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Oof, that’s a really ugly poster.


Isn’t it just?



I like it :confused:


I don’t have a problem with it either, I’m still a little sceptical about the movie though.


Neil Blomkamp is going to launch the next stage of his Oats Studios; crowdfunding feature films, starting with ‘Firebase’.


Neill, crowdfund for someone to help you with the scripts, the other parts of your films are great. :smile:




Well, it would be “John Wick” now, and I think that is where we are headed. More toward the “Restoration” or “Jacobean” period of drama where excess is considered the norm. Where characters of normally deplorable manners are exalted rather than reviled.

Essentially, what I’m getting at is that really we enjoy the desecrations. We increasingly enjoy the violent murders - often with little to no justifications. Taylor Sheridan (who entirely ironically shares a surname with the most prominent Restoration playwright) films, for example, tittilate (sp?) with essentially the same sort of promises that the 80’s action films gave us. I mean, from a certain position, Leon ends with a suicide bomber. A person who “gets away” with everything because he blows himself up at the end and doesn’t face the consequences.

But it’s “justified” because he kills the bad guy who wanted to ace his underage love interest. Leon, after all, doesn’t need to pay for a life of killing people who deserved to be killed. In the entire movie, does he hit anyone who doesn’t deserve it? Who is not far worse than he is? He has that code, after all - and everyone in the movie he kills certainly does not abide by any code. On top of that, he opened the door and saved the girl in part because his code of “no women, no children” was doubly expressed in her. And, honestly, Natalie Portman even at 15 (or 12) was unfairly attractive. I mean, as depraved as it is to say it, the cinematography for that film certainly did not hide how incredibly alluring a spirit that young lady was and would be.

To continue, in Sheridan’s WIND RIVER, the main character subjects a killer to the same fate as one of his victims. It was an expression of sadism that fit literally and metaphorically the term “revenge is a dish best served cold” to a tee.

Honestly, though I liked the film, I couldn’t tell who the main character was “supposed” to be. I mean, obviously, the main character was Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) but he did not undergo the “hero’s journey” in that movie. Instead, the “protagonist” from a strict structuralist perspective was Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olson) with Jeremy Renner as her Mentor (or Obi Wan/Ben).

That is what concerns me a little in popular filmmaking today. Honestly, the films are becoming more homogeneous every year with few films standing out from the pack stylistically. Star Wars looks and feels like a Marvel movie. Justice League looks and feels like a (less well done) Marvel film. Movies that do stand out a little (Fantastic Beasts) are hammered in the aftermath. Really, I find Fantastic Beasts to be the most gentle and attractively moral film of the past ten years. I just love the dramatic arc of that film.

I honestly think that films - pop culture generally, but films especially - are starting to exercise (or “exorcise”) our inherent hatred far more than any other emotion. That they are designed to allow us to vicariously punish those that we hate - and that is not such a bad thing. That, really, the successful films of today are about giving the villains the traits we want to see punished and then justifying that punishment through the actions of the main character.

Or - to express the suffering of the protagonist as entirely the actions of those people hate.

Honestly, I think this is entirely natural. That is what our popular entertainment should do for us. Most of us (I don’t want to presume with “we”) are not going to get the justice we want out of life. If we all got what we want… well, that would be a nightmare to avoid going into specifics. However, when you put money down for a ticket and then spend a couple hours in a theatre with other people as obnoxious (or moreso) than you are watching a screen reflecting light and listening to increasingly loud speakers for a couple of hours, you should get what you want. And what we want is essentially horrible shit happening to fictional characters and especially horrible shit sticking to those characters we hate.

What we don’t really want is characters finding an equilibrium or making concessions to the people we hate in the story. I mean, I want that. I want the heroes and villains to merge into a cooperative whole at the end, but “we” don’t. And it is pretty stupid to expect different. Any filmmaker who thought he or she was going to “change” people with their work - any artist, really, is mentally unbalanced. People don’t go to the movies to change, but precisely to have the struggles of life lifted for an period of time so they can stay as they are.

However, my point is that I don’t think modern audiences need the coddling any more. I think people would completely go for a Star Trek analogue where everyone is the cast from the Star Trek “Mirror, Mirror” universe. I think people are ready for a completely Nietzschean in “AntiChrist” mode expression of stories where sadism and domination are heroic attributes because that’s really the sort of stories we are getting but with “mandatory” moral justification for the completely evil heroics the protagonists commits.

Of course, this was an aspect of the 70’s as well. SHAMPOO was overtly and explicitly a spiritual remake of the Restoration plays by Townsend and Ashby (probably The Invalid). TAXI DRIVER and CHINATOWN forego the usual “happy” or “morale of the story” outcomes following their excesses. It’s probably no coincidence that civil unrest (Nixon, Civil Rights then - political correctness, alt-right, activism & Trump today) is reflected in popular films, television and (yes) video games (this is a concession that I now love the narrative possibilities of that medium).

However, I think movies are far too tepid when embracing that. That they are too interested in not offending and think that is what is making the money. Instead, I think just going for it and flipping the bird to all sides is the deciding factor between actually seeing it in the theater or streaming (aka pirating) it later.



I think box office for Incredibles 2 will only go up in the aftermath of nuclear winter. I mean, obviously, we’d all have our government distributed cyanide capsules with us, right? Who’d want to off themselves before seeing that movie?


However, I think movies are far too tepid when embracing that. That they are too interested in not offending and think that is what is making the money. Instead, I think just going for it and flipping the bird to all sides is the deciding factor between actually seeing it in the theater or streaming (aka pirating) it later.

I suspect that we will see a change in that dynamic sooner or later. Right now, those films have to appeal to as broad an audience as possbile, so they don’t take many risks, but TV is currently doing that all over the place and people are getting used to it. Sooner or later movies will have to catch up.


People like what they like. I can tell that Johnny is bored with things the way they are and I know Christian likes quirky and off beat film and TV but that doesn’t mean the general audience feels the same way.

Cinema has always been mostly mainstream, with quirky bits here and there. I think that’s because most people are mainstream with some of the quirkier ones here and there. I don’t see it changing because as new people are born and other people die the basic elements of human nature remain the same.


I think I kind of agree with that, but not entirely. I know we’ve discussed how cinema may have changed or not before - I think back then there was also an actor or a filmmaker lamenting the developments? And talked about how the big movies in the seventies were different from today’s?

I am not sure where I stand on this, but looking at the top-grossing films of the seventies and the noughties in contrast, it feels like the big mainstream movies may have become a bit more formulaic?

(unadjusted domestic gross totals)
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
Jaws (1975)
The Exorcist (1973)
Grease (1978)
The Sting (1973)
(National Lampoon’s) Animal House (1978)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
The Godfather (1972)
Superman (1978)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977/80)
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Rocky (1976)
The Towering Inferno (1974)
American Graffiti (1973)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Love Story (1970) (tie)
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) (tie)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Young Frankenstein (1974)
Every Which Way But Loose (1978) (tie)
Rocky II (1979) (tie)
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Jaws 2 (1978)
Heaven Can Wait (1978) (tie)
MAS*H (1970) (tie)
Alien (1979)

(unadjusted domestic gross totals)
Avatar (2009)
The Dark Knight (2008)
Shrek 2 (2004)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
Spider-Man (2002)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Shrek the Third (2007)
Transformers (2007)
Iron Man (2008)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

Oh, about the general audience:
What I meant about TV is, I think part of the particular success of Game of Thrones - besides being a brilliantly-made series in every way, of course - is that it goes against our expectations so often and in so many ways. Those are the moments that made the show, that turned it into the phenomenon that it is - the valiant hero not being saved, the young king out to avenge his father and turning the tides of battle who then is suddenly and violently dropped from the story. That kind of thing.
People are starting to love these things on TV, and sooner or later that’ll have an effect on the movies, too, I think. But that may be another ten or twenty years.


The history of cinema though is that the 1970’s were a desperate time.

Mainstream movies had been very mainstream, for the most part, since the invention of moving pictures, but cinema attendance was dropping, had been since TV emerged, and the studios hadn’t found a way to respond effectively to that.

So they tried everything. They made serious films and silly ones, big movies and small ones, politicial and apolitical, social realism and total fantasy.

The audience certainly embraced a range of those movies, but it clearly took to some more than others.

‘Kramer vs Kramer’ was a big hit, it made $106m!

‘Star Wars’ made $460m!!!

The lesson the studios drew from this was that making escapist films could bring bigger returns, and that’s been the centre of their strategy ever since.

The market for serious and complex stories remains, and those films do still exist, but the 70’s were not a golden age, they were almost the end of the movie industry.

So I think the darker and more complex market will continue to be primarily served by TV and I don’t see a reason for movie studios to start making those kinds of stories any more than they already do.


Steve is right, the 1970s were a dreadful time for cinema attendances. This is partly due to business model and the switch from single screens to multiplex models which work better in the modern context but there are the numbers for the UK (the only region I know of that actually records ‘tickets sold/bums on seats’ as well as box office cash that is highly affected by inflation and relies a lot on guesstimates).

TV had a massive influence, before the 1950s the cinema was the only place to see pictorial news and the 1960s saw TV access filter down to all levels of society but what we see often as a heyday due to our age was a complete disaster. 1984 is the worst year ever.

It’s why I don’t hold that much truck with the idea of alternative venues of entertainment. You are looking at the time video shops and video games started hitting the mainstream and the numbers only start to go up.


It’s very interesting to see from the perspective of the rise and fall of cinemas as well. Ireland, and especially Dublin loved cinema in the 20th century - in the 1930s there were dozens of cinemas in the greater Dublin area, with about 20 in the city centre alone. When I was a kid, there were 7 or so, and now there’s 3, only one of which is a veteran of the golden age of Dublin cinemas (the other two are a multiplex and an arthouse cinema).

Similarly, most of the cinemas in the suburbs have closed, replaced by multiplexes in the big shopping centres on the edge of the city. In recent years two have reopened - one a new cinema using the name of one which closed in the 80s, and another which reopened on the same site that closed down in the late 90s)



Oh look, that Black Widow film we never got.


I’ve read the book the movie’s based on, and that at least is closer to LeCarré than to superheroes. There’s some action, but it’s mostly US/Russia double agent/mole stuff.

The main difference I’ve seen so far is that in the book, Edgerton’s character is in his 20s.