Consequences

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Consequences

MovieBob takes on some iconic movies and their impact on films.

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kinda surprised Greengrass's innovation of shaky-cam-action didn't make the list, given it's over-use in Hunger Games last week...

(edit) and even more surprised given that hand-held over-use comes up in the Wrath review as well...

The idea of mixing horror and comedy elements didn't spring fully formed from Sam Raimi. One of the documentaries on the original Carrie DVD has somebody talking about how most good horror films should have lots of laughter in the first hour and horror-comedy as its own genre has been very visible at least as far back as The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I don't think Sam Raimi realizing sometime during the first Evil Dead that he was making unconvincing trash and deciding to take the piss for it really did a whole lot to influence the mainstream's perception of the genre. Instead, I would say a combination of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Scream are what convinced audiences to treat all horror films as schlocky farces.

This reminds me of what CR! from Familiar Faces over on TGWTG said on the matter, "You see every time there's a jump in technology or technique, the industry always goes through a phase where it tries to see what is the minimal amount of effort it takes to make a commercial success, and it becomes very apparent who knows what the Hell they're doing." Bob's article here pretty much sums it up nicely.

Now do the good consequences of bad movies.....

I admit - I laughed my ass off when that girl got impaled on a sailboat mast in Final Destination 5. I couldn't help it. That was the payoff for the buildup to that point. For some movies, funny horror is good. But there does need to be a sound mix of horror-comedy movies - Raimi's own "Drag Me to Hell", and legitimate horror - "Insidious". It keeps the audience from being completely desensitized to what they're seeing on screen.

Well Bob, I have to say it is nice to see you commenting on movies again. In this avenue, I find your comments to be insightful, thought provoking and quite fun. It is also nice to see you not belittling your fans in a public forum.

Also, seeing the awesomeness of "O Brother Where Art Thou" mentioned as influential made my heart skip a beat.

I would love to see your thoughts on the effects of The Cohen Brothers, or even just the Big Lebowski on cinema.

I really wish you hadn't pointed out the whole teal/orange thing. I have a feeling that's going to start annoying me now.

As for comic horror, you can't just blame one movie or say it's all bad. Tremors did horror right, and every local TV station that had a Pierce Vincent Vampire Hunter, or Elvira style character added humor or eroticism to the horror movie mix. (Ooh, horror show hosts would make an excellent Big Picture feature, but I fear it may be outside your area of expertise.)

Also an article like trollpwner suggested on the good consequences of bad movies would be interesting to read, if there were enough to fill a page.

Here's one for you Bob: Intentional Shlock. B-rated movies are gaining a whole new level of fame and appreciation these days thanks to MST3K and the Internet. The worst dreck of yesteryear is being applauded for how bad it was. And Hollywood has tried to capitalize on it, trying to fix their big-budget films with "synthetic ugly." Sometimes it's out of love, like Grindhouse, sometimes it's simply to exploit, like say Cowboys and Aliens and The Expendables.

Thank you for acknowledging Re-Animator Bob, you've gained some points with me.

I probably would have brought up Jurassic Park and the ensuing overuse of CGI, completely ignoring the fact that JP looks so good only because of careful blending of multiple visual techniques rather than reliance on just one.

Don't forget that Star Wars also had another effect on Sci Fi: films could no longer explore SF elements and be popular. Star Wars didn't really popularize the SF genre, it popularized the Space Opera, which put more emphasis on otherwise conventional plots that just happened to be in space or the like.

Remember 2001: A Space Odyssey? Remember how groundbreaking an SF film it was? Have we had anything in the same vein, an SF film that explored speculative fiction ideas, that was nearly as popular? Nope (well maybe; I invite examples to such a thing in the comments). Why? Star Wars. It turned SF and Space Operas into a coat of paint that could be applied to big budget action films.

I'm surprised the shaky cam didn't pop up on this list, too. The lightning-fast editing and "just like you're there!" cinematography in the Bourne trilogy leaves me nauseated already, but this has become a trend in so many action movies since. Bourne would otherwise be a top-tier action thriller, with just the right pacing, explosions, and exposition to keep things interesting, but the editing style it inspired makes me shake my fist in rage for all the people who actually want to see what's going on in all the action.

Bluecho:
Don't forget that Star Wars also had another effect on Sci Fi: films could no longer explore SF elements and be popular. Star Wars didn't really popularize the SF genre, it popularized the Space Opera, which put more emphasis on otherwise conventional plots that just happened to be in space or the like.

Remember 2001: A Space Odyssey? Remember how groundbreaking an SF film it was? Have we had anything in the same vein, an SF film that explored speculative fiction ideas, that was nearly as popular? Nope (well maybe; I invite examples to such a thing in the comments). Why? Star Wars. It turned SF and Space Operas into a coat of paint that could be applied to big budget action films.

Two recent films that come to mind are Sunshine and Moon. Of course, neither are the cult hits 2001 is, but they're great movies that make the most out of their sci-fi setting.

Eh, I think I just don't watch enough movies, but I'm not sure I agree with Bob's "all horror has become comedy" verdict. I've seen both recent regular horror movies and horror comedy movies and definitely can tell the difference between the two.

Zombieland is an awesome horror comedy, by the way. :D Everyone should go see it. And if you haven't already seen it, see it again.

xyrafhoan:
I'm surprised the shaky cam didn't pop up on this list, too. The lightning-fast editing and "just like you're there!" cinematography in the Bourne trilogy leaves me nauseated already, but this has become a trend in so many action movies since. Bourne would otherwise be a top-tier action thriller, with just the right pacing, explosions, and exposition to keep things interesting, but the editing style it inspired makes me shake my fist in rage for all the people who actually want to see what's going on in all the action.

Or it's closest predecessor, the steady cam technology.

Created for Disney's The Three Musketeers for the sword fights, it's been in almost every movie since, and is often used for stuff that really isn't needed. (the 360 rotation around a still character or face to face dialogue which could be done with a fricken tripod are prime examples.)

AlexanderPeregrine:
I don't think Sam Raimi realizing sometime during the first Evil Dead that he was making unconvincing trash and deciding to take the piss for it really did a whole lot to influence the mainstream's perception of the genre. Instead, I would say a combination of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Scream are what convinced audiences to treat all horror films as schlocky farces.

I can't speak for sure about MST3K, But the trend definitely predates Scream. If anything, all Scream added to the formula was a heavy dose of "genre savvy."

MST3K was earlier, and maybe it had influence, but I'm pretty sure the trend was already in place before MST3K had any major influence. I just don't remember the timeline of the show well enough to say otherwise.

I'm with you on the "unconvincing trash" part, though.

DAMMIT!!! not im going to notice that orange/teal in every movie i watch. Ignorance really is bliss... but I do agree with what Moviebob said, especially about the horror films. Maybe I should go to a comedy film and scream in terror whenever someone tells a joke? That could be fun actually

The inclusion of Evil Dead makes me sad because Evil Dead 2 is honestly my favorite film (except for my avatar picture).

Oh and if you really want your eyes to bleed from the orange and teal contrast, just watch The Losers. Or just the trailer for The Losers. Heck, even the box art! If you can find one 30 second scene that doesn't use it, I'd be utterly surprised.

I am also surprised that the shaky camera shooting style did not make the list seeing how much Movie Bob often mentions it in his reviews as a bad idea.

One thing I would have included is the 'ultra real' fighting style that the Born Trilogy created. This combat style was then used in the latest Bond movies making them feel more like a Born movie only with the lead is in a tuxedo.

Also, I think the orang-teal thing may start to annoy me now. . .

Move Bob:
How often have you been to a (theoretically) scary movie, only to have every scare spoiled by an audience member who laughs just a little too soon and just a little too loud because they think they're supposed to?

This made me realise I haven't been going to movies at all lately because the theater experience is so horrible now and the teenage staff isn't paid enough to deal with assholes in the audience.

I remember demanding my ticket back when these 2 parents brought their 6 and 8 yr olds to see AvP Requiem. First thought, great parenting. Hard R action/horror where babies are actually eaten. Great family material. But the 8 yr old, one of those overweight loudmouths you read about, would laugh at every chestburster scene, of which there was quite a few. 15 minutes in I left the theater and went to the ticket counter. I kinda gave the impression that I might commit a violent act without actually saying it, which got me a ticket to the next showing. Better customer service than I would've expected but I haven't been to that theater since. Not when there's a wehrenberg the same distance in the opposite direction.

algalon:
Oh and if you really want your eyes to bleed from the orange and teal contrast, just watch The Losers. Or just the trailer for The Losers. Heck, even the box art! If you can find one 30 second scene that doesn't use it, I'd be utterly surprised.

I got the dvd of that movie, so yea I can see what you're saying, but it was a pretty good action movie for what its worth. Yea it was kind of by-the-books but it wasn't a BAD movie. Too be honest though, I haven't even noticed the orange-teal thing until just know, so I wonder how much of a problem it really is if its so....(cant think of a word)....unnoticeable?

I hate 'horror-comedy'. The bottom line is people like seeing cool deaths (why Saw and Final Destination are popular) and the easy way to kill lots of people in cool ways is to make it a 'horror' but then they don't even try to give it any kind of mood at all, they just have tits and gore. Not many good horror movies as of late is what I'm saying.

Orange and Tealism is the biggest one for me. Its everywhere and its one of the things the studios seem to have control of. Post production is often done 'out of house' so it could crop up anywhere you get a lazy colour grader in any film. It kills the look of a movie and makes it feel sterile and fake, like the entire movie has been really obviously photoshopped. It kills the change of a location, everything from a forest to a building looks exactly the same. bleh.

Lord of the rings is prorbaly one of the only other films to have used color grading colrectly. Sometimes we do end up with the orange and teal effect but its usually to make a shot ACTALLY 'pop' in context (see, Moria). Mainly it was used to make The Shire that really lush green colour. The technique is meant to give your shorts colour a 'feel' to them, not just to make them look more 'filtered' or to give the impression of 'more budget'.

...

Don Savik:

I hate 'horror-comedy'. The bottom line is people like seeing cool deaths (why Saw and Final Destination are popular) and the easy way to kill lots of people in cool ways is to make it a 'horror' but then they don't even try to give it any kind of mood at all, they just have tits and gore. Not many good horror movies as of late is what I'm saying.

They don't even manage this anymore. Looking back on Battle Royal (after this whole hunger games fuss) that film amanges to have a whole ton of really great deaths and its one of things that carries the movie. Most of the 'torture porn' or 'pick off the cast' movies have really really really really really REALLY cheap. dumb, nonsensical or just plain silly deaths and they get more and more contrived or phoned in as things go on. You can feel them straining to have any kind of creative thought, its just sad.

Id take a solid horror movie with a good stream of interesting deaths, Predators managed to do that whilst also being a solid-ish action movie. 'Horror' has esentially been dead for the last 10 years.

LordLundar:

xyrafhoan:
I'm surprised the shaky cam didn't pop up on this list, too. The lightning-fast editing and "just like you're there!" cinematography in the Bourne trilogy leaves me nauseated already, but this has become a trend in so many action movies since. Bourne would otherwise be a top-tier action thriller, with just the right pacing, explosions, and exposition to keep things interesting, but the editing style it inspired makes me shake my fist in rage for all the people who actually want to see what's going on in all the action.

Or it's closest predecessor, the steady cam technology.

Created for Disney's The Three Musketeers for the sword fights, it's been in almost every movie since, and is often used for stuff that really isn't needed. (the 360 rotation around a still character or face to face dialogue which could be done with a fricken tripod are prime examples.)

Steadicam goes back way earlier than 1993. It was used in Return of the Jedi, The Shining, Halloween, Rocky.

And you can blame Raimi for shaky cam shots. and for ridiculous frenetic moving cameras shots once HE got steadicam.

Scrumpmonkey:
Orange and Tealism is the biggest one for me. Its everywhere and its one of the things the studios seem to have control of. Post production is often done 'out of house' so it could crop up anywhere you get a lazy colour grader in any film. It kills the look of a movie and makes it feel sterile and fake, like the entire movie has been really obviously photoshopped. It kills the change of a location, everything from a forest to a building looks exactly the same. bleh.

I agree. Its another one of those things, that when done right right and in a subtle way, is very effective. I don't understand these cartoon colors I'm seeing sometimes. The whole point of pushing the shadows A LITTLE towards green/teal is to allow the NATURAL skintones to come forwarda A BIT, you don't ADD orange to the skintones. The amount of control color graders have over the image is wide and deep, but extrememly controllable. There's no excuse for such sloppy work. The worst part is that, as the Hot Tub Time Machine, Tron Legacy and Transformers examples in the linked article shows that this color palatte has escaped from the edit suite and has infected costumers and set decorators.

Regarding the Bourne movies and shaky-cam, I've gotten several hints from watching Bob's reviews that he didn't particularly care for that series. For instance, his statement about Hanna being "proof that the Bourne movies would've been better if you'd replaced Matt Damon with a little girl." Therefore, I doubt he'd list it in a ranking of "good films with bad consequences".

Also, I don't know if I'd put all the blame on the Evil Dead movies for popularizing the idea of horror as comedy. Methinks that that trend came from the big slasher franchises of the '80s (Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street) slowly burning themselves out with each installment, and audiences getting sick of it all and starting to laugh at them instead of taking them seriously. Remember, the first Evil Dead was very bloody, and had some moments of levity (the scene with Ash, Linda and the necklace, for instance), but it was pretty much a straight horror film through the end, no more or less comedic than any other early-mid '80s horror movie. It was only with the second film, in 1987, where the series went totally crazy and Ash got a chainsaw hand, by which time films like Re-Animator had already been out for a couple of years.

And it's not like The Evil Dead started the trend. Carrie had a ton of humorous moments (Piper Laurie thought it was meant to be a comedy before she saw the finished product), and my dad thought that The Exorcist was one of the funniest movies he'd ever seen, though that was admittedly unintentional. And before that, you had Abbott and Costello spoofing the old Universal monster movies back in the '40s and '50s, and let's not forget Roman Polanski made The Fearless Vampire Killers in 1967. Bottom line, the idea of mixing horror and comedy goes back way before Sam Raimi.

dthree:

Scrumpmonkey:
Orange and Tealism is the biggest one for me. Its everywhere and its one of the things the studios seem to have control of. Post production is often done 'out of house' so it could crop up anywhere you get a lazy colour grader in any film. It kills the look of a movie and makes it feel sterile and fake, like the entire movie has been really obviously photoshopped. It kills the change of a location, everything from a forest to a building looks exactly the same. bleh.

I agree. Its another one of those things, that when done right right and in a subtle way, is very effective. I don't understand these cartoon colors I'm seeing sometimes. The whole point of pushing the shadows A LITTLE towards green/teal is to allow the NATURAL skintones to come forwarda A BIT, you don't ADD orange to the skintones. The amount of control color graders have over the image is wide and deep, but extrememly controllable. There's no excuse for such sloppy work.

The worst part is that, as the Hot Tub Time Machine, Tron Legacy and Transformers examples in the linked article shows that this color palatte has escaped from the edit suite and has infected costumers and set decorators.

Indeed

Transformers 2 was DESIGNED to look BAD (in addition to being bad). There is fundamental lack of understanding of the basic concepts of Film-making, Colour-Theory, Cinematography and Art Design in very big budget productions. in short; these people don't have a fucking clue what they are doing and should be publicly and mercilessly flogged for it.

Ok people color filters 101. There are three main reasons color grading is used;

1. To give the scene a subtle tone or emotion associating a colour with a mood, at its most simple warm for happy, cool for sad etc.

2. To overtly stylize a scene or sequence to set it apart as being different i.e. a flashback, a dream and help the audience realize there has been a change in perception of events

3. most importantly in this example; To remove the difference in how a scene is filed vs. how our eyes think that scene should look. Colour grading should make things look MORE real and not LESS. Colour grading as a subtle tool for making a film more engrossing and natural looking is unrivaled but it is being abused to the point of insanity.

If i can realize this simply from watching a few movies why can people paid multiples of millions? I am not a filmmaker. How can they be this stupid? how?! I mean these people have value placed on them by society, their work is considered by studios to be the peak of what a film should be by its box-office performance. These people are valued in terms of $/ at thousands of times what you are, how are you not sheathing with rage that these barely sentient butt monkeys are being paid the turnover of a medium sized business for excreting orange and teal coloured turds?

You can't really blame audiences. In my experience The public at large actually does have this very deep, unsettling feeling that something is horribly wrong with Hollywood. Most of them are fortunate enough not to know the horrible full truth of it. Not everyone is a super butthurt film nerd like i am and even they have this deep-seated feeling of being spoon-fed mediocrity. "Well it was OK, it was just what was on". Hollywood markets the crap out of these things, they even mostly get OK reviews, how are audiences supposed to differentiate between good and bad anymore when everything is so slick yet bland? Once Hollywood stops being able to raise the stakes anymore with even greater spurts of super-flashy key-jangling idiot-candy people are going to start moving away from movies even faster.

Actually a butt monkey would have a higher sense for color grading. All they have to do is bend over a pool of water and look at their own ass.

i myself am a video editor so i really get the teal/orange trend ive been fighting against it for as long as i can remember, i also remember when i watch survival style plus 5 i was taken with the beauty of the colors, there is a lot to be learned from that film.

What about the inception foghorn.
(Link for anyone who doesn't know what it is: http://inception.davepedu.com/)
It may not have messed up actual movies, but it seems to be in every single trailer nowdays.

Stemer:
What about the inception foghorn.
(Link for anyone who doesn't know what it is: http://inception.davepedu.com/)
It may not have messed up actual movies, but it seems to be in every single trailer nowdays.

Actually that's just one piece of music. You've probably just heard it many times before without knowing. It was composed by Zack Hemsey, a musical composer who makes music for trailers.

Most movie trailers actually use music sourced from external companies and they very rarely feature anything that is composed by the movie's actual soundtrack composer. As such, you'll probably hear the same piece used in many movie trailers. The Inception trailer theme, Mind Heist, seems to be a popular one at the moment.

For example, this track, Nara by E.S. Posthumus, was used in the trailers for at least 12 different and completely unrelated movies.

No mention of the Matrix and bullet time?

Blair witch and the shaky cam? (I'm not sure that was the first but the shaky cam's first movie deserves a special stake to be burned on)

The usage of the same musical cues across hundreds of advertisements is one of the worst trends Hollywood could ever adapt. It cheapens the original film by association. Try watching Aliens or Requiem for a Dream without dozens of unrelated, dissonant images coming to mind.

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