Quit It

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

Quit It

MovieBob tells Hollywood to knock it off.

Read Full Article

I think its only going to get worse as we get older. The more movies I've seen the more I can predict what new movies are going to be like.

One of the joys of having netlfix I can go back and watch old movies that newer movies try and emulate. Hollywoods ran out of ideas thats why we have Yogi the bear and other old movies being remade, because its cheaper/easier to use the same formulas over and over.

It'd be nice if you did some more foreign movies.

Australian movie called Animal Kingdom came out last year and I enjoyed it because it presented a story and characters that I hadn't seen before.

gphjr14:
It'd be nice if you did some more foreign movies.

Itd be nice if more foreign movies made it to America.

Anyhow i do absolutely hate it when the producers squander the scource material in favor of something more generic.

Oh, and theres a syntax error on the first page of the article.

Concerning the first one: Metalocalypse did an episode that pretty much fits Bob's idea for a subversion...

"He had to lose Everything to find the One thing that really matters."

I see where you're coming from, and that story would definitely be interesting if made carefully. But if it was just a story about a rich guy proving money CAN buy happiness then it's even more shallow than that particular clichée.

It could be combined with the rebuke of anti-intellectualism perhaps. A kind, but somewhat disillusioned person who returns home to find that s/he's sitting on the skills and knowledge to solve many of his/her hometown communities problems but is met only with hostility, eventually even from his/her family. I guess the only problem is that it really can't be a comedy or feel-good movie and thus not likely to do much business.

The thing about the X-men outfits still seems incredibly minor, and I think only really hard-core fans could take offense at such a throw-away line. Other than that tiny criticism the writer had on (one variety of) the outfits from the comics the movie itself doesn't deviate far from the source's style.

gigastar:

gphjr14:
It'd be nice if you did some more foreign movies.

Itd be nice if more foreign movies made it to America.

Anyhow i do absolutely hate it when the producers squander the scource material in favor of something more generic.

Oh, and theres a syntax error on the first page of the article.

Most people just don't like the language barrier or the cultural references that are widely unknown in American culture. The movie I mentioned named Animal Kingdom was suggested to me by a co-worker, prior to that I never knew about it and based on the title I'd never thought it was about an Australian crime family. Its received mostly positive reviews, but most of the negative ones are from people who said they couldn't understand the dialog.??? If English is your first language and you can't understand an Australian person you've got issues.

You know what plot I am tired of. The Punisher plot.

They killed his wife and kids, now hes got nothing to lose and he's gonna TAKE. THEM. DOWN.

Done countless times and its just lazy. It gives the character infinate motivation and lack of self-reguard. Sets up an clear cut enemy organization to slowly get to the top of. It works well to set up a plot and thats the problem. Its so easy to cart it out every time.

The action film equivalent of amnesia for video games.

wow. internet critics REALLY hate hollywood :P

bombadilillo:
You know what plot I am tired of. The Punisher plot.

They killed his wife and kids, now hes got nothing to lose and he's gonna TAKE. THEM. DOWN.

In general I agree with you, but I make exception for any of the recent Liam Neeson "Irish Bruce Willis" films, just because they're so crazy awesome.

[quote="bombadilillo" post="6.268524.10286029"]You know what plot I am tired of. The Punisher plot.

They killed his wife and kids, now hes got nothing to lose and he's gonna TAKE. THEM. DOWN.

I blame Liam Neeson

First "X-Men" movie. It could be seen that the reason Cyclops said, "Would you prefer yellow spandex?" is because he is aware of the ugly yellow and blue combination that Prof X and Magneto wore back when they were doing the field work, and he is giving a legitimate criticism of how silly it looks. At the time it was a finger to the fanboys, now it just looks like he was giving a specific rebuttal to Wolverine because he knows what he is talking about.

I'm in that weird camp that think the black suits looked more functional and cool. Like a tactical uniform should. I generally dislike the X-Men being portrayed as super heroes and prefer to think of them as a very elite ethnic militia, fighting for equal rights and good graces on behalf of their minority groups.

TheWonko:

bombadilillo:
You know what plot I am tired of. The Punisher plot.

They killed his wife and kids, now hes got nothing to lose and he's gonna TAKE. THEM. DOWN.

In general I agree with you, but I make exception for any of the recent Liam Neeson "Irish Bruce Willis" films, just because they're so crazy awesome.

Well that is a bit different, in Taken his daughter is alive and there is a dramatic sense of time as well as a greater need for finesse and to generally not die as the hero. All this is absent in Punisher plot, where hero just need to do as much damage before they die/ credits roll. In the punisher plot you can suicide bomb the baddie headquarters at the end and go out samurai style.

One additional archetype I'd like to add to this mix:
"Insert Cause Here" is obviously right!
This is basically a propaganda structure, designed as a vehicle for a particular worldview, with the protagonist having Mary Sue tendencies and the antagonist being an over-the-top straw man. If you agree with the movie's message you may enjoy it (although it's not exactly a message film then, is it?); if not, you will probably revile the experience (something about being represented by an over-the-top evil straw man doesn't fit well with many people), assuming you even see it in the first place. It may have an actual plot to go along with its message, or the message may play second-fiddle to whatever else the film is up to, but the subtext is always there, always pushing its viewpoint at anyone watching the movie.

In the past (say, the 60s and before), I suspect these films tended to be Christian vehicles; I can't really speak to this as I am not that much of a nostalgia critic (seewutIdidthere?); in the present, they seem to be overwhelmingly liberal in nature. "V for Vendetta," (anti-conservative) "Kingdom of Heaven," (anti-Christian) "The Kids are All Right," (pro-gay marriage) "Avatar," (environmentalism, anti-conservative, anti-globalism/imperialism) and dozens more.

And if the main plot isn't a finger-pointing menace, there will be at least one minor character, there to set up a particular viewpoint/people group and then to die/lose horribly in a way that makes it crystal clear what the authors think of that particular viewpoint. For just one example, Outlander (a forgettable film about Beowulf from 2008) has a Christian straw man who's basically in the movie to present his viewpoint (promptly ignored by the main characters), then demonstrate its flaws by dying horribly to the monster.

This structure is sort of an extension of your last listed item ("The distinguished gentlemen from the Generic Party has the floor."), only rather than indicting the movies in question for not outright labelling their pointing fingers, I'm concerned that they're pointing fingers at all. "Prince of Persia" would (in my opinion) have been a better movie had it not tried to draw parallels to the Iraq war, and it would have been a lot easier to sit through, too.

Half your potential audience is conservative, Hollywood. You do yourself no favors by making fun of us in your movies.

MovieBob:
Snip

Hmm... some interesting points, the best being the last one.

While I do lean for more to the right (consider me a Consitutionalist that isn't a religious bigot) then Hollywood, but I can at least respect that your backing your own side.

As stated in the Prince (even if it is the most quoted book ever written sracastically) is that "If your nuetral, you make two enemies."

Azaraxzealot:
wow. internet critics REALLY hate hollywood :P

Mostly because internet critics still have a lot of growing up to do, but in some years time they'll be pretty ashamed of the stuff they've been peddling in their past.

But it is funny that Bob's whining over stuff like this again, right after joyously parading movies that are just as derivative and filled with poor clichés as these, but only aimed at the young (or manboy) audiences.

Ibn-Hakam al-Bokhari:
I blame Liam Neeson

Hardly, that plot has been around for far longer. At least Liam Neeson made it interesting by virtue of being Liam Neeson.

Nice article except for opne point.

He tampered in God's Domain!!!
In real life, scientists do some of the most important and far-reaching good of any vocation on the planet Earth. They cure disease, revolutionize industry, clean the air and water, solve pressing global concerns and invent the technology by which our better-publicized do-gooders, er... do their good. It's one of the noblest and most tangibly-worthy professions one could possibly pursue.

In the movies? Not so much. Science is BAD. It unleashes monsters, provides fodder for sinister conspiracies and changes society is scaaaaary ways. And the scientists who carry it out? Awful, awful human beings, shirking their responsibility to maintain the status quo and choosing the unclean path of knowledge over the pristine, flower-strewn road of blind faith and unquestioning loyalty to tradition and "the norm."

"There are things man wasn't MEANT to know!," goes the saying... presumably, one of those things is how such an insipid sentiment has survived all the way into the 21st Century.

Now I want to preface this by saying that I'm pro-science and I aknowledge that the only way I'm able to even say this is the result of thouisands of lives dedicated to scientific research and I hate the wjole Rousseauian idea of the natural state being perfect. But that doesn't change the fact that "Technology is dangerous!" totally has real world precidence. The most important scientific development of the 20th centuary was first used to kill 250,000 people and then began a political situation where the whole world was under constant threat of annhilation that lasted for almost 45 years. You say that scientific advance allows us to save lives and that's true, but it has allowed us to take them far more effciently.

I think MovieBob should "quit it". Quit trying to tackle subjects larger than he can properly research that is. Stick to reviewing :)

Great article. Can't say I disagree with anything present in it. I'm also happy to see some outright jabs at Hall Pass which, being one of the few R rated comedies out, I had thought about seeing and now will probably skip.

One note: there actually is a great movie about a guy having a mid-life crisis, quitting his high-paying job and trying to live simply. The movie is called 'Lost in America' and stars Albert Brooks. He finds not only that he can't handle the simple life on the road, but that neither can his wife and that he misses being upper-middle-class. Spoiler: in the late '70s and early-to-mid '80s Albert Brooks was brain-meltingly funny. Check it out if you've never seen it. Or watch it again. It's amazing.

omicron1:
Snip.

I agree I want all my films devoid of any personal opinion.

You seem to be having a problem with Hollywood for pushing the narrative of the goodness of marriage but that's just part of a society-wide push for things that help society. It's not just normal for Hollywood to push for marriage as winning in the end, it's _normative_.

Societies _want_ to encourage marriage because, like capitalism, it fucking works bitches. The standard monogamous marriage is simply put the best system for making stable kids to grow up to be the next generation of society. Sure, you can get individual successes who weren't raised in that matrix, but in group terms not so much.

Google the statistics on married people vs non-married people (and their kids!) and there are tons of benefits besides the obvious ones.

"From the work of Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially has become the go-to reference for information.

They argue that "permanency" is the foundation for all the good things that result. Once people feel secure, they are free to develop themselves, as well as divide the responsibilities of daily living.
* The National Center for Health Statistics conducted a survey of 127,545 people. Results? "Married people reported better overall health, less low back pain, fewer headaches and less stress than singles. They were also less likely to drink and smoke, and were more physically active."
* In the money arena, married folks fare much better than their single counterparts. Two incomes, shared expenses, and the ability to provide healthcare at better rates are obvious. The National Institute on Aging found people (age 51-61) had twice as much money as Singles! Married men, in particular, seem to earn more, too. When combined with the higher education-and subsequent salaries-of married women, the economics of matrimony are hard to dispute. (Pew Research Center)
* Let's talk about sex. Waite and Gallagher report that a University of Chicago National Sex Survey shows that marriage facilitates sexual activity: "Sex is easier in marriage... it costs less time, money, and psychic energy. It's easy to arrange and so compatible with the rest of their day to day life." Waite found that married people had sex twice as often as singles. She also interpreted studies to say that married sex is more satisfying, but this finding is seen as subjective.
* Geez, even sleep is better! I was surprised to learn this-I'd expected restlessness and blanket battles to give Singles the edge in the slumber department. Not so, according to several studies, including the University of Arizona, and an eight-year study presented at the Associated Sleep Professional Societies meeting."

Also there are some dark sides to not being married like, women who are shacking up are four times as likely as wives to become victims of violence, and their children are 40 times as likely to be abused by live-in boyfriends as by their own parents.

The kids are 40 times more likely to be abused. Geeze, I don't know about you but that scares me.

Here's some notes I took on a good book on the subject;
http://mikesbooknotes.blogspot.com/2007/03/marriage-and-caste-in-america-separate.html

Oh, and as always, Cracked rocks;

http://www.cracked.com/article_17063_5-reasons-being-single-sucks-even-more-than-you-thought.html

So yea, you're never going to see tons of movies on how non-traditional relationships (from the hooking up culture to polyamory) are just great because while they can work for individuals they just don't work very well on a society-wise basis.

Hollywood shows happily in love monogamous couples for the same reason it shows in-shape fit attractive people: in their hearts that is what most people want to be.

Why not take a few ideas from Bollywood. They sure seem to come up with a lot more than the ones in the West.

Squarez:

omicron1:
Snip.

I agree I want all my films devoid of any personal opinion.

"/sarcasm"

Personal opinion and commercial products make strange bedfellows, good sir. In much the same way that a democrat might complain about or publicly boycott Decision Points or Going Rogue, I have issues with being fed a heaping helping of Liberal Politics in my movies.

This would be just fine, I suppose, if there were a substantial counter market that catered to me. Goodness knows there are enough books that indict Palin or Bush to counteract the right-leaning stance of their personal biographies. Sadly, as MovieBob noted, Hollywood leans left, and with that angle comes an overwhelming balance of movies which seem determined either to convert me or ridicule me - and which, as a result, I would have no overwhelming desire to see, were there suitable alternatives.
This is a monopoly of ideas, where one ethical standpoint, one view of the world, has both dominant control and no real competition in its market. And that, as may be easily surmised, is a Bad Thing(tm).

But all this doesn't really get at the other side of the issue, which is "Why are political views cropping up in nonpolitical movies?" Why do Prince Dastan's brothers make thinly-veiled references to the War in Iraq? Why is the bad guy in Avatar a copy-and-paste of the worst caricatures of George W. Bush? Why are all the Christians in Kingdom of Heaven evil, all the Muslims sympathetic, and all the atheists Mary Sues? If you go to a Michael Moore film, you expect political ranting. If I go to see a period drama or a historical epic, or an action film, I don't - and especially not ridiculous politically motivated caricatures of me, the audience member!

Your comments on that last cliché didn't make a lick of sense; Hollywood does take a very clear stance in regards to democrats and rebuplicans. So much so that it's making me fucking sick.

If there's a movie about American politics, you can bet your ass it's showning poor, unfortunate democrats opposing the evil, oppressive republicans. Hmmm, I wonder you will win?

The fact that Avatar has that oh-so-topical Bush quote, just goes to show what a shallow piece of tree-hugging drivel it is. Just as in Revenge of the Sith when Padme makes that little comment about democracy dying. *ugh*

If there's one Hollywood cliché I wish we could get rid of, it's the stereotypical evil, conniving republican.

omicron1:

Squarez:

omicron1:
Snip.

I agree I want all my films devoid of any personal opinion.

"/sarcasm"

Personal opinion and commercial products make strange bedfellows, good sir. In much the same way that a democrat might complain about or publicly boycott Decision Points or Going Rogue, I have issues with being fed a heaping helping of Liberal Politics in my movies.

This would be just fine, I suppose, if there were a substantial counter market that catered to me. Goodness knows there are enough books that indict Palin or Bush to counteract the right-leaning stance of their personal biographies. Sadly, as MovieBob noted, Hollywood leans left, and with that angle comes an overwhelming balance of movies which seem determined either to convert me or ridicule me - and which, as a result, I would have no overwhelming desire to see, were there suitable alternatives.
This is a monopoly of ideas, where one ethical standpoint, one view of the world, has both dominant control and no real competition in its market. And that, as may be easily surmised, is a Bad Thing(tm).

But all this doesn't really get at the other side of the issue, which is "Why are political views cropping up in nonpolitical movies?" Why do Prince Dastan's brothers make thinly-veiled references to the War in Iraq? Why is the bad guy in Avatar a copy-and-paste of the worst caricatures of George W. Bush? Why are all the Christians in Kingdom of Heaven evil, all the Muslims sympathetic, and all the atheists Mary Sues? If you go to a Michael Moore film, you expect political ranting. If I go to see a period drama or a historical epic, or an action film, I don't - and especially not ridiculous politically motivated caricatures of me, the audience member!

Fair enough that there are films with mis-handled, heavy handed or just plain out of place political bias. But that doesn't mean that films should stop putting political messages in their films.

Also, "Personal opinion and commercial products make strange bedfellows". Implying that most movies are made with the single intent of making money.

omicron1:
One additional archetype I'd like to add to this mix:
"Insert Cause Here" is obviously right!
This is basically a propaganda structure, designed as a vehicle for a particular worldview, with the protagonist having Mary Sue tendencies and the antagonist being an over-the-top straw man. If you agree with the movie's message you may enjoy it (although it's not exactly a message film then, is it?); if not, you will probably revile the experience (something about being represented by an over-the-top evil straw man doesn't fit well with many people), assuming you even see it in the first place. It may have an actual plot to go along with its message, or the message may play second-fiddle to whatever else the film is up to, but the subtext is always there, always pushing its viewpoint at anyone watching the movie.

[...]

Half your potential audience is conservative, Hollywood. You do yourself no favors by making fun of us in your movies.

Then perhaps more "conservative" film-makers should be putting forth similarly-veiled messages to balance things out. I don't think directors or story-writers should neuter their films' messages because some folks might take offense to them. And actually, the fact that people take offense to them is probably a good thing. Part of the problem is that people have labeled things like environmentalism and conservation as being "liberal" agendas, when they should be basic human agendas. And V For Vendetta's message of questioning the government and ensuring that power is in the hands of the people is actually really compatible with the conservative ideal of smaller federal influence. V For Vendetta came at a time when loss of freedom for the sake of safety was on a lot of people's minds. This is not a purely "liberal" concern and people should be wary of that regardless of who's in power.

It really bugs me when a political movie is set in the real world and clearly draws paralels to existing political partys but doesn't mention it. It isn't just in the US either. I saw a crime movie where the bad guys were from a fictional party known as "the people party" whose policies and way of communicating them (though hopefully not the crimes) were exactly the same as an existing party named the progress party.

Axolotl:
Nice article except for opne point.

He tampered in God's Domain!!!
In real life, scientists do some of the most important and far-reaching good of any vocation on the planet Earth. They cure disease, revolutionize industry, clean the air and water, solve pressing global concerns and invent the technology by which our better-publicized do-gooders, er... do their good. It's one of the noblest and most tangibly-worthy professions one could possibly pursue.
In the movies? Not so much. Science is BAD. It unleashes monsters, provides fodder for sinister conspiracies and changes society is scaaaaary ways. And the scientists who carry it out? Awful, awful human beings, shirking their responsibility to maintain the status quo and choosing the unclean path of knowledge over the pristine, flower-strewn road of blind faith and unquestioning loyalty to tradition and "the norm."
"There are things man wasn't MEANT to know!," goes the saying... presumably, one of those things is how such an insipid sentiment has survived all the way into the 21st Century.

Now I want to preface this by saying that I'm pro-science and I aknowledge that the only way I'm able to even say this is the result of thouisands of lives dedicated to scientific research and I hate the wjole Rousseauian idea of the natural state being perfect. But that doesn't change the fact that "Technology is dangerous!" totally has real world precidence. The most important scientific development of the 20th centuary was first used to kill 250,000 people and then began a political situation where the whole world was under constant threat of annhilation that lasted for almost 45 years. You say that scientific advance allows us to save lives and that's true, but it has allowed us to take them far more effciently.

This is very much true. Explain to me Bob, why we NEED to replicate the conditions of the origin of the universe in the coming years. Whatever reassurances anyone gives, The Large Hadron Collider creating millions of miniature black holes on Earth for the purposes of studying what particles existed back then does kind of scare me. Seems there is a precedent in the 21st century for people to still be fearful of potentially dangerous scientific discoveries.

Are there any movies about God tampering in Science's domain?

Gindil:

Why not take a few ideas from Bollywood. They sure seem to come up with a lot more than the ones in the West.

I promise you, that's not even the nuttiest parts of that movie ;)

This is everything you need to know about "Endhiran" - other than that it's kind of awesome: The Good Robot, the Evil-Version of the Good Robot, ALL of the Evil-Version's Henchmen and the scientist who built the Robot are ALL played by the SAME actor; who is apparently so important in India his onscreen credit calls him "Superstar." And if Mike Meyers finds out you can do this, we are all doomed...

man the villains in Avatar were horribly written, though at least they were so bad they were HILARIOUS. Anyway, interesting article about cliches in Hollywood. I'm not gonna rag on people for writing something archetypal, but the cliches Bob mentioned are REALLY getting on my nerves. The whole "simple life is underrated" idea comes off to me like people want to think that being a drone is somehow fulfilling. I know SOMEONE has to do office jobs and be the janitors of the world (in the words of Frank Fontaine "somebody's gotta scrub the toilets") but saying that mundanity is great is foolish

Axolotl:
Nice article except for opne point.

He tampered in God's Domain!!!
In real life, scientists do some of the most important and far-reaching good of any vocation on the planet Earth. They cure disease, revolutionize industry, clean the air and water, solve pressing global concerns and invent the technology by which our better-publicized do-gooders, er... do their good. It's one of the noblest and most tangibly-worthy professions one could possibly pursue.

In the movies? Not so much. Science is BAD. It unleashes monsters, provides fodder for sinister conspiracies and changes society is scaaaaary ways. And the scientists who carry it out? Awful, awful human beings, shirking their responsibility to maintain the status quo and choosing the unclean path of knowledge over the pristine, flower-strewn road of blind faith and unquestioning loyalty to tradition and "the norm."

"There are things man wasn't MEANT to know!," goes the saying... presumably, one of those things is how such an insipid sentiment has survived all the way into the 21st Century.

Now I want to preface this by saying that I'm pro-science and I aknowledge that the only way I'm able to even say this is the result of thouisands of lives dedicated to scientific research and I hate the wjole Rousseauian idea of the natural state being perfect. But that doesn't change the fact that "Technology is dangerous!" totally has real world precidence. The most important scientific development of the 20th centuary was first used to kill 250,000 people and then began a political situation where the whole world was under constant threat of annhilation that lasted for almost 45 years. You say that scientific advance allows us to save lives and that's true, but it has allowed us to take them far more effciently.

The Internet was the most important scientific development of the 20th century.

But atomic weapons were pretty good too. Nothing puts responsibility into you like knowing that the decision you make could cause your everything in your country to stop existing. Peace exists either when nobody in the room can kill each other, or when everyone can.

Fleaman:
The Internet was the most important scientific development of the 20th century.

Not even close, yes the internet as changed the way we live our lives and willl continue to do so it's ultimately just a platform for sharing information. Nuclear power on the other hand, even ignoring it use as an energy source, nuclear weapons defined the political situation for the entire world for 45 years just from the possiblity of their use.

But atomic weapons were pretty good too. Nothing puts responsibility into you like knowing that the decision you make could cause your everything in your country to stop existing. Peace exists either when nobody in the room can kill each other, or when everyone can.

Yes but look at the ammount of times during the cold war where technical errors almost caused people to fire them. Now I'm not anti science, I'm not even anti-nuclear weapons all I'm saying is that the "science has doomed us all!" cliche does have real world grounding.

The "lose everything to find the one thing that mattered" cliche crept up in Megamind, as well as the midlife crisis, in a way. Everything about that movie was tired and predictable.

when the first pics of the movie came out with wolverine and co. in black, there was a huge fan backlash (myself included) over the lack of yellow in his costume.
I thought the yellow spandex was a good in-joke.

Also, there can never be too much being harsh on hippies, arts students, slackers and people who waste everyones time in a coffee shop. bee this in a movie or on the pavement

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here