Do Hollywood flicks seem to be getting crappier? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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What you're watching these days on the Big Screen and the Small Screen.


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Old September 23rd, 2004, 06:04 PM   #16
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Rick, I think as you get older you start seeing that the supposedly 'new' movies are nothing more than retreads of other films but with different actors, better FX and switched around settings. What is novel to someone who has only watched films for ten years is a boring cliche to someone who has seen the previous two iterations of the formula.

The source for good stories needs to be shaken up. It seems like many projects now are based upon things the creators have seen before instead of looking for new sources. This is why there is such a vogue in doing comic book adaptations. Producers who have lost their instincts are going to mine other genres. There is nothing wrong with that, ... until the next iteration.

People who wrote original stories may have experienced them personally.

Then other writers wrote stories based upon the retold experiences of the participants.

Then other writers created formulas based upon the written stories.

Then they made TV adaptations of the written stories.

And the new creators watch only TV.

Obviously, a generalization.

But in our world there are many sources of stories and creators need to look everywhere for inspiration, not just in previous films but from the newspapers, from people they meet, from first hand accounts, from their own lives. The only thing really novel is the way each of us lives our lives. Whether or not our lives are actually dramatic is for the audience to decide.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 06:42 PM   #17
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I think the real difference you're seeing can be traced to the corpratizing of Hollywood.

Up through the 60s and early 70s, the major studios were still mostly run by their founders (or founders children). Sure, these people were primarily interested in money, but they also knew a good story when they heard one, knew a bad story when they heard, shepherded smaller pictures along if they believed in them - and straddled as well as they could the line between commerce and art.

As the founders died off, the studios one after another began to get bought up by larger corporations, who only care about one thing - money.

The people at the top of the studio chain now don't, for the most part, really care about stories, they care about keeping their jobs and they do that by making the studio money. They rely more heavily on marketing and demographics and what has come before and less on taking chances that may or may not pay off. They've got corporate overlords to appease.

In the 40s and 50s it was very, very rare to hear of a studio head getting fired, because he normally owned the studio. It only happened on those rare occasions where the studio went bankrupt or was bought out (like Universal and RKO in the 30s). Nowadays, studio heads are like professional football coaches, one bad season and their out on their looking for work somewhere else.

That being said, I don't think our movies are any crappier than the crappy movies of the golden age, and there's less of them. The studio system used to churn them out by the bucket. At least we don't have put up with that anymore (when was the last time you went to see a double feature anyway?) The flipside though, is that the best stuff isn't as good as some of the old stuff.

But it doesn't have anything to do with the writers or directors or other people who just want to tell a good story. It mainly has to do with the corprorations on top deciding what gets made and what doesn't. And mindless drek has proven to be a fairly risk-free proposition, while good films are a tougher sell, financially. So perhaps the real culprit in the slide of quality filmmaking is ourselves - the audience.
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 07:06 PM   #18
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A couple years ago I saw an interview with the head of Sony pictures. He came right out and said that when they find a script they like they usually suggest the addition of a couple big name stars and some CGI effects because that's what audiences expect. How depressing...
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Old September 24th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #19
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There has been endless discussion about the Hollywood system. It was only a brief time that there was any thing resembling freedom for directors..(late 60s' early 70's). The Studio system has always been about product, not art. If they happen to get art, well, they got lucky or didn't know what happened.

Cassavetes made a movie about it (Faces) that put a human side to the issue. Books have been written. Loads of money, careers on the line....

How many of us would risk 100 million dollars of someone elses money with a less than 50% chance of success and not be conservative? If you fail, your a clueless idiot and your career is over. If you succeed, your a genius.

How about 5 million?

I know what you're thinking, you would do it different. Thats what everyone thinks. I pretty sure there are less than 5 A-List directors in Hollywood that get final cut.

They keep doing it, because people have been trained accept crap. Unfortunately, most people don't want to go see a movie with deep insights that requires them to think. They want to be led around by the nose and that is what Hollywood does best.

I once talked to a video store clerk who refused to see any scifi/fantasy that didn't have at least a 100 mil budget. He got upset I even suggested well written/acted low budget alternative.

So the formula/template keeps getting used over and over. Till an avant garde type creates a new sensation that quickly gets adopted by Hollywood as the next great thing and within a couple of years becomes just another template.
I guess we could call it the circle of crap.

I've also found most 'Independent' movie makers are just studio hack wannabes with no budget. Look at what gets posted on line...just low budget versions of the same old stuff.
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Old September 24th, 2004, 09:54 PM   #20
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Soemetimes idiots make good.

Case in point...

Michael Cimino...Deer Hunter...BRILLIANT!

Michael Cimino...Heaven's Gate...CLUELESS IDIOT!

Always remember, in this business...You're Only As Good As Your Last Job!

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Old September 24th, 2004, 11:31 PM   #21
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Re: Soemetimes idiots make good.

Michael Cimino...Deer Hunter...BRILLIANT!

Michael Cimino...Heaven's Gate...CLUELESS IDIOT!


I don't know, I always sort of liked Heaven's Gate.
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Old September 25th, 2004, 01:52 AM   #22
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Re: Re: Soemetimes idiots make good.

<<<-- Originally posted by Joshua Starnes : Michael Cimino...Deer Hunter...BRILLIANT!

Michael Cimino...Heaven's Gate...CLUELESS IDIOT!


I don't know, I always sort of liked Heaven's Gate. -->>>

And I hated Deer Hunter. :)
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Old September 25th, 2004, 08:07 AM   #23
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I wanna see Heaven's Gate. I've seen clips and the cinematography is just incredible. I think the critics went into a feeding frenzy in tearing it down. There was a really good book written about the film and the ordeal surrounding it. Still, the cinematography is the only reason I want to see it. Apparently Cimino is living in France where he is considered some sort of genius.
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Old September 25th, 2004, 10:43 AM   #24
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I think it was specially re-released for the Toronto International Film Festival along with a documentary about it.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 09:37 AM   #25
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France?

Yeah, they also think Jerry Lewis is a genius...what's that tell you?

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Old September 26th, 2004, 09:50 AM   #26
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More on Cimino.

One of the things that absoultely KILLED him was that he was always looking for the all-ellusive nuance. Many, many, many takes. Concentrating on the tiniest detail that would never be picked up on the screen.

On "Deer Hunter", the crew would actually start betting pools as to how many takes it would go before Cimino was satisfied and called "Print". One guy won with 67 takes!

My Dad was a camera op on "Deer Hunter", he always wore a patch on his non-operating eye to alleviate the stress of having to shut his eye during the course of a shooting day.

Cimino would sometimes go so long, my Dad would actually fall asleep while behind the camera and his assistant would have to nudge him awake!

Yes, the cinematography was beautiful, the story was worth telling and the movie had a good cast but with a run time of 220 minutes, a bit ponderous. And the fact that he ran the budget into the ground probably didn't help him much either.

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Old September 27th, 2004, 12:08 PM   #27
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The only real problem with Heaven's Gate was that it cost so much. It was widely reported how much Cimino spent and how long it took to make and, coming off of Deer Hunter, people were expecting who knows what and didn't get it. The movie itself is okay - it's not great, but it's not awful. However, many people, critics included, couldn't get past their expectations of what they expected it to be and were harsher to it than it deserved. It's interesting that many of those same critics, looking back, have said that the movie is not as bad as they initially thought.
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