Saturday, October 31, 2009

Quotes on Hollywwod

Over in Hollywood they almost made a great picture, but they caught it in time.
Wilson Mizner (1876 - 1933)

You can't find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well.
Carrie Fisher (1956 - )

After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood.
Fred Thompson, Speech before the Commonwealth Club of California

You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a firefly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart.
Fred Allen (1894 - 1956)

Friday, October 30, 2009

An Unhapy Ending

So Emily was blogging that she had an unhappy ending that her reader said didn't work; that it should have a happy ending. Well, it is more commercially acceptable that way, but isn't a necessity. It depends on how it is pulled off, and the reasons for it. Example:

Saving Private Ryan
Up until the end, we think that Tom Hanks has a chance of making it out alive. Then wham. He dies. But we aren't running out of the theater with "That's so lame, he should have lived." But considering in the context, that the sacrifice was not in vain, that the good guys should prevail. I'm not talking about Pvt. Ryan surviving, but on the greater context of the war.

It is not that there needs a happy ending, just the goal has to exceed the tragedy, and that there is not a way that the goal can be accomplished without tragedy. Example:

Saving Private Ryan

Sir, if the Krauts are holding this bridge when division shows up, our guys are going to be sitting ducks.


He's right, we can't shoot him...well, we could but we'd get in an enormous amount of trouble. And he's right about the bridge, it's a hell of a lot more important than he is.

The holding of the bridge was more important than any single life in the context of the war, and therefore, even if Ryan had been killed, or Miller (Hanks); if the bridge is saved then the sacrifice holds true.

In 300 Leonidas sacrifices himself and his 300 to hold against the might of the persian army.

In Armeggedon, Harry Stamper(Bruce WIllis) sacrifices himself to save his daughter's future (not to mention all of Earth).

In Alien3, Ripley drops into molten metal to prevent the corporation from getting alien DNA and preventing the Aliens from infecting all of Earth.

In Terminator 2 - Shwartzenegger as the Terminator, lowers himself into a molten vat to destroy the compenents that would lead to the development of Skynet and then the destruction of human civilization.

Another point is that some endings can be both happy and bittersweet. Example:

The Butterfly Effect
Ashton manages to save the love of his life (happy ending) but does not end up being with her (bittersweet).

Rick kills Major Strasser (happy ending), helps Victor Lazlo escape (happy ending), but lets Ilsa,the love of his life, go with Lazlo (bittersweet).

Again, the benefit of getting Lazlo out was greater than the associated loss.

Finally, if the audience sees another way that doesn't end in loss, or if the goal is not achieved, then the audience will feel offended.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Will Ferrel

He CAN be funny, but not only in an original comedy. If it's in something that's based off something known, he sucks. That is all.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hollywood studios are clueless and in trouble...

Hollywood studios in midst of their own horror show
October 6, 2009
John Horn, Ben Fritz and Rachel Abramowitz
Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times


The recent firings and hirings of studio executives at Disney, Universal and elsewhere point to a widespread corporate panic amid sharp declines in DVD sales.

... as DVD sales have collapsed by as much as 25% at some studios, access to outside financing has vanished and production and marketing costs remain sky-high, media companies are cracking under all the pressure.

As the lineup of newly elevated studio executives scramble for solutions, expect an even greater emphasis on so-called "branded entertainment": sequels and movies based on toys, old television shows and other familiar themes. ... There also will likely be far fewer adult dramas and less reliance on movie stars -- many of whom can no longer draw ticket buyers, and are seeing their guaranteed salaries slashed.

"They still haven't found a new business model to replace the old one."

For years, DVD sales, coupled with the growth in international markets, compensated for box office losers.

But as the global economy tanked, so did DVD income.

At the same time, foreign monopolies in paid television have driven down the formerly generous license fees paid to American studios for cable and satellite reruns, while increasingly popular local language productions ... have cut into the international box-office returns for U.S. productions.

As profits vanish, new capital has become as unattainable as the best picture Oscar.

When times were flush, the studios spent like sailors on shore leave, handing out lavish producer deals, flying private jets, adding millions in overhead (including their own compensation) and pouring fortunes into poorly executed projects ...

Thanks to Kidsis for the link.

This just highlights the problems in Hollywood. A-list actors got paid too much. Producers got greedy. Studios chucked money at bad projects because they had too much money available. Studios depended on DVDs to make up for losses on bad projects. We trained people in studios in other countries to make 'American-style' movies, who now make them in their own languages. Their financing has dried up, probably due to referring to investors as "suckers".

What's so sad is that I could make movies for the rest of my life and still make money on most, if not all, of them. Hollywood is clueless as to what really is selling the movies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Resident Evil 5

Well, it has a better story/plot than RE3. The animation is a bit cheesy, not as bad as Star Wars: The Clone Wars, but nowhere near Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The extras do however go over much of the capture and animation end. It's an okay flick, and worth watching the extras.

Film Review - Zombieland

So Friday, I went to see Zombieland. While it had its holes, it isn't significant in this kind of comedy. Lots of dark humor. I loved it. My friend loved it. Ode to Zombieland.
Rules for surviving a zombie outbreak:
#1 Cardio. Zombies lead a very active lifestyle; so should you. First to go will be the fatties.
#2 Beware of Bathrooms. Zombies will get you when you're most vulnerable.
#3 Seatbelts: Its a safe bet unless your a moron you won't be hoofing it on foot at all times in the event of a zombie outbreak. So when travelling on four wheels wear your seat belt.
#4 Double-tap. If you think a zombie is dead shoot it again in the head just to be sure. Don't be stingy with your bullets.
#6 Cast Iron Skillet. Will crack a zombie skull like a melon.
#12 Bounty. You'll regularly need to clean up from killing zombies. Also doubles as T.P. if you run low.
#15 Bowling Ball : Crush a skull
#17 Don’t Be A Hero : Unless she may be the only female left
#18 Limber Up: You don't want to pull a muscle at a critical moment.
#22 Plan Your Escape: Always know a way out.
#29 Buddy System: Two can hold off more zombies than one.
#31 Check The Back Seat: And the trunkspace
#32 Enjoy the Little Things: The world's gone to hell, enjoy what you can.
#33 Swiss Army Knife.

This is like Return of the Living Dead, a zombie comedy. Go see it, it's funny as hell.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

More Accurate than Regular FOX News

Hoofy and Boo, summing it up as accurate, if not more so, than Regular FOX news, and much more entertaining.