Tag: Hollywood

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https://youtu.be/rRvDQvT5MuM TCM’s end of the year tribute to the Hollywood figures who passed away are always beautiful and bittersweet. I do wish their video was longer than 3 1/2 minutes and could have lingered a bit longer on the departed (especially Christopher Lee).  But I approve of their closing the tribute with shots of the […]

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Why is it so difficult for Americans to have dignity? What’s the trouble with women in the new generation? What’s the problem with work? What’s the problem with capitalism? All of these things come up in one haphazard way or the other in a new movie, one of few aimed at young women: The intern. […]

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Today I was checking out the Atlanta paper’s capsule reviews of recent movie releases. I reached the new movie Trumbo and turned the page in disgust after reading that “Dalton Trumbo was one of the most outspoken of the Hollywood Ten, blacklisted for refusing to testify about Communist sympathizers in the Cold War panic.” How […]

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The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has somehow managed to find time and surplus budget to fight a new battle along with their old standbys of preventing criminal background checks, preventing verification of American citizenship, striking down job-related competency testing, or disciplining any employee who isn’t a straight white male. Specifically, the EEOC is […]

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Why Blockbusters Aren’t as Good as They Used to Be

 

spoilers-hulk-vs-hulkbuster-scene-decribed-from-avengers-age-of-ultron-jpeg-303424Every year I go to the movie theater less, only leaving the comforts of my La-Z-Boy for the latest “must-see” blockbuster. And each time I return home, I wonder why I bothered leaving my beloved La-Z-Boy in the first place. All I remember about the latest Avengers flick was fire, noise, and 72 actors zooming in and out of CGI backgrounds wearing shiny outfits. Add in the $362 I spent on popcorn, drinks and Red Vines for the kids, and it’s no wonder the industry is lagging.

I blamed my lukewarm reactions on Hollywood’s unoriginal storylines and the fact that I’m getting older. My kids are seeing this stuff for the first time, while I’m on my fourth Spiderman. (I hear the next Spiderman movie will reboot the franchise in the middle of the second act.) However, according to the movie addicts at StoryBrain, over-reliance on CGI might be to blame. And it isn’t just the computer-generated characters, but the too-perfect backgrounds.

Here’s their theory: Back in the ’90s, a CGI character would be placed onto a real backdrop — say, an actual city street — which added to the realism. Our brains saw something we recognized from personal experience, so we were willing to suspend our disbelief for the single CGI element strolling through the middle of it.

“The Worst Actors Get the Parts”

 

Fans Gene Hackman and Dustin HoffmanI don’t know how many are interested in such things, but among those who follow the careers of the best American actors, there is a well-known bit of lore about the pre-fame friendship of Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, and Robert Duvall.

Well, it’s not lore, it’s true. You can read about it here. The trio banged around New York for a solid 10 years before finally finding their footing in the film business.

Every young actor in New York or Hollywood feasts on such stories because they make the impossible seem real. You and your buddies—as hungry and invisible as you are now—could one day find yourselves on top. It could happen. It has.

Feminists Chase Avengers Director off Twitter

 

joss_whedon_heroJoss Whedon is the screenwriter and director responsible for both Avengers blockbusters, as well as television favorites Firefly and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Unsurprisingly, Whedon is also an outspoken leftist who uses his Twitter feed to mock and ridicule conservatives. He thinks politicians who deny climate change should be denied penicillin, believes men should be denied the vote on “reproductive health,” and despises Justice Clarence Thomas and organized religion.

He certainly hates all the right people — so why are progressives mad at him? It seems one of his strong female characters isn’t quite strong enough for radical, third-wave feminists.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” writer-director Joss Whedon has not been fired from the franchise, despite the rumors people may have seen on Twitter Monday. The rumors ignited after the Oscar-nominated director deactivated his Twitter account.

In a Comic Book, the Line Would Have Been Followed by TFFHTWAANG!

 

shutterstock_101929894Ever since Robert Downey Jr. let it slip that he does not gargle progressive ideology when he wakes and rub it into his skin before retiring, you might have wondered if Hollywood would turn on him. Not the studios; he makes too much money. No, the Hollywood press. Well, here’s a story I’m seeing on Digg:

Robert Downey Jr. Criticized For ‘Racist’ Remark During Press Tour For ‘Avengers’

Uh oh. Did he go full Mel? You never go full Mel. The excerpt:

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In past Ricochet conversations, some members have pointed out many gay men are not particularly effeminate or even noticeably gay. Not all gays are like the fruitcakes so beloved by Hollywood and Bravo TV. Granted.  But what should we make of such fruity characters? Can it be anything other than an act, a deliberate rebellion […]

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This article by Gita Jackson is the most interesting editorial concerning video game design that I have read in a long time.  [….] Firstly, 60 frames per second is the acceptable industry standard for games, regardless of whether or not this is achievable on a consistent basis for most PCs and consoles. Secondly, and more important […]

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Can Hollywood Be Saved?

 

Last year, a number of films were made for and marketed to the Christian market. For a Facebook page I manage, I thought I’d see how much they grossed in the U.S. and compare that to the films nominated for Best Picture (one film is on both lists).

Son of GodThe domestic grosses for 2014 “Christian” films – Unbroken ($109 million), Heaven is for Real ($91 million), God’s Not Dead ($61 million), Son of God ($60 million), Selma ($32 million), When the Game Stands Tall ($30 million), Left Behind ($14 million) and Moms’ Night Out ($10 million) for a total of $407 million.

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This isn’t current but Paris makes it timely. Besides, I just watched Argo and wanted to comment. I am eagerly anticipating some informed Rocochetti calling bunk on my history, if appropriate (and supported.) Argo is, of course, the American movie about the 1979 Iranian revolution. I remember being told that it gave credit to an […]

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Wouldn’t it be weird if Sony ended up making a lot of money from what looks to be a rather mediocre film?    Sony produced Fury, which had a huge promotional budget and a big star, at the cost of 68 mil., and so far they’ve grossed only 84 mil on it.  I doubt Sony planned […]

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So, Yeah … The Terrorists Won

 

Hollywood, in case you haven’t heard, is a brave place. There’s no adjective the town is fonder of during bouts of self-congratulation. Every film that wanders into liberal erogenous zones of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation is always hailed as courageous, though that’s an odd way to describe material that simply reaffirms an industrywide ideological consensus.

Don’t get me wrong, some of these films are legitimately praiseworthy. I happen to think, for instance, that — unserious and reflexive conservative carping notwithstanding — 12 Years A Slave was actually a harrowing, moving portrayal of the depredations of slavery. But brave? There are few views that command such absolute consensus in modern American society as the notion that the possession of human chattel was a grave sin. The movie wasn’t exactly swimming against the tide.

Benghazi, The Expendables, and Conservative Action Heroes

 

4840005067_80f5902a00_zThe Expendables movies are good, silly, manly fun. The many references to classic action movies are rewarding. The older actors poke fun at themselves and harass each other, as men are wont to do. And there’s a lot of cool guns, hard hits, and big explosions. It’s G.I. Joe for adults.

I caught the third movie last night, and was surprised by a clear reference to the Benghazi scandal. Contrary to claims on Breitbart and Fox News, the character Galgo (Antonio Banderas) does not mention terrorists or diplomats. His experience is only a reflection of the real attack and not the murder specifically. Nevertheless, it is an obvious allusion to reality.

“It all went bad,” Galgo says. “We waited for support. No one ever came. Everybody died,” Galgo tells Barney.

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For the sake of argument, set aside the particular subject of this statement from Glenn Beck and consider only what it might imply about the general effects of different media: “This movie, if it becomes successful – if we take our churches and we all go and everything else – our children will look at […]

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