The Bland Side

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The Bland Side

"The Blind Side" is reminiscent of the Golden Age of Hollywood, but not in a good way.

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Well, true stories rarely, if ever, make a good movie in my eyes. There are so few interesting true stories out there, and when a film is based off of one, it tends to just be "inspirational".

Good read. Wasn't expecting this today.

Buona lettura Bob.
L'unico "buono" storie vere film ho visto stato l'Esorcista, io non sono al sicuro se la sua vera, ma tutte quelle stronzate religiose mi d un mal di testa.

Very interesting. Can you recommend any movies that shows what happens when the writer gets ultimate creative control?

Also: Do try to be careful. If you keep putting this much information into your articles, people might actually learn something.

It's here to stay for a while I fear. The new phrase that pays is "accessible to a wider audience" which means pg13, white middle America, & painfully safe. Let the right one in is getting the treatment in 2010. I'm so excited I might go postal.

I've had a sudden idea while reading page two.

What if we made the same movie; only this time, it was a rich balck family and a poor white athlete. We could pass it off as 'defying the formula' and 'revolutionary' and we'd make oodles of money!

Well, if I wasn't going to see it then, I'm certainly not going to see it now. Thanks for the heads up.

stonethered:
I've had a sudden idea while reading page two.

What if we made the same movie; only this time, it was a rich balck family and a poor white athlete. We could pass it off as 'defying the formula' and 'revolutionary' and we'd make oodles of money!

That sounds like a great idea! I'll gladly help out with that film!

Cousin_IT:
It's here to stay for a while I fear. The new phrase that pays is "accessible to a wider audience" which means pg13, white middle America, & painfully safe. Let the right one in is getting the treatment in 2010.

Don't forget the American "Battle Royale" remake.

AvsJoe:
Don't forget the American "Battle Royale" remake.

And Akira. Can Americans really not stomach anything that isn't American or something?

OP: Once Sandra Bullock was mentioned, I zoned out.

Onyx Oblivion:
Well, true stories rarely, if ever, make a good movie in my eyes. There are so few interesting true stories out there, and when a film is based off of one, it tends to just be "inspirational".

Good read. Wasn't expecting this today.

I think that true stories can make excellent movies, but they demand a different type of presentation. If it's fiction, make it all up, show whatever you want, and revel in the fact that you can show anything you want. If it's fact, acknowledge the reality that you don't know the whole story and you never will, and give the audience the information they need to piece a story together.

Nimbus:
Very interesting. Can you recommend any movies that shows what happens when the writer gets ultimate creative control?

Also: Do try to be careful. If you keep putting this much information into your articles, people might actually learn something.

I know! I learned something from this article just now! (Namely, that films can appear to acknowledge criticism but actually avoid doing so by making stealth ad hominem attacks) You have to warn a guy that this thing might happen!

Furburt:

AvsJoe:
Don't forget the American "Battle Royale" remake.

And Akira. Can Americans really not stomach anything that isn't American or something?

Akira too? Really? But America embraced Akira with open arms when it was released there (kinda... sorta... well not really, but it was eventually accepted). Akira is almost completely responsible for the current anime and otaku and pretty much everything Japanese-related in North America (you be the judge as to whether this is a good or bad thing), why the hell does it need a remake? Ugh, I'm really starting to hate being a fan of cinema. Why not just go all the way and start remaking classic movies like The Wizard of Oz or Harvey (oh wait).

Fantastic; I love reading your articles.

One question: Have you ever seen a John Waters flick? Because back in the 70s, he was pretty much the polar opposite of the "Golden Age" filmmaking that you described, yet he was actually pretty popular in a certain niche.

Very good article. Except for the idiotic Transformers mention. Yes. You're cool for not liking Transformers. Shut up about it. It came out five months ago.

AvsJoe:

Furburt:

AvsJoe:
Don't forget the American "Battle Royale" remake.

And Akira. Can Americans really not stomach anything that isn't American or something?

Akira too?

Yup, live action and they're setting it in New York. It makes me very angry at Hollywood.

RebelRising:

One question: Have you ever seen a John Waters flick?

Pink Flamingos is a damn good (bad) movie.

The Bandit:
Very good article. Except for the idiotic Transformers mention. Yes. You're cool for not liking Transformers. Shut up about it. It came out five months ago.

Plan 9 from outer space came out 50 years ago and people still talk about it as a bad movie.

I'm sorry you had to sit through a very bland movie.

I'm sure it was a very boring movie, however if you'd have read the book, you might not have exactly the same criticism because it sounds they were quite faithful to it. And reading the book, you might understand why the same story is impossible to tell from Oher's side.

But yeah, sounds like they went for the boring 99.99% safety on that one.

The only reason i would go to see this movie in the first place is that he plays for my home team now. go Bawlmur ravens, hon!

EDIT: oh, and did i mention John Waters is from Baltimore too? hmm...

AvsJoe:

Furburt:

AvsJoe:
Don't forget the American "Battle Royale" remake.

And Akira. Can Americans really not stomach anything that isn't American or something?

Akira too? Really? But America embraced Akira with open arms when it was released there (kinda... sorta... well not really, but it was eventually accepted). Akira is almost completely responsible for the current anime and otaku and pretty much everything Japanese-related in North America (you be the judge as to whether this is a good or bad thing), why the hell does it need a remake? Ugh, I'm really starting to hate being a fan of cinema. Why not just go all the way and start remaking classic movies like The Wizard of Oz or Harvey (oh wait).

That's giving Akira too much credit (though it is an influential film). "Tin Man" also doesn't have a whole lot to do with the Wizard of Oz.

In no particular order:

Rudeboy4360:
Buona lettura Bob.
L'unico "buono" storie vere film ho visto stato l'Esorcista, io non sono al sicuro se la sua vera, ma tutte quelle stronzate religiose mi d un mal di testa.

Vi ringraziamo. L'esorcista sostiene di essere stati ispirati da molti e diversi casi reali, ma non una "reale." Esso prevalentemente composto.

("Thank you. The Exorcist claims to have been inspired by many different real cases, but not one "real" one. It is mostly made up." For those of us who don't speak Italian... like me, who used a site for that ;) )

Nimbus:
Very interesting. Can you recommend any movies that shows what happens when the writer gets ultimate creative control?

Nope ;) Doesn't happen. Only time it gets close is when the writer has some sort of personal "in" with the director or producer; or when the writer is ALSO the director. "Auteur Theory" was 'invented' in the mid-50s by French film buffs running a news magazine called "Cahiers Du Cinema," and their intent was grounded in the belief that for film to be taken seriously as an art form someone needed to assign a single ultimate author to a film (in the same way that a painting only has one painter, a sculpture has one sculptor, etc.) But it took hold and managed to stick-around because it's essentially true: Most of the time, the vast majority of what "happens" in a film is the on-set decision of a director.

The fact of the matter is, the screenplay is basically the larval state of the movie - even if they don't change a THING in the script, stuff is going to change either while shooting it because "shit happens" or editing it because something doesn't "work" at the end. Perfect example: Steven Spielberg (as producer) optioned Alan Ball's script for American Beauty and famously said "don't change a thing." But once they'd shot the movie, the director (Sam Mendes) later realized that HUGE part of that script - a "framing" story about two characters being framed for murder that took up the original beginning and ending of the movie - just didn't "work." So he cut it all out.

Furburt:

And Akira. Can Americans really not stomach anything that isn't American or something?

Warner Bros. has owned the rights to make a live-action movie based on the original "Akira" manga for about 20 years now, and has tried to make it three or four times - each time eventually petering-out. There was a period in the late 90s and early 00s when "live action anime remakes" was assumed to be the "next big trend" and producers were buying projects left and right, everything from "Vampire Hunter D" to "Mazinger Z" (James Cameron still owns that one, plus four or five others)... someone was actually pretty far along on "Sailor Moon," if you can believe that. Eventually it petered out, the wave never materialized and the only project to limp to the finish line was "Dragonball" last year.

RebelRising:
One question: Have you ever seen a John Waters flick? Because back in the 70s, he was pretty much the polar opposite of the "Golden Age" filmmaking that you described, yet he was actually pretty popular in a certain niche.

Love John Waters, and yeah he's pretty far outside any of the paradigms described here. He and the guys at Troma are some of the only people working so seperate from either the indie scene or the studios as to not fit into any of the generational "eras."

Always nice to read an opinion that coincides with mine.

Hey Bob, do you think there's a way to make corny/cheesy dialogue like the bits you mentioned work?
When I watch the dubbed version of an anime, or even watch it with subtitles, I expect the dialogue to be hit or miss sometimes. For example, I just watched the episode of an anime that features a 5 min monologue of a girl pouring her heart out to a guy in his sleep. Yeah, it was corny, but I didn't mind since I liked her character so much and I knew that kind of stuff is part of the territory in anime. I know this is getting out of topic, but I would like to hear your thoughts on how, or if, that dialogue can work. I'm sure that it has something to do with the execution and the context, right?

MovieBob:

RebelRising:
One question: Have you ever seen a John Waters flick? Because back in the 70s, he was pretty much the polar opposite of the "Golden Age" filmmaking that you described, yet he was actually pretty popular in a certain niche.

Love John Waters, and yeah he's pretty far outside any of the paradigms described here. He and the guys at Troma are some of the only people working so seperate from either the indie scene or the studios as to not fit into any of the generational "eras."

I first saw Serial Mom, a few years back and then recently again. Then I saw Pink Flamingos, which was so weird as to defy classification. John Waters must live in a Zen state of shamelessness, but then again, that's why I like the guy.

And that movie sounds so bad; I'm impressed by how concisely you can sum up a movie's quality.

This reminds me of how U.S. literary and film audiences famously enjoyed their journey to the deepest jungles of Africa to witness the heartwarming story of that most thrilling and obvious of local heroes, a white guy named Tarzan.

Phew, now I don't feel like such a douche for thinking this movie sucks.

I swear you call a cookie cutter feel good movie bad and all of a sudden your Hitler...

The same thing happened with The Dark Knight, I'm not saying it sucked, it was an amazing movie, but I doubt it would have gotten the same amount of attention and praise if Heath Ledger didn't die.

Yes, it sounds awful, but its true.

stonethered:
I've had a sudden idea while reading page two.

What if we made the same movie; only this time, it was a rich balck family and a poor white athlete. We could pass it off as 'defying the formula' and 'revolutionary' and we'd make oodles of money!

You know what, you're most likely right.

And that makes me sad.

Dude, we're talking about a sports movie, aimed at white, middle class good old folks. They arent exactly the kind of poeple lining up around theb lock to have their views and opinions challenged and be given any kind of insight

RTR:
Hey Bob, do you think there's a way to make corny/cheesy dialogue like the bits you mentioned work?

Sure: Good delivery - which is NOT necessarily the same thing as good acting.

Arnold Schwarzenegger turned "I'll be back," a simple three-word matter-of-fact declaration with no inherent depth or poetry, into a career-defining catchphrase simply because he delivered the line well. Will Smith did the same thing with "Aw, HELL no!" Sean Connery did it by SAYING HIS CHARACTER'S LAST NAME TWICE. Heck, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes turned "Snootchie Bootchies!" and it's derrivatives into an ACTUAL catchphrase, even though it was concieved as a PARODY of nonsense catchphrases. Most "great" movie dialogue people remember, if delivered incorrectly, sounds horrible - go ask someone to do their "Brando" or "Pulp Fiction" impressions if you need proof of that.

Of course, when it DOESN'T work, nothing is more painful. In the early-90s there was an actor named Richard Greico who was being positioned as a Tom Cruise-style heartthrob leading-man - complete with a "can't miss" star vehicle movie called "If Looks Could Kill;" ("Teen Agent" for those you unlucky enough to remember it in the UK) an action-comedy wherein he played a high-school "cool dude" who's mistaken for a James Bond-type super-spy and ends up fighting Bond-style supervillians. No, really: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTuQvvZRed8

(If you've never seen this, try and track it down - it's AMAZINGLY awful, one of the most uniquely bad things you'll ever see)

Anyway, like any good 90s action-comedy, it has a "big scene" where the hero tosses off a too-clever-by-half joke before doing something "awesome." In this case, Greico's character holler's "I'M GOIN' FOR EXTRA CREDIT!!!!!" before charging in with a machine gun to save his classmates and teacher from the bad guys. Now, that's not really any dopier than any "famous" action-hero catchphrases, (Yipee Ki-Yay?,) but since not even Richard Greico has said "Let's go see that new Richard Greico movie!" since then, you can probably guess how "good" he was at DELIVERING it ;)

Furburt:

The Bandit:
Very good article. Except for the idiotic Transformers mention. Yes. You're cool for not liking Transformers. Shut up about it. It came out five months ago.

Plan 9 from outer space came out 50 years ago and people still talk about it as a bad movie.

Comparing Transformers to Plan 9, or even to Batman and Robin, is ridiculous. It's not a Oscar winner. But, it wasn't the worst thing ever. It's just the typical fashionable nonconformist bullshit that runs rampant across the Internet. No different than hating Halo or America. If something is popular, it has to be condemned. And it's boring.

All that aside- even if Transformers is as bad as Plan 9, mentioning it in this article was pointless. It added nothing to the discussion. It distracted from it.

The Bandit:

Furburt:

The Bandit:
Very good article. Except for the idiotic Transformers mention. Yes. You're cool for not liking Transformers. Shut up about it. It came out five months ago.

Plan 9 from outer space came out 50 years ago and people still talk about it as a bad movie.

Comparing Transformers to Plan 9, or even to Batman and Robin, is ridiculous. It's not a Oscar winner. But, it wasn't the worst thing ever. It's just the typical fashionable nonconformist bullshit that runs rampant across the Internet. No different than hating Halo or America. If something is popular, it has to be condemned. And it's boring.

All that aside- even if Transformers is as bad as Plan 9, mentioning it in this article was pointless. It added nothing to the discussion. It distracted from it.

Transformers was pretty freaking bad man... I think it was alright for him to use as an example.

This was a great article. God, how I fucking hate the concealed racism of all these "Thank God For White People" movies. Whats worse is that so many people don't see it.

The Bandit:

Furburt:

The Bandit:
Very good article. Except for the idiotic Transformers mention. Yes. You're cool for not liking Transformers. Shut up about it. It came out five months ago.

Plan 9 from outer space came out 50 years ago and people still talk about it as a bad movie.

Comparing Transformers to Plan 9, or even to Batman and Robin, is ridiculous. It's not a Oscar winner. But, it wasn't the worst thing ever. It's just the typical fashionable nonconformist bullshit that runs rampant across the Internet. No different than hating Halo or America. If something is popular, it has to be condemned. And it's boring.

All that aside- even if Transformers is as bad as Plan 9, mentioning it in this article was pointless. It added nothing to the discussion. It distracted from it.

Moviebob uses Transformers all the time as an example of everything thats wrong with movies today. Its no different from comparing the Godfather Part 2 as everything thats right with movies. Its a perfectly usable reviewing tactic. Every reviewer in this world has movies that absolutely can't stand.

MICHAEL: "I never had one before."
MRS. TUOHY: "What, a room to yourself?"
MICHAEL: "...A bed.

Holy shit thats bad.

RTR:
Hey Bob, do you think there's a way to make corny/cheesy dialogue like the bits you mentioned work?

Yeah, when the film knows its tongue is firmly in its cheek, take Commando for example... its a pile of crap but somehow its fondly remembered for its cheesyness.

"LET OFF SOME STEAM, BENNET!"

OT, I doubt I would like this film regardless of its credentials as epic storytelling, the subject matter I find insipid, the whole from rags to riches sportsman' story.

Possibly because i'm no fan of the subject matter at hand, if it was a film about my nations favourite past time such as smoking or going on strike then I might enjoy it. (i'm French btw)

Hey Bob,the film is based on a True Story. Therefore your arguments are pointless. This is not fiction. This is the real life in your country now. The poverty and racism are usual things.

Yoda25:
Hey Bob,the film is based on a True Story. Therefore your arguments are pointless. This is not fiction. This is the real life in your country now. The poverty and racism are usual things.

Someone missed the whole point of the article.

And, of course, it pulls the cheap screenwriter's trick of deflating obvious criticism by placing it in the mouths of "bad" characters: "Is this some kind of white guilt thing?" coyly asks one of Leigh Anne's bitchy friends, (take THAT meanie critics pointing out that it's just another "thank heaven for white folks" pander-fest) while the real story's sole note of controversy - the Tuohys were financially connected to the college Oher eventually signed with - is here raised only by a "mean" investigator whose interrogation makes Michael sad.

This is something that I've always hated about some movies. I cannot stand it if movies are self aware. It was kind of cute when Scream did it, because it kind of worked in that one. Now it seems that any film that is inherently racist needs to have a level of self awareness in it, where one of the characters exists solely to deflect racist criticism.

I think a good example of working a true story into film is October Sky. In the book Rocket Boys, Homer's recounting of the events, there was no such level of confrontation between he and his father. However, that very same confrontation was a central point of the entire film. There were a few other modifications thrown in there.

However, the actual purpose is still the same. Even if things aren't going your way, amazing things can be accomplished as long as you have the will to continue on. It's one of my favorite films of all time because it is so massively inspirational. Homer trying to be his own man while simultaneously looking to make his Dad proud is something most males can relate to (Hell, it hits home for me pretty much every day). Even if you cannot personally relate to it, that conflict can be recognized as human and develops tension throughout the film.

So, it's possible to take a non-fiction story and make it entertaining. In fact, I guarantee you that most non-fiction films are modified for the sake of, well, entertaining people.

Yoda25:
Hey Bob,the film is based on a True Story. Therefore your arguments are pointless. This is not fiction. This is the real life in your country now. The poverty and racism are usual things.

Do you really think the events unfolded precisely as they had in the movie? In fact, wouldn't it still be more interesting to get the ideas and thoughts of the "unfortunate black person" instead?

I haven't seen the film myself, only the trailers, and it looked like your typical sappy feel good film (which isn't necessarily bad, but it is clearly derivative junk masked to look artistic). However, reading this, I guarantee you it has one purpose in the end. To use Sandra Bullock's character to stand on a soap box and shout "Hey! White people! This is how you SHOULD feel and act!". As MovieBob said, Sandra Bullock's character is primarily driven by her sudden change in outlook on the poor ghetto people. Which, now that I think about it, is a pretty politically incorrect term, but that IS how this apologetic white guilt bullshit really is. "Oh those poor ghetto people...they are so unfortunate".

It tries to be progressive and tries to make people think, only it's a subject of the very lack of thought itself. D-Mite has a deeper analysis in fewer words of the urban ghetto than this film ever will, which is absolutely hilarious.

The film probably could have been better if it stuck to just trying to be inspirational, but from the sounds of it the purpose isn't that anyone can become something from nothing. It's "oh, those poor ghetto people. Shame on you for not wanting to give them your tax money!". Which just feels so stereotypically liberal-Hollywood it makes my scrotum shrivel.

Irridium:
The same thing happened with The Dark Knight, I'm not saying it sucked, it was an amazing movie, but I doubt it would have gotten the same amount of attention and praise if Heath Ledger didn't die.

TRUTH!

MovieBob:
(James Cameron still owns that one, plus four or five others)...

Last I heard he was still interested in taking on Battle Angel Alita. From what I know that was his big anime-to-live-action passion.

Honestly, while I don't get into Cameron as much as a lot of other people do, he makes a good sci-fi action flick. I'd totally watch an 80's sci-fi anime done by him.

Yoda25:
Hey Bob,the film is based on a True Story. Therefore your arguments are pointless. This is not fiction. This is the real life in your country now. The poverty and racism are usual things.

And this has what to do the point of the article? The article is about how movies were made in the studio days, about how producers would say things like, "You know, this script is good, but it needs a puppy," and about how some people are used only because they were safe and marketable. Sandra Bullock is a safe and unremarkable actress who was probably used only because Julia Roberts was unavailable.

Sorry, but this movie is not addressing the racism issue. All it is doing is white wash the real discussion. It gives the real racists cover by allowing them to do things like, "see if we sponsor a black child like this woman did, we are no longer racist.

Real life stories do not mean that the movie is automatically good by default. There are certain things that cannot be turned because they take some real life event and water it down to something that next to nothing. The Tonya Harding story took a rather unremarkable story and turned it into something more frivolous. The story of the "miracle on ice" is a lot better than the movie "Miracle."

This movie is one of this sports movies for adults that seem to be the rage right now.

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