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Night Shade Message Boards » Shepard, Lucius » Matrix Reloaded Review « Previous Next »

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Trinity
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 11:16 am:   

Shepard's review of Matrix Reloaded is here:

http://www.electricstory.com/reviews/matrix2.asp

So, what do you have against cool sunglasses, huh? We supposed to fight the Powers That Be in dorky clothes? No way, man, ain't happenin'.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 12:39 pm:   

So, Trinity, what was it like, the One and you. You looked a little disengaged there, girl.
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Trinity
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 01:40 pm:   

Listen, it's like this, a guy believes he's The One (like the rest of 'em don't?) it's hard to keep him focused, you know what I'm sayin'?

Peace.
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JeffV
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 01:48 pm:   

Lucius:

What a great review. One of my favorite parts:

Unfortunately, the Wachowskis appear to have taken this quasi-intellectual anointing to heart, putting their narration on frequent and unnecessary pause to engage in dreary speculations concerning destiny and reality that remind of the profundities that would occur to me during my high school days after a few bong hits.

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 02:25 pm:   

Jeff, glad you liked it. I found this movie particularly loathesome, because The Bros once showed some potential, not just with the Matrix, but with their first feature, Bound. I had hopes, especially snce they bought the rights to GEEK LOVE. Now I wouldn't want to see them touch that property.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 02:28 pm:   

Trinity, perhaps you need a less Christlike boyfriend, someone that would more suit a malapert like yourself...

Just a thought.
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JeffV
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 03:13 pm:   

I also thought Bound showed a lot of potential. Bound has more humanity in a single scene than the whole Matrix franchise, however. I didn't know they'd bought the rights to Geek Love! That's horrible!

JeffV
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, May 28, 2003 - 04:28 pm:   

Yup. Bought 'em outright, not just an option. I told Katherine she'd be better off not seeing this new movie. Peace of mind, y'know.

Lucius
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iotar
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 01:33 pm:   

Fucking brilliant. I've had friends - activist friends, friends who shd know better going gooey eyed over the downloaded trailer for this film and I've felt like this great poncey post-gnostic wanker for humm-ing and ha-ing and generally not being impressed by the high adrenaline screen-rush.

They're *all* getting the URL for that review.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 01:41 pm:   

Thanks, Iotar. Maybe you can start a boycott. Actually, the film isn't getting the return business the studio hoped for. I guess word of mouth is doing as much as expected, which surprises me. It'll still make a good profit, but the expectation was for about 350 Mil domestic and they won't come near that.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 05:22 pm:   

re: bound.

i liked bound, but there's something interesting about it and the matrix film that i noticed while working in a cinema. (i was a projectionist for about five years.) anyhow: the main demographic of people going to see bound were young men, the same with the original matrix, except this also pulled in the teenage boys, those who legally couldn't get into see bound and thus had to a) hire it, or b) sneak in.

and a part of me felt that reloaded was a film that played straight to those two demographics in many ways.

anyhow, just a random observation.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 06:46 pm:   

Actually I know lots of girls who liked Bound, but no matter it's demographic appeal, Ben, it was a tight little film, which Reloaded is not. I'm sure Reloaded was designed to play straight to the demographic you cite, and that's really what's wrong with the industry. They lose a lot of money by trying to target that demographic with the vast majority of films, but they keep doing it, because they only need to have a few big hits to fund the remainder of their idiot bombs. They've totally neglected the idea of niche marketing -- only in the last couple of years have they given serious consideration to making films that might appeal to Latino audiences. I tried to persuade a number of studio folks that this might be a good idea and was told they did that already -- the Banderas version of Zorro was such a film, they said. Now that JLo is huge, they're rethinking this notion; butI doubt Jlo would ever appear in any films that were basically niche marketed. My basic point is that you don't need 150 mil budgets to make movies that earn a profit. It would behoove the studios to make smaller movies and niche market them. That way they'd have fewer losers and we'd have better movies.
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, May 29, 2003 - 11:08 pm:   

yeah, i agree, bound was a tight little film, whereas reloaded wasn't.

i've just been thinking about the demographic audience for reloaded over the last couple of days, since everywhere i turn there is the tie in video game (apparently it gives the film more depth, which i figure isn't hard) and the two volume cd of music not in the film. got me thinking in giant demographic conspiracies.

(i also read that an avril lavigne song had been optioned for a movie. i'm wondering, now, if there won't be an explosion of pop songs turned into films, aiming for that teenage dollar. coming soon: movies based on the songs of justin timberlake. horrible.)

i don't, however, think that if you got more niche market films (and small films), that you'd have less bad films overall. that seems a bit optimistic to me. i do reckon you'd have more variety though, and that's worth supporting.
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iotar
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 01:14 am:   

Lucius: I reckon it'll be pretty lonely sitting here in North East London not going to see the film. I suppose I can always call up Mike Harrison in West London for a we're-not-going-to-see-Reloaded protest. It's being given massive coverage in the UK and London media - they've even had those numbskull articles with titles like "The Matrix is *really* about religion" on the BBC News site. I expected better from the BBC.

Ah well, looking forward to elbowing my way through hordes of fashion victims wearing Matrix(TM) leather trenchcoats and Matrix(TM) shades on my way to work every day.

Tossers!
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 05:40 am:   

Ben, demographic conspiracy is the name of the game. Yeah, I heard that about the Avril Lavigne song. Jesus! Sk8er Boy. Wow. I can't wait. There ought to be low IQ alerts in this country, like ozone readings.

My feeling is that if you made more low budget movies, you'd have to depend more on story, less on FX, and that way you'd wind up getting more decent flicks. I mean, I'm aware of a lot of good scripts that have been bought but haven't been made that fall into that category.

Anyway, I guess it's my belief that the more money you throw at a movie, the less chance you have of getting anything watchable. The difference between, for instance, The Terminator and T2 points this out.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 05:52 am:   

Iotar, just sit there and watch a better movie. Living well's the best revenge.

As to the BBC, the western media has essentially become a shill for politics or product. I mean, the goddamn war, Iraqui Freedom, was essentially a TV show and was marketed like one. On local news here, there'll be a primetime movie about a volcano erupting or something , and the news will start off with a story whose lead-in is : Erupting volcano? Could it happen here? We're in the middle of a distinct mental outage. I used to see myself as kind of a blue collar guy with an pretension or two, but now, when I talk to people out in the world, I'm starting to feel like Descartes.

Well, just try and avoid the urge, when you;re heading to work, to drop into bullet time.
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iotar
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 07:58 am:   

I followed the war for the first few days but I exceeded my quarterly exasperation quota and my service providers were refusing to reset my eyebrows, which had got stuck at the top of my forehead, until the end of the month.

So yes, not watching this film might help to avoid costly exasperation bills at the end of the month.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 08:45 am:   

Actually I was fascinated by the obfuscation deivered by the "embedded reporters," who for most of the conflict showed us nothing, but kept telling us how much they were showing. The enterprise was an example of marketing brilliance. In fact, the woman who gave the Pentagon briefings every day was a marketing expert brought in to spiff up the war for public consumption. Quite Orwellian. Exasperating...oh, yeah. But kind of amazing. Peace is war. Love is hate. I'm almost a believer.
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GabrielM
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 12:46 pm:   

>>They've totally neglected the idea of niche marketing -- only in the last couple of years have they given serious consideration to making films that might appeal to Latino audiences.

Like, um, CHASING PAPI? *Shudder*
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 01:47 pm:   

Gabe, yeah, there are bad scripts out there, but there are good scripts too. My point is, if you make a movie with a ten mill budget, you have a better chance of getting a decent flick than with a mega-budget, and if you market it right and get a profit, you may wind up with even more good movies. I mean, name the last really good 100 million dollar movie you saw. You're going to get some crummy little films, but in with the chaff, maybe a few crunchy ones. And Hwood's new interest in Latino culture is bringing good new Latina directors into the game. Most will get co-opted, but probably not all of them.
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Michael Cisco
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 02:07 am:   

I more or less flat out stopped going to see Hollywood movies about ten years ago. I didn't bound from my seat and fling my junior mints at the screen, I just lost the habit. Now, I find that the advertising alone puts me so completely off that I never care if I ever see another (well, that and having to pay ten bucks). A million edits that don't amount to anything plus the same four-testicle voice again and again and again. Slow it down fourteen percent and that's the movie. Everyone knows the seventies was a golden era for Hollywood film, and - were any of those movies (adjusted for inflation) budgeted like modern ones? How much did "Midnight Cowboy" cost? Would anything even remotely like that get made today? You know as well as I do that "Catch-22" wouldn't! How many films these days start with anything even resembling a proper script - as opposed to the word "Hulk?" scribbled on a panty liner?
I think "The Matrix" resonates with people because it accurately reflects the seamless garment of marketing we're all stuck with. So the movies mesh imperceptibly with the news with the magazine you read with your local radiostation (local to the phone line that brings it in canned from where) etc. Does this make sense, or am I being paranoid?
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 05:45 am:   

Michael....absolutely! That's the gospel I've been hammering on since I started reviewing movies and that it dead on what I say in my review of the Matrix -- that the Matrix is the perfect metaphor for our culture. I think I ws driving Gordon VG nuts, I was hammering it so hard. I believe it's importing to yell about it, because there are so many people out there who basically chew their cuds for a living and it would be nice to wake a couple of them up. There's nothing wrong, to my mind, with the concept of an "entertainment," but that's all there is from Hwood these days. Sometimes I like to walk into theater and see some mindless hoo ha. That';s whi I enjoy B movies, like some of John Carpenter's old stuff. But it would be nice if there were a few films for adults. I actually saw a treatment for a movie upcoming this summer, and embedded in the treatment was a section which listed selling points, and one of them was (this is a quote): This film will have no secondary plots or depth of characterization.:" I swear to God. That was a selling point.

As for the 70s, Chinatown wouldn't get made today, and how many Oscars did it win? And none of those great films had mega-budgets.
But things are gonna change soon. It won't be too many years before kids are going to be able to walk around with, in essence, a movie studio on their back, and Hollywood's going to have a lot of competition.
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Robert Devereux
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 07:20 am:   

I haven't completely lost interest in Hollywood films. There are still a few directors who work in the mainstream who make good movies - M. Night Shyamalan comes to mind. But most of the films I've enjoyed have been smaller films, or foreign.

I still can't comprehend how Hollywood can throw $100 million at somehting like Pluto Nash, but won't spend $1-2 million on a small film. Even if the small film doesn't take in $200 million in profits, it can still be profitable. Even something like Blair Witch 2 made money for Artisan. It was only seen by hard core horror afficianados, but it was made with a low enough budget that even that small viewing made a profit.

Why don't more studios take that approach - spend a small ammount on a film and niche market it? If a film costs $5 million and makes $20 million, that's as much profit as a film that costs $100 million and makes $115 million. And you can make 20 times as many films at the low budget, which could translate to 20 times the profit. At the same cost, 1 film that makes $15 million, or 20 films that each make $15 million. I know this is oversimplified, but I do think successful niche marketing of low budget films can serve to make money for studios, and make movies that might be more palatable.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 07:54 am:   

"Why don't more studios take that approach - spend a small ammount on a film and niche market it? If a film costs $5 million and makes $20 million, that's as much profit as a film that costs $100 million and makes $115 million."

Exactly. The answer is, because the major players don't have to. With DVD and video sales, with licensed products like Spiderman action figures and so forth, with the intensive marketing blitzes that guarantee 100 million dollar weekends for the big comic book movies and other big pictures, they can turn enough profit to make everyone happy. There's been no pressure on them to run their business efficiently, but like I said in an earlier post, with the advances in technology, anyone can make a movie on the cheap these days and soon it's going to be possible for anyone to make a cool-looking FX laden movie on the relative cheap, and that's why they're starting to look at niche marketing. Another reason why they haven't niche-marketed before is that what drives most players in Hwood isn't money, it's ego. They all want to be sitting on top of some brontosaur-sized mega-hit like a Jerry Bruckheimer. So everybody's looking for the script, the concept, the franchise that can open in 8000 theaters nationwide and spawn three sequels. That's the way it's gonna be until the revolution. But I really do believe that it's going to start wiithin the next decade or so.
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Markred
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 02:45 pm:   

Re: "If a film costs $5 million and makes $20 million, that's as much profit as a film that costs $100 million and makes $115 million."

Sure. But if creative types can make a movie for $1 million - and it can still be done - then you can't steal $1 million via 'creative accounting'. Hence, Hollywood has no interest.

It is that simple. All Lucius says above is true, but is mere upper structure elaboration on that fundamental.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 02:51 pm:   

Yeah, Markred, I hear ya, man...but the logic I and Robert are espousing may, hopefully, reflect a new reality that Hollywood will have to accept.. Some of the hogs are gonna be driven away from the trough.
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Donnie
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 03:27 pm:   

Donnie Darko was made for $4 million, and it kicked ass. Didn't do so well in the theatres, but it's gotten a pretty decent video following.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 03, 2003 - 03:30 pm:   

Yeah, Donne Darko was a terrific science fiction movie that all the film geeks (inlcuding me) trumpeted and stil do. Hopefully that kind of word of mouth has helped in its post-theatriical afterlife. Just shows to go. Quality ain't about money.
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iotar
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 01:46 am:   

Donnie Darko was great. He shd have recieved an Oscar for the way that he put up his hood. There were pretty effects in there but the whole thing *could* have worked without them - which isn't always the case these days.
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paulw
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 03:25 am:   

A lower east side movie house has had midnight showings of Donnie Darko for more than a year now.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 05:12 am:   

iotar,

best things about DD were the script and the acting, and that should be true of any movie, scifi or otherwise. Gyllenhall was fantastic -- I can't think of a better young actor in US film right now. I don't know if you were being facetious or not, but I think he did deserve some awards attention for the range of human effects he had to display. Pretty awesome.
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iotar
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 05:58 am:   

No, I was genuinely taken by the way he'd put his hood up and bring out their weird smile. Dead on - exactly like what it felt to be a teenager. There were some great performances in that film - and I loved that human potential Fear and Love video.
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 06:57 am:   

That weird smile, that was kind of chilling. Columbine-esque. And that Fear and Love deal was cool. The role Swayze was born to play. One thing I liked was that Kelly, the director, didn't let the family become absolute stereotypes. He gave them some humanity and that let what Gyllenhall did in playing off them become more resonant.
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iotar
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 10:32 am:   

The kid in the video who says "I'm not afraid anymore!" Wow! I had to watch that over and over again.
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lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 11:22 am:   

I'm afraid the greatest impression that the movie made on me is that my inner child is now demanding one of those heavy metal Easter bunny outfits.
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The Easter Bunny's Administrative Assistant
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 11:53 am:   

Lucius, check your basket next, year, my man. Ask and you shall receive.

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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 12:56 pm:   

Hey...Thanks, EB. Can't wait. I mean, you understand I need a size L bunny suit, not one of those bun-bun outfits...?
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EB's AA
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 04:51 pm:   

Remember, I'm merely the Admin Asst around here, but don't worry The Bunny sees all, knows all. I'm sure the suit will fit.

Oh, gotta hop!
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 06:28 pm:   

The Bunny sees all, knows all...

Can he spot those weapons of mass destruction?

:-)
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Jim Harris
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 06:45 pm:   

Lucius, I essentially agree with everything you said in your review, but I think I'll argue back a bit. I'm not ready to condemn Hollywood yet, since I've gotten a century of pleasure from that industry, although I prefer the half-century of Hollywood output before I was born in 1951.

I had to drag my wife to go see The Matrix Reloaded and she complained in the car that she hated movies with flying people in it. Driving home after the show, I told her I now hated movies with flying people. The following weekend I treated her to Down With Love which I feel Hollywood redeamned itself.

I'm not a fan of SF/F movies even though I'm a big reader of those genres. In recent memory the SF movies that stand out to me are Gattaca and The Matrix. Thus I was greatly disappointed with Reloaded. If the highway scene and the fight scene at the staircase were deleted, and the movie was 35-40 minutes shorter, I would have considered it okay rather than painful. It had enough PKD/Gnosticistic plot puzzles to make me wonder a bit and provide for some water cooler chats.

Jim
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 04, 2003 - 09:56 pm:   

I'll go you one better, Jim. I'm on Hollywood's side until the 80s. Some great American movies were made during the 70s, even in the early 80s. But since the early to mid-80s,the industry has been in steady decline. Just as with publishing, the marketers and the bean counters have taken over, and what once might be considered art and/or entertainment has devolved into an onslaught of pandering to the base and the ignorant.

I haven't seen Down With Love. If it seemed redemptive to you, that's fine. I suppose it's a romantic comedy. Ronantic comedies and B pictures are the two things Hollywood still does well on occasion. But for my part, I don't consider that sufficient to be redemptive for the lack of the dozens of good little movies Hollywood used to turn out, 70s-type movies like Straight Time and What's My Name that would never get made today, but if they were, would be considered art house....though at the time they were made, they were just average little studio movies.

In any case, thanks for taking time to check out the review and for writing.

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iotar
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 04:32 am:   

The Bunny planted the Weapons of Mass Destruction! Just after he planted Easter eggs for the kiddies he got into his custom DD Stealth Bunny suit and went on a special mission in Iraq. So, of *course* he knows where the Weapons are. Only question is: why is he not telling Rumsfeld?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 05:55 am:   

I'm assuming that the Bunny and Rumsfeld were once in a same-sex relationship, and that after Rumsfeld had the operation and went from Donna to Donald, he and the Bunny had some issues. They may not be talking any more.
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EB's AA
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 07:23 am:   

You boys keep that stuff up and see what The Bunny brings you...don't let the pink nose fool you, man, he can get downright testy.

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iotar
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 08:00 am:   

I'm backing off for the sake of Lucius's bunny suit and National Security. Anyone could make a mistake that that with Rumsfeld... well, almost anyone.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 09:45 am:   

Dear EB's AA, like Iotar, I think I must essentially retreat from my previous statements and just say that Easter is my favorite season and bunnies are like unto ikons in the shrine of my thoughts.
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EB's AA
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 10:31 am:   

I'll let Him know everyone is back on board.

Hop, hop.
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iotar
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 10:37 am:   

Phew! I thought he had us for a minute there, Lucius.
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 10:51 am:   

Is the EB's AA a "he?" Hmmm. You'd think a masterful figure like the Bunny would be a guy, but I get the distinct impression that the AA is a girl. The "hop, hop" seems to imply this. :-)
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EB's AA
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 11:04 am:   

Of course the AA is a girl -- that's Woman to you, yolk-breath -- and of course the Masterful EB is a man, indeed, a Man with an AA who is grammatically ept and was able to see at once that Iotar's "he" referred to the EB himself, not the AA.

It must be early where you are so we don't take it out of your allotment of peeps.



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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 11:13 am:   

Yolk-breath? Big talk from someone who's hit the glass ceiling. I mean, I don't expect since the EB's a masterful guy, that you're in line for the position when he retires. Nowhere but down from EB's AA, is there?

Peeps? You mean little chicks? :-)
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EB's AA
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 11:24 am:   

As long as the EB, Great Man though he is, can't find his little fluffly cottontail without me, I'm sitting pretty. If you must know, I figure a few more years putting eggs in my 401K and I'm headed for retirement in the Caymans where I will begin work on my tell-all book about EB. I already have an agent who's been talking to the H-wood boys and he's got some people interested -- not to be a tease, but the initials S.S. mean anything to you?

Yeah, "peeps" -- little sticky chicks that double as packing material after a few days. They get a whole chapter in my book -- when those things are fresh you can do more with 'em than the average 9-year-old imagines.

But I've already said too much.



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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 12:44 pm:   

You're one sick bunny, AA! I can't stop thinking about those chicks. And Spielberg directing an Easter Bunny movie--it's the job he was born for. Hey, when you're in the Caymans, look up my man, Alabaster Snipes. This albino who knows every corner of the hutch. ;)
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EB's AA
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 01:05 pm:   

Thanks for the tip -- I'm in your debt. A knowledgeable guide is really the key, isn't it?

I'll make sure you get some extra peeps, sir.

Uh-oh, here comes EB, I better hippity hop hop.
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iotar
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 01:14 pm:   

Peeps?
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 01:28 pm:   

Adieu, EB's AA....
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Lucius
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 01:28 pm:   

Iotar,
re: peeps. Baby chicks. See upthread.
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iotar
Posted on Thursday, June 05, 2003 - 02:43 pm:   

Jesus, blink for a minute and yr lost forever!
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Jim Harris
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 - 07:46 pm:   

Lucius,

Has Hollywood changed that much since the 1980s, or have you? It's a matter of perception. We are old and tired of Hollywood, but the young still find it magical. I bet I've seen 5,000+ films, so it's hard to impress me -- and I bet you are just as jaded. The golden age of Hollywood, as well as science fiction is probably 12. I remember, when I was about that age, going to see The War Lover and being overwhelmed with excitement, but kids now-a-days would be bored by such a film.

No matter how much we grumble, films being made now are going to be classics to this generation. The Wachowski brothers are not speaking to us, we're just at another table overhearing the young people talk.

If you ask college age kids to list what they think are the 10 greatest films of all times, probably many would only list films made after 1980.

How many writers and directors in their 40s or 50s or 60s are making movies for us anyway?

Jim







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Mastadge
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 - 08:24 pm:   

Not I. I have no such list, and if I did it would probably change every other hour, but I bet that at least half would be from before 1980, and maybe 7 or 8 of them.
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Lucius
Posted on Friday, June 06, 2003 - 10:12 pm:   

Hi, Jim...

"Has Hollywood changed that much since the 80s?"

Damn straight!!! It's changed radically.

Ask yourself this? Has publishing changed since the 80s? You betcha! Dominated by trilogies and series books. Dictated to by the big chains. Looking not for great books but for franchises that can support cross-marketing strategies. The mid-list is dead. Same thing has happened to Hollywood. The idea's not to make great movies, but movies that will sell action figures and sequels and etc. And that's not all that's changed. Back in the 70s, a guy like Robert Towne would write a great script and it would go through a few rewrites by Towne, and then it would get made into a great movie like Chinatown. Today you write a great script and immediately it gets rewritten by a dozen or more other guys whose job it is "to make it more accessible. And what that means is "dumb it down, make it so even a monkey can understand what's going on." It's common these days to have a couple of dozen different screenwriters or more work on a single project. Saving Private Ryan had 33. Mission to Mars had 36. You cannot have a good screenplay that has that many writers. It's like being served food that's been chewed 36 times before it's put on your plate. All the flavor is gone. I actually saw a treatment for a movie that's been produced by a big studio and will be out soon. In the selling points portion of the treatment, there was this statement -- "There will no depth of characterization and no secondary plots in this movie." You think a statement of that sort would have helped sell a movie 25 years ago? No way!

Here's an example: The script for THE TRUMAN SHOW by Andrew Nicol wa considered by many people the best script Hollywood had seen in years and they paid Nicol a huge price for it. So what's the first thing they did with the best script they'd seen in years? They rewrote it. They dumbed it down. The original script was much darker than the movie. Set in a seedy near-future Manhattan and was essentially a thriller. The script wasn't front-loaded -- in other words, the audience learned what Truman's situation was as he learned it; they were filled in on what was going on up front, which was how it was filmed. It was tense, it was engaging, and much more than the social satire/dramedy into which it was turned. If they had made that script, it might have been a great movie. But they didn't trust the audience, that same audience they've been trying to dumb down for the past twenty years. They didn't alienate that great gawping, gulping mouth they'd created that will accept any kind of gruel so long as it fills their bellies and stops them from thinking.

The Wachowski Bros. are not speaking to us?

The Wachowski Bros. are no longer speaking to anyone. They're sucking on the corporate tit. And they're being well-paid to do it.

The Golden age of Hollywood is 12?

Now it is. Hollywood used to make movies for all ages, but no more. Sure, I liked dumb movies when I was kid. I still like 'em when they're well made and not pastry shells stuffed wih cliches. I have a feeling I'm going to like HULK, because it's a got a real director and a great actor, Mark Bana. I like B movies like Pitch Black, movies that are formulaic but still have some panache and lack pretension. I'm fine with dumb movies--I just don't want there to be only dumb movies and that's where we're heading.

Even today, every once in a while, a movie gets made in Hollywood, a movie like THE PLEDGE, that speaks to adults. And what do the studios do when they get a movie like that? They view it as an unfortunate accident, give it an advertising budget of $3.98 and let it die.

"...films being made to day are going to be classics to this generation."

Not films made by Hollywood. Oh, for sure, there are movies being made today that our equivalent of Shakespeare's groundlings will consider classics; but smart kids....their classics will be subversive movies like DONNIE DARKO. I think you may be underestimating this generation. I know a great many teenagers who'd rather eat cat dander than go see Matrix: Reloaded. They'll remember classic films, but they'll be little films and foreign films and films the great majority of people never hear about.

I'm just scratching the surface here. I could write fifty thousand words without stopping to think, no problem, on how Hollywood has changed since the 80s. I've watched it change, both on-screen and from the perspective of a semi-insider. I've done script doctor work for the idiots that now run the business. I've been told to dumb down scripts. So, with respect, I just can't agree with you on this one, man. I haven't changed all that much. If I mentioned some of the stupid stuff I like, I'd lose my film cynic's card.

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me
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 11:12 am:   

http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_281626,001100030008.htm
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debt
Posted on Monday, November 08, 2004 - 03:31 pm:   

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