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Exiles of the New York Times
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Author Topic: Movies  (Read 52582 times)
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harrie
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« Reply #750 on: June 25, 2007, 11:11:31 AM »

My son has been telling me to see The Prime Gig for some time now.  I will add it to my queue.  (what's with that extra "ue" anyway?  isn't one "ue" sufficient to get the notion across?)  I do vaguely remember Cochrane from Dazed and Confused.



It's Glengarry Glen Ross-ish but a little quieter, and I like the cast a lot.  Or I like a lot of the cast.  Or both.

And I'll be honest -- I don't know what a movie forum would be without Monday morning quarterbacking.  Sure, it means nothing, and box office success does not necessarily equal artistic merit or even basic quality.  But it's fun to kibbitz and act like we know something and/or have any control over things.  (Just my opinion, hope nobody feels dragged in or down by the use of "we.")

That's funny, I was thinking that one way to hold down costs on Evan Almighty would be to keep easily available, highly trainable animals -- dogs, horses, pigs, chimpanzees, monkeys, etc. -- in the front of the ark and just kind of have the other guys milling around in the background.  Hopefully not eating each other or anything.

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Dzimas
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« Reply #751 on: June 25, 2007, 11:29:43 AM »

Not to rain on your parade, or pee in your cornflakes, but who cares how many suckers paid to see yet another tripe-filled hollywood sequel?  What is the fascination with box office here??   I can only refer you to Mr. Clemens who observed that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.  I'm sure there are a million ways to assemble BO figures, and none of them address the actual quality of the films in question.

As you well know, box office revenues have been the staple of movie discussions.  They do serve as a statement on an actor's or director's or producer's market ability. The figures are stacked, that's for sure.  The same way record and book sales reflect the number of discs and books distributed, not those actually sold, which is why so many end up in bargain bins.
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jbottle
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« Reply #752 on: June 25, 2007, 11:34:23 AM »

Here's another idea:  No animals.  God tells Evan to give away all his woldly possessions and he and his family move to a remote log cabin where all modern conveniences are gone, they begin to grow their own food, he takes away his kid's PSPs, and has a close "squeal like a pig moment" that is narrowly averted by divine intervention (deliverance from evil).  In a booming voice God says "LEARN TO PLAY THE BANJO, EVAN..."  Evan says "Really?"  God says:  Not really, but you should pick up a hobby.  

It's like "Mosquito Coast" meets "RV," not a dry eye in the house.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #753 on: June 25, 2007, 11:49:02 AM »

There could be a grizzly bear lurking in the woods just for added tension.  It kills their pet dog.
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jbottle
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« Reply #754 on: June 25, 2007, 12:22:32 PM »

Nah, it's turns out to be a drunk furrie from the plushie party next door, in a cameo by Gary Busey.
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TrojanHorse
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« Reply #755 on: June 25, 2007, 01:05:55 PM »

Here's another idea:  No animals.  God tells Evan to give away all his woldly possessions and he and his family move to a remote log cabin where all modern conveniences are gone,


There may actually be an opening at one of the studios soon--perhaps you should apply...
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bartolomeo
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« Reply #756 on: June 25, 2007, 01:34:54 PM »

Jbot -- I much prefer your "treatment" for the Evan that was never made.  And, if bad things happen to the main character, please let him be played by Robert Downey Jr.  My personal dream is to see RDJr. swarmed by locusts -- and I hear locusts are easy to train, so far as swarming goes. 

Regarding Trojan's:

"There were plenty of silly, slapstick laughs, and a nice message about family loyalty and how God might act being different than how we might expect."

Fair enough.  If you can enjoy it on that basis, then more power to you.  Though I feel there is a plethora of nice messages about family loyalty, some find that kind of thing bracing and uplifting and so on.

 
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"History doesn't repeat itself, but it often rhymes."
madupont
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« Reply #757 on: June 25, 2007, 02:09:45 PM »

barton, re:#764

Jbot -- I much prefer your "treatment" for the Evan that was never made.  And, if bad things happen to the main character, please let him be played by Robert Downey Jr.  My personal dream is to see RDJr. swarmed by locusts -- and I hear locusts are easy to train, so far as swarming goes.

Ah, you mean Nathaniel West's, Day of the Locust !
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fersanti
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« Reply #758 on: June 25, 2007, 05:03:31 PM »

Dzimas, peloux, thanks for your answers. I thought it was quite beautiful and, indeed, the single-take format was very interesting. In a way, it was like being in the theatre, but inside the play, so to speak. For non-Russologists, though, that was pretty much it: with some ideas of Russian history - I read some books some time ago - I was at pains to follow much of it; I knew enough to know there was much to read that I was incapable of reading.
The single-take brought to mind in a second that beautiful first scene in Altman's The Player (was it?) when he does a very long take while Hollywood sharks talk about how all cinema is short take - cut - short take - cut, etc.
The Hermitage itself, the costumes, the ambience, though, where beautiful.
I prefer story-telling, though. It might be a bit closed on my part, but I prefer good stories well told than mere photography.
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jbottle
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« Reply #759 on: June 25, 2007, 09:02:32 PM »

Yeah, thanks harrie and bart, I don't think anything with blue screen is a good idea unless you have Harry Potter or Spiderman, a known entity, so I don't think it's brain surgery or rocket science to decide not to spend money on "Evan" when you can always make "Iron Man," or any number or superhero movies for less...it's just a poor allocation of resources, especially when you remember that T40YOV was not only a very funny title, concept, trailer, and ultiamately film, when you've only got Steve Carrell a relatively unknown quantity especially to children, and Morgan Freeman, so what?, and then the idea that you are going to market the film to churchgoing people who look at whatever Hollywood produces as heresy, especially to appropriate the story of Noah without the proper gravitas.

Seriously, make "The Ark that Noah Built" and do it straight with no stars and you will make money...

But don't make Bible jokes and expect bible people to come, they all, especially here in the South don't even think metaphorically about the bible, so jokes are a stretch...

I don't see the need for the film ultimately, it doesn't really fill any family-friendly fare space that isn't easily otherwise allocated.  The problem is that it's a snowball rolling downhill and it just never stops until everybody is convinging everybody that it's really funny and everybody is going to get rich...and nobody has the sack or the sobriety to put on the brakes...

Put me at studio head and I could look at a list of titles and use a red marker to scratch a quarter of the films based on title and cast and director alone.  The other quarter are no brainers, the middle ones you allocate more or less money to and have meetings to make sure, I mean, if you could keep your head for 18 mos. and be an audience instead of an ego stroker, you would make money for somebody hand over fist, guaranteed. 

Truth is:  Nobody Knows Anything, and EA is just the latest exhibit.
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jbottle
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« Reply #760 on: June 26, 2007, 12:17:42 AM »

"Evan" also had that kind of reverse "Alien 3" creep to the production;  the kid movie that sucked instead of the whole rated R David Fincher screwed the franchise script trouble problem: but the buzz about budget (or being a 3-yr. production in the Fincher/Alien case) can cast a shadow sometimes, and not all the time, despite popular misconception, "Waterworld" made people a lot of money in a relatively short period of time, it was a "modest hit," or "break even" at best, and keep in mind that part of those budgets are just making individuals rich and ultimately only the studio and the deep pockets suffer, not the ones who acted in or made it, so a loss on paper is simply a tax writeoff, "Hollywood accounting," etc., but actually I had a chance to catch up with A3 and it's a good movie, in my opinion, perhaps before it's time and not marketed properly.  There are also machinations at work because nobody loves company like misery:  When there is bad buzz and you were the last guy sucker-punched you whisper the other guy bad, it's lousy human nature, but I think that Ripley with the shaven head would be more of an appealing ad campaign these days, you never know whether there are internal problems with cash flow, but you can shove Alien down their throat if you have the gutessence to pay weirdos to sell something that you payed real money to make...it's a weird game, but I think a new Alien picture is about the perfect box-office remedy for what, '09?  It almost writes itself...
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Dzimas
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« Reply #761 on: June 26, 2007, 12:35:02 AM »

For non-Russologists, though, that was pretty much it: with some ideas of Russian history - I read some books some time ago - I was at pains to follow much of it; I knew enough to know there was much to read that I was incapable of reading.

Don't forget that the intended audience was Russian.  I don't think Sokurov expected anyone other than Russophiles to watch it outside of the country.  I think it was the "one take" concept that drew in additional viewers.
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Dzimas
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« Reply #762 on: June 26, 2007, 12:37:56 AM »

Bible stories have a ready made audience, provided of course they are done straight up.  Evan seems aimed more at the 6-13 age group, with parents forced to bear it.  But then it can't be any worse than Vin Diesel's The Pacifier.
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oilcanboyd23
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« Reply #763 on: June 26, 2007, 11:53:52 AM »

But then it can't be any worse than Vin Diesel's The Pacifier.

Or any better than Din Viesel's "The Riddicles Of Chronick".
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kitinkaboodle
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« Reply #764 on: June 26, 2007, 11:58:37 AM »

Pitch Black was worth watching IMHO. 
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Don't dance on a volcano...
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