
embracing like lovers and going into a chamber. When they came
back out Widow Repose knelt down at her feet and put a silk scarf
high under her skirt. Painful thoughts attacked my mind when I
saw how he treated her. I don't know why I didn't kill someone
right then, but the wall was in my way. But I could not take the
terrible jealousy of the black gardener out of my mind, and I cut
through his neck with my sword."

And that's the hero of the piece. Deceived, true, but still...

buwaya said...

"Hollywood suffers from a lack of imagination "

Totally.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Mockturtle, I'd agree with you about Jaws, but there IIRC the book came after the movie. In The Color Purple, the book was before the movie, but I've neither read nor seen it.

Has Lebanon banned showings of either of those, btw? Because, Spielberg, who dared to say that the Holocaust happened. Or is that a new thing?

narciso said...

Matthews is not gratuitous but Francis Lawrence her director from hunger games may be, in describing the training regiment.

Static Ping said...

I have a T-shirt saying "The Book Was Better." It nearly always is.

I doubt this is true. What I think is true is that the book is almost always better when the book is good. There have been many very good movies based off mediocre books and throwaway short stories. I actually have heard a film expert discuss this. Basically, the better the book the less leeway the movie has to change the story; otherwise, the numerous fans of the book get upset. The problem is what works in a book may not work in a movie. You can rip up and rearrange a so-so novel all you want without disturbing the masses.

Static Ping said...

I'd agree with you about Jaws, but there IIRC the book came after the movie.

Book came out February 1974, movie released June 1975 based off the book. The film rights were bought before the book was actually published, so there is definitely some cart before the horse stuff going on here, but the book did come first.

chickelit said...

Nonapod said...The entertainment industry seems to be riding a wave of 90s crime nostalgia lately. Last year there was that OJ miniseries. Netflix had that Unibomber miniseries. What's next? Will there be stuff done on the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, Ruby Ridge, Rodney King and the 1992 LA riots?

There's this nostalgia thing in movies called the 40 year rule: [@7:45m]. So, according to that theory, we should be eyeballs deep in late 70's nostalgia. My teenage daughter recently enjoyed reruns of That 70's Show. And there's the whole political Nixon-redux thing going on.

Any more data points? Is disco coming back?

buwaya said...

"Any more data points? Is disco coming back?"

I want to see what can be done with William Hope Hodgson's "The Night Land".

As a fantasy, it is unique. It is a peculiarly atmospheric, end-of-time, end-of-existence idea, but regardless, is a gripping adventure of save-the damsel-in distress sort. The original novel suffers from many problems, especially in its later parts - it could stand a great deal of editing, and several have tried their hands at this. Still, the thing is compelling and is an open field as a film production concept.

Several people have written cleaned-up versions of "The Night Land". I recommend John C Wrights "Awake in the Night Land", which are stories set in the milieu.

mockturtle said...

Book came out February 1974, movie released June 1975 based off the book. The film rights were bought before the book was actually published, so there is definitely some cart before the horse stuff going on here, but the book did come first.

Yes. I read the book [mediocre] before the movie came out. The film was decidedly better. As with The Color Purple, the chaff was removed leaving remarkably tasty wheat.

buwaya said...

Games as an inspiration for movies - the boys liked the GW "Warhammer 40K" miniatures games.

This seems like a natural source of material for a fine action movie, with depth. That game series coined the "grimdark" concept - "In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war."

The back-story is loaded with concepts of honor and sacrifice and moral ambiguity, or lets say moral compromise, the risk and disaster of temptation, and a generalized hysteria, as mankind is at the edge of being overwhelmed, exterminated in the galaxy by a sea of horrors. This hysteria, of course, justifies, or does not, any number of human horrors. There is a load of material there, and a ready-made Gothic/brutalist visual concept.

anti-de Sitter space said...

Chick,

That show wasn't from the 70's

I know, tricky naming, huh?

Anywho, re data points re a new generation's supposed love of seventies stuff I'd also stay away from MASH-type (not to be confused w/ mashup-type) TV. Has that sorta thing ever stopped playing? If not, it doesn't mean much, re 70's love, that it's still being played.



FIDO said...

buwaya,

All I can say to that idea is 'Warcraft'. Lesson learned.

FIDO said...

I read Jurassic Park. I think that the movie was an equal in quality, but we are talking cutting edge visuals, one of the best directors of our age and a totally different 'tone', which was far different but equal, I think.

buwaya said...

Anyway, as a replacement for Marvel/DC superhero movies, there are huge piles of unexploited concepts, tons of material for scripts, for world-building, for well-understood tie-ins, all more-or-less fresh.

cbunix23 said...

No one laughed when we saw "I, Tonya", not one.

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW,

in a different genre (i.e. music) and time (i.e. mid 80's), did R Stone sandbag this:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/the-smiths-morrissey-marr-rob-sheffield-ranks-all-73-songs-w492371/paint-a-vulgar-picture-1987-w492475

because it was hinting too close re the lameness re their own biz? 71 of 73?

Presumably it's a good thing if industries feel some shame such that they try to hide their redux lameness.


I guess the glass is half full.


Anywho, long story short: it ain't called 'show charity.'

chickelit said...

@Jelly: Thanks for trying to help me not look stupid but I knew that. Now think about how my example fits.

narciso said...

Brian singer was going to adapt the moon is a harsh mistress, but hes probably occupied now,

anti-de Sitter space said...

Chick,

I knew that you knew that.

Hence, I went on to point out that the show biz industry is always going for the low hanging fruit. Always has, always will.

IOW, if something worked and was popular in the past, why not tweak it and roll it out again? People are still people. Target the new folks w/ a redo because you know that the concept already worked on earlier folks. All previous successes are fair game, not just the seventies and/or forty years ago.

Lookin' for the easy money.

BudBrown said...

I've been to the movies a lot the past 3 years and seen a lot of trailers. I commented a couple times last year about how off-putting the trailers are (commented in a whisper
before the movie). I've been a looking-forward-to-the-coming-attractions kinda guy like forever but the past few months not so much.
They really mucked up Starship Troopers. I've always wanted them to make a movie out of
Glory Road but then they probably have many times.
I was gonna say making a movie out of Color Purple would be like making one outta Notes From Underground so I looked it up and they did, they did, they made a movie out of it. I'll maybe watch the trailer later.
Jaws was a 1974 novel with a pretty sexy sub plot. I mean it was sorta risqué for the time?
My dad had a lotta paperbacks and I spent some time in 1965 and 66 checking them for sex and, well, nothing as casually done as in Jaws. But then what was always fun back then
was noticing all the bikina clad girls at the beach reading Jaws. They didn't seem to swim so much.

FIDO said...

IF DONE WELL, I agree, buwaya.

However, I also saw 'Dungeons and Dragons' the movie.

Um... Um...Um...

If done correctly by someone who UNDERSTANDS and can TRANSLATE the material, I absolutely agree with you.

Do you think they have that kind of talent and subtlety in Hollywood? It is there, but in woeful short supply. They are busy not making Loki a joke.

FIDO said...

I'd like to see a GOOD Starships Troopers movie made. They might have to change the name. I bet you could get the military to pay some of the costs.

Sydney said...

Other movies that were better than the book - Primary Colors (better character development) and Arrival, though it was based on a short story, not a book.

narciso said...

By contrast I came across the new tartan film, with one of the skarsguaard, the cinematography was great (David yates, who did one of the harry potters directed.

In terms of video games the metal gear saga which begins in world war 2, and segues through the coldwar to the present day might be worth a shot.

EMyrt said...

Just the facial armor on the actors in the still from Fifty Shades is enough to make me barf! You couldn't pay me to watch the trailer.
Why I don't go to the movies much anymore.

anti-de Sitter space said...

BTW,

I'm w/ all you nerds, that Troopers movie was great:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw_L8Z8Juc8

madAsHell said...

something really sharp about American culture.

Have you been to the food court at the shopping mall?

Bad Lieutenant said...

The Dark Tower movie was shit, I'm still angry. Frankly Idris Elba was the least of its problems.

How about tackling classics? Crime and Punishment maybe?

Hollywood: The craft is total. The art is nil.

mockturtle said...

How about tackling classics? Crime and Punishment maybe?

Dostoevsky's best. They would have to cast and direct it perfectly but, yes. The Brother's Karamazov was done pretty well. Would like to see it again but it's not available on DVD, at least I don't think it is.

mockturtle said...

My main objections to modern movies is the poor script writing. The acting is better today but the scripts are pathetic.

FIDO said...

Five hundred millions spent on effects, twenty cents spent on the writers.

Pathetic.

Guildofcannonballs said...

I still can't believe how bad Coppola fucked up Puzo's masterpiece.

And there's the convicted child rapist Polanski's celluloid destruction of genius too (all Wikied up but no link):

According to Robert Towne, Carey McWilliams's Southern California Country: An Island on the Land (1946) and a West magazine article called "Raymond Chandler's L.A." inspired his original screenplay.[17] In a letter to McWilliams, Towne wrote that Southern California Country "really changed my life. It taught me to look at the place where I was born, and convinced me to write about it."[18

narciso said...

In what way did copolla mess it up, I only note some minor changes?

Char Char Binks said...

Thoroughbreds looks cute. I could enjoy the humor in that, in a certain mood.

Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith's daughter is very beautiful, naturally, but I wouldn't sit through a Grey movie -- I couldn't even make it to the end of the trailer.

Red Sparrow looks ridiculous, and just may be ridiculous enough to be fun.

Char Char Binks said...

Oh, and I don't get how I'm complicit in whatever happened to Tonya Harding, since I never heard of her until her husband, or boyfriend, or whoever, kneecapped Nancy Kerrigan.

traditionalguy said...

The best movie Hollywood ever made, if you give them rating points for Cinematography , for script writing, for actors and for actresses is still 1974's Chinatown.

Guildofcannonballs said...

If The Godfather had a decent score, merely mediocre cinematography, not dead-seeming actors, or editing done by a sober person it might have been an okay flick, worthy of Master Mario's vision. What actually spewed out of the camera though was bubblegum popcorn lollipop kid stuff not up to my expectations.

Chris N said...

We went to see the Commuter with Liam Neeson. Just kind of wandered out on Friday night to get away from work. Played ms pac man in the lobby like we were on a date.

It was pretty entertaining in that thoughtfully crafted, mindless way. We’re not looking for high art and don’t need commitment. Hell, we didn’t even find the right theater for a bit.

There’s a symphony and some operas in town for some harder truths, tragic self-regard and catharsis.

narciso said...

Yes chinatown, has more atmosphere to it, town telegraphed events like great mulholland (mulray) flood some thirty years into the future.

For obvious reasons, I'm not keen on godfather 2.

Mary said...

I saw the movie and I loved it. I know what you mean about making light of her abusive mother and husband, but from what I’ve read she tends to either exaggerate or lie. So it seems it was portrayed through her view, however skewered or comical that might be. If you see her in interviews now, she really is like that, and was “demanded that reporters would have to sign an affidavit saying the won’t ask her “about the past” or they’ll be fined $25,000.” Seriously.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Rare exports: A Christmas Story. Made in Finland, some of the dialog is in English. It's got some Indiana Jones material, also it is a Christmas story with an evil Santa Claus Monster. There are no women in it at all, and young boys carry shotguns and go wolf hunting. At first the damn Russians are blamed for all the funny goings on.

Yancey Ward said...

Michael K wrote:

"I went to see Thin Red Line with my son and his wife when it came out.
About half way through I was wondering if it would ever end.
"

It is obviously a polarizing film but, for the life of me, I have never understood why. I have seen it three times, and saw the first time on the big screen. I have always liked it better than Saving Private Ryan which came out about the same time. The only things I liked about the second film was the opening section and the harrowing battle at the end of the film. The rest of it was just boring to me. To each his own, I guess.

Yancey Ward said...

Traditionalguy wrote:

"The best movie Hollywood ever made, if you give them rating points for Cinematography , for script writing, for actors and for actresses is still 1974's Chinatown."

I all but agree. It is one of my top three of which I don't really rank after that level. Seen it at least a dozen times in the last 30 years.

Yancey Ward said...

Another Starship Troopers debate, huh? I loved the movie and I had read the book long before I saw it, and actually didn't like the book very much even though I am a big fan of Heinlein. I have always been a Paul Verhoeven fan since Robocop which was a similar kind of extreme black comedy, though better than Starship Troopers. I saw the first of the sequels, but you can skip it- it was horrid.

Bad Lieutenant said...

For obvious reasons, I'm not keen on godfather 2.



Ohhh... You're Cuban? Cool.

JAORE said...

The last movie we saw in the theatre was "Murder on the Orient Express."

Racist! Not a single asian actor in the film.

juubi o primeiro de dez said...

90s crime nostalgia.

It's called historical cinema, Dumbo. People often write about the past. In the next decade be sure we will have films all over your favorite 2000s serial killers.