Watching Movies Alone with crumbsroom

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This is a huge exaggeration, though. Between Marvel and DC, there’s about 6-8 films released yearly. That comes to a small percentage compared to all films released during a calendar year.

Yes. Of course. And this is part of my point. They release 6-8 films a year, and yet, they dominate any discussion about film.



No one is saying good movies are no longer being made. Or there aren't great artists out there who don't have interesting thing to say or are pushing cinematic boundaries. Of course they are. They always will be. That is never in threat of going away.



This is about movie going culture. This is about the how movies break into the public consciousness and...matter. Get people talking or thinking or craving something different.



And I believe what Scorsese's concern is, is regarding these sorts of people. The average film goer. Not the freaks. Not the obsessives. We'll always find things of interest. But he believes, as do I, that art only matters as much as it can penetrate into the passive movie fans conscience. They are the one's needing convincing of films greatness. Of what art can do. And the stagnation of the last two decades of cinema, where almost all of the oxygen in the room is getting sucked away by these 6-8 films a year, has created a climate where no one really cares anymore. I can't think of a time when movie discussion, fandom, criticism or just general movie blather, has been more empty and devoid of ideas or love or passion. Every conversation is the ****ing exact same thing, because every conversation is about the same small pool of films.



And, while I've no doubt this point is arguable, these films are almost always the worst kind of shit. Not because they are about super heroes (because, of course, good movies can be made about ANYTHING), but because authorship of these films has become so diluted due to studio interference, and IP issues and all other sorts of extraneous meddling. There is now just too much money being invested in these projects for them to ever be anything but faceless piles of shit. You (understandably) are not going to take artistic risks when you've got hundreds of millions of dollars on line.


By comparison, I know for a fact there are over 200 Giallo released from the 60’s until the late 80’s.

All those films and they hardly amount to more than a cultural blip. It's not about quantity. Or quality. It's about exposure and how they affect the culture around them. And giallo's have really only tangentially touched the lives of the world outside of the film freaks.


Ask a random person what the last giallo they saw was, and explain their expression to me.



So they’re hardly “blotting out the sky”

This is obvious hyperbole. They aren't blotting out the sky. But if we replace the word 'sky' with 'critical discussion', ya, that's what they are doing. There is good reason critical discourse (about films that have an effect on popular culture) has fallen into a dumpster the last twenty years. You need to have something to talk about. Superhero movies, at least as they currently and predominantly exist, hardly offer this.





They are, however, dominating the box office, which I had thought no one here cared about anyways.

Nah, the dismissals towards box office, at least the ones coming from my lips, have always exclusively dealt with using box office returns as a metric of a films worth. Which, I'm completely correct on.



Of course I care about box office returns. They dictate what ends up getting green lit. They block the productions of things which don't seem like safe bets. As long as ridiculous sums of money are being used to produce films, I am forced into the position to care about how much good one's make, because if they don't recoup their losses, those movies won't get made anymore.


Except Blood and Honey. That was surprisingly crowded. And awful.

Of course it was awful. And of course it was crowded.



I will admit I am wondering who that was in reply to. It looks like their account has been scraped from existence apart from the text quoted in your reply.



I will admit I am wondering who that was in reply to. It looks like their account has been scraped from existence apart from the text quoted in your reply.
It's from a discussion in The Shoutbox that was getting pretty extensive.



The trick is not minding
Yes. Of course. And this is part of my point. They release 6-8 films a year, and yet, they dominate any discussion about film.



No one is saying good movies are no longer being made. Or there aren't great artists out there who don't have interesting thing to say or are pushing cinematic boundaries. Of course they are. They always will be. That is never in threat of going away.



This is about movie going culture. This is about the how movies break into the public consciousness and...matter. Get people talking or thinking or craving something different.



And I believe what Scorsese's concern is, is regarding these sorts of people. The average film goer. Not the freaks. Not the obsessives. We'll always find things of interest. But he believes, as do I, that art only matters as much as it can penetrate into the passive movie fans conscience. They are the one's needing convincing of films greatness. Of what art can do. And the stagnation of the last two decades of cinema, where almost all of the oxygen in the room is getting sucked away by these 6-8 films a year, has created a climate where no one really cares anymore. I can't think of a time when movie discussion, fandom, criticism or just general movie blather, has been more empty and devoid of ideas or love or passion. Every conversation is the ****ing exact same thing, because every conversation is about the same small pool of films.



And, while I've no doubt this point is arguable, these films are almost always the worst kind of shit. Not because they are about super heroes (because, of course, good movies can be made about ANYTHING), but because authorship of these films has become so diluted due to studio interference, and IP issues and all other sorts of extraneous meddling. There is now just too much money being invested in these projects for them to ever be anything but faceless piles of shit. You (understandably) are not going to take artistic risks when you've got hundreds of millions of dollars on line.





All those films and they hardly amount to more than a cultural blip. It's not about quantity. Or quality. It's about exposure and how they affect the culture around them. And giallo's have really only tangentially touched the lives of the world outside of the film freaks.


Ask a random person what the last giallo they saw was, and explain their expression to me.






This is obvious hyperbole. They aren't blotting out the sky. But if we replace the word 'sky' with 'critical discussion', ya, that's what they are doing. There is good reason critical discourse (about films that have an effect on popular culture) has fallen into a dumpster the last twenty years. You need to have something to talk about. Superhero movies, at least as they currently and predominantly exist, hardly offer this.








Nah, the dismissals towards box office, at least the ones coming from my lips, have always exclusively dealt with using box office returns as a metric of a films worth. Which, I'm completely correct on.



Of course I care about box office returns. They dictate what ends up getting green lit. They block the productions of things which don't seem like safe bets. As long as ridiculous sums of money are being used to produce films, I am forced into the position to care about how much good one's make, because if they don't recoup their losses, those movies won't get made anymore.





Of course it was awful. And of course it was crowded.
I donít find the marvel films are doing anything to make films stagnant. While sure, they arenít the best of what films can offer, as Iíve said, these 6-8 films arenít even dominating the conversation lately. The last few years, the talk has been about Top Gun, Barbie, Oppenheimer, Everywhere, Everything All At Once, Sound of Freedom and even smaller films that most have missed seeing. Theyíre barely even a blip come awards season. So I do think itís being exaggerated.

Has anyone really spoken much about Flash? Blue Beetle? Black Adam? Not as far as I can tell, but I still see articles about films at current film festivals that are getting applause and when they will arrive in theaters. Killers of The Flower Moon (Scorsese himself). Is getting much press about its potential.

I do agree that BO returns have impacted what films get made and how, but this again, is hardly new. This trend started in the 80ís after the death of the auteur and studios wanted more control, especially after Heavenís Gate flopped. And I like that movie. As you said, the investment calls for more meddling, and less control by the director. Not always a bad thing, but we know Feige is known for tampering at almost Weinstein like levels. How much input producers shoudl have is debatable, but I can agree they do interfere with the process.

But yes, Scorsese is saying this about movie going culture. His comments are aimed at that. Itís aimed at the average person who wants to just enjoy the film for what it is. And yes, he is also afraid for the future of cinema. Itís both of these things.

If anything, interest in super hero films seem to be dying down somewhat. Itís just too much lately. Even I can hardly be bothered with them any longer. After Avengers End Game, there just wasnít anywhere left to go. So Scorsese and others who are yelling at the wind over it can rest easy. The end is (potentially) nigh.



I donít find the marvel films are doing anything to make films stagnant.

It's not so much superhero films that have caused stagnation as the system that has codified around them. Producers have somehow found a miraculous way to keep churning out the same thing, over and over, and people keep showing up in droves. From a business standpoint, I hardly blame them from milking this cow for as long as its worth...but what is causing the problem is just how long this cow keeps squirting out more. This beast should have run dry a decade ago, when compared to other large film making (or any artistic) trends which generally wash out after a couple of years.


I think the reason superhero films take the brunt of the blame is due to their particular kind of uniformity and blandness. From the standpoint of what a Scorsese (or a crumbsroom) is looking for, they not only come up short....they aren't even in the same business. They offer nothing.


But I could also say the same thing about all of the reboots of the last twenty years, or completely dreadful horror films (they just haven't had the same kind of stranglehold on the market)


As for that stranglehold, we're just going to disagree over whether that is actually happening or not. Because I don't judge the impact these films have had over the past twenty years by the fact other movies still happen to exist and sometimes break through the public consciousness. Just because absolutely everything hasn't died beneath their shadow, doesn't mean they haven't been blocking out a good deal of sunlight.


And, yeah, there have always been creatively fallow periods in film, where producers seem to lose touch with what audiences want, and just start cranking out shit. But that isn't what this is. This is a case where, while the creativity in these projects has certainly dried up, it actually happens to be exactly what the audience wants. Which is why they keep doing so tremendously well. Mainstream audiences don't seem to want more than this. And while mainstream sensibilities have always been kinda crap, were also probably going to disagree that they are now more pesistently and uniformly and unrelentingly crap.


As far as I'm concerned, all artistic culture is dying. At least on the surface of society (there will always be great things happening underneath). Poetry is long dead. Books are a near irrelevancy, unless they are adapted into films. Music, due to streaming, is becoming blurred out as a vital force in lives. And films are having less and less relevance. The number of children I have heard testify these days that they don't watch films is mind boggling to me.And this is all a part of what Scorsese is concerned about. Certainly not just about superhero films.It's about how everything is now just about killing time, and rarely about anything deeper.




If anything, interest in super hero films seem to be dying down somewhat. Itís just too much lately. Even I can hardly be bothered with them any longer. After Avengers End Game, there just wasnít anywhere left to go. So Scorsese and others who are yelling at the wind over it can rest easy. The end is (potentially) nigh.
I don't necessarily disagree with this. But I would have if you claimed the end was night just a year ago. The resiliency of this trend has been staggering. And while I don't count it out quite (I think producers are going to keep hammering these out for a good while long, even if the thirst of them begins to bottom out, because the people in charge of these things are miraculously dumb, on top of being creatively empty shells) there is at least some hope recently that this nightmare may eventually be coming to and end.


But, my worries are now, what comes next? What trend do they try and force feed for decades if this one dies out. Or does nothing really fill that vaccuum once it goes away, and watching film just becomes one of those things future generations think was a weird thing for people to do back in the day. My gut feeling is both. Producers aren't going to find another golden ticket, audiences will become more and more apathetic towards the cinematic arts, and movies eventually become an irrelevancy like poetry or books or (it's on its way) music.



I've been trying to write about movies again lately, but has been an uphill battle... especially when it comes to World's Greatest Sinner, which I just watched.


I know I have so much to say, but what it all boils down to is 'see it'.


Well, most people won't want to see it, because it probably cost about ten bucks and was clearly made by a madman...but anyone who can appreciate my sensibilities, ya, see it.



I've been trying to write about movies again lately, but has been an uphill battle... especially when it comes to World's Greatest Sinner, which I just watched.


I know I have so much to say, but what it all boils down to is 'see it'.


Well, most people won't want to see it, because it probably cost about ten bucks and was clearly made by a madman...but anyone who can appreciate my sensibilities, ya, see it.
In some sort of movie BINGO board, there should be a spot about the director also being hte star.



In some sort of movie BINGO board, there should be a spot about the director also being hte star.

August Underground would also qualify for this. But fans of that film certainly have no time for games. Or fun. Or life.






There is a general reflex for most films to overplay what the road to recovery from addiction looks like, and this film makes all the right choices by playing it quietly and desperately and sadly. Which is what it actually looks like.



Remarkable film out of east coast Canada. Shows how much you can do with what I imagine was an extremely limited budget.



The trick is not minding



There is a general reflex for most films to overplay what the road to recovery from addiction looks like, and this film makes all the right choices by playing it quietly and desperately and sadly. Which is what it actually looks like.



Remarkable film out of east coast Canada. Shows how much you can do with what I imagine was an extremely limited budget.
Ooh. I heard about this film. That good, huh?



Ooh. I heard about this film. That good, huh?

Depends on what one is looking for. The film is really small in scale, and has a visual aesthetic that might be alienating for some, but I feel created an uncomfortable intimacy.






So I got the whole way through this movie wondering where Keira Kneightly was. Asking myself "this is a Tony Scott film"? No credits at the beginning allowing the shock of the movies shocking final image "directed by Brian De Palma"


How I could not have simply sussed out that this was a De Palma flick just by watching sort of makes me embarrassed. Cause only Brian DePalma can make the kind of bad that moves and stinks like this. But, usually, when he fails, the movies will have way more weird panache. And this is frequently flat and feels atypically stupid.



But at least its badness is sort of perplexingly fixating. I had a good time with it. A few moments to marvel at, and a few moments to cover my face in shame for the filmmaker. If Snake Eyes is this kind of shit, I should probably finally get out my shovel and watch that one.

Or Bonfire of the Vanities.



But at least its badness is sort of perplexingly fixating. I had a good time with it. A few moments to marvel at, and a few moments to cover my face in shame for the filmmaker. If Snake Eyes is this kind of shit, I should probably finally get out my shovel and watch that one.

Or Bonfire of the Vanities.
I haven't seen Domino, but when I did a deep dive a few years ago it was Femme Fatale and Raising Cane that I considered to be the stinkers. On the other hand, Rock and MKS gave them near-perfect scores. So....yeah. Do with that what you will.

EDIT: "Stinkers" that could be fun to watch, is what I meant I guess.
I also hated Redacted, but that wasn't fun.
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I enjoyed Domino as well even though it made me cringe and feel embarrassed for everyone in it, if that's possible. Guy Pearce hamming it up (as usual) stands out as does Carice Van Houten crying "I loved him so much!" Yeah. Right.

If you liked that, I think you'll definitely like Snake Eyes, but despite some of the same kind of cheese here and there, I think it's a legitimately good movie.



I haven't seen Domino, but when I did a deep dive a few years ago it was Femme Fatale and Raising Cane that I considered to be the stinkers. On the other hand, Rock and MKS gave them near-perfect scores. So....yeah. Do with that what you will.

EDIT: "Stinkers" that could be fun to watch, is what I meant I guess.
I also hated Redacted, but that wasn't fun.

Femme Fatale and Raising Cane are two of the real divisive ones. Maybe more than anything else in his filmography. I'm definitely a fan of the former (it's all style, it doesn't matter that its in the service of nothing). As for Cane, I went to see that in the theater when I was in highschool, and I liked it in a vague kind of way (this was before I really knew who De Palma was). But everyone else I was with hated it, and my whole family hated it, and so it kind of fell between the couch cushions of my life, never to be seen again.


I imagine I'd like it still though, with Lithgow hamming it up as a toothpick chewing baddie.



I don't listen to a lot of podcasts, and I've never seen Bonfire of the Vanities, but this was fascinating: https://theplotthickens.tcm.com/seas...episode-guide/

The contemporaneous recordings are amazing.



I don't listen to a lot of podcasts, and I've never seen Bonfire of the Vanities, but this was fascinating: https://theplotthickens.tcm.com/seas...episode-guide/

The contemporaneous recordings are amazing.
I also haven't seen it or listened to that podcast, but I did read and recommend The Devil's Candy. It's hard to imagine there being a more comprehensive and detailed account of a Hollywood failure.

Speaking of, there's apparently a new book like that about David Lynch's Dune: A Masterpiece in Disarray. Great title.



What are DePalma's five worst movies?


Glad you asked.


Obsession
Greetings
Domino
Hi Mom
Raising Cain


I suffered doing this. And I don't necessarily even like any of those movies that much.


He's that good!


Maybe it wouldn't have been so hard if I finally watched some of the ones I've not bothered with yet.



Obsession isn't great, but I enjoyed it anyway.

The one De Palma I can live without is The Untouchables. It's his most plain movie to me, and plain isn't a word I'd use to describe him in general.