Feb
06
2017
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Quote of the Day, You Tell ‘Em, Cthulhu edition.

Please make better movies about me.”

Moe Lane

PS: Geeks Are Sexy updated to note that the 2005 HPLHS silent movie Call of Cthulhu Did Not Suck, which is true: it did not. It was also decidedly not produced by Hollywood, which is absolutely an indictment of Hollywood — and buttresses the comic’s original point, to boot.  If a bunch of enthusiasts can create an excellent Cthulhu flick, there’s no reason why a major studio can’t produce at least a decent one.

Nov
20
2016
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Why movies always seem to target the young.

Was thinking about this in relation to this Tweet – and note that my major quibble with it is the use of the words ‘fetishization of,’ rather than ‘pandering to.’  It’s true: Hollywood over-samples young people when making movies, and they’re unlikely to stop.  And here, courtesy of the MPAA’s 2014 Theatrical Statistics Study, is why:

2014mpaa

(more…)

Sep
30
2016
7

Hollywood does shocking cast picks in Black Panther movie!

…They’re still casting black people* for all the major roles.  Can Hollywood stand the strain?  The sheer insanity?

Marvel has added a new villain to the mix in director Ryan Coogler‘s upcoming film Black Panther. Person of Interest actor Winston Duke will be taking on the role of Man-Ape. That means there are three villains in the film so far. The other two are Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger and Andy Serkis as Ulysses Klaw. Duke also joins Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther, Danai Gurira, and Lupita Nyong’o.

Yeah, I’m being sarcastic.  But less than I’d like. Even for a, you know, African-themed superhero story it’s still mildly noteworthy that they’re going to cast accordingly…

Moe Lane

*And Andy Serkis.  Soooooo… I guess we now know which character’s going to be mostly motion-capture?

Dec
19
2014
6

George Clooney discovers the essential uselessness of the Hollywood he helped create.

Oh, God, while the Sony situation isn’t funny George Clooney’s reaction to it certainly is. Well, not Good Funny.  This is Bad Funny… anyway, let’s go over who Clooney blames, shall we?

  • The press. “They played the fiddle while Rome burned.” They should have mentioned that this was blatantly a North Korean-friendly (at least) operation, based on the very name (I freely admit that I missed the historical details behind that one).
  • Trial lawyers. “[The theater chains] said they were not going to run it because they talked to their lawyers and those lawyers said if somebody dies in one of these, then you’re going to be responsible.” Those tort-obsessed trial lawyers…
  • Movie executives. “They know what they themselves have written in their emails, and they’re afraid.” Clooney argued that that’s why the first wave of emails were the embarrassing ones: to keep the rest of the industry’s heads down.
  • The government. “Everybody was doing their jobs, but somehow, we have allowed North Korea to dictate content, and that is just insane.” …This is as close as George Clooney will ever come to criticizing Barack Obama, and while I normally don’t grade the Left on a curve there were just too many other good bits in this interview to make me entirely merciless*.

That’s… a large cross-section of the Establishment Democrats’ supporters up there, huh?  We’re just missing the academics, Big Labor, and Big Green.  George Clooney thinks of all of these people as being a bunch of cowards, which is certainly true; but what he’s apparently not getting (while sounding like quite the fire-eating Republican on this issue, might I add**) is that they didn’t become cowards overnight. This is, in fact, pretty much reflective of the standard operation procedure that’s been adopted by the Other Side over the last few decades; and forgive me for saying this, but that’s why they were targeted***. Nobody over there wanted to fight.

So in the end George Clooney gets it almost right.  What he fails to see is that Hollywood’s moral defeat here was inevitable, because the institutions and groups that Clooney’s spent so much time working with were not up to the task****. It is my humble suggestion that the man consider this fact in the future when deciding what kind of civic contributions he wishes to make in the future in order to better help the Republic…

Via @SonnyBunch.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Besides, despite it all the man did still give a great performance in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.  You’re just going to have to forgive me on this one.

**The rule of thumb is, You are most conservative about the things that are most important to you.  It would appear that the movie industry is genuinely important to George Clooney.

***They, of course, did not deserve to be targeted: ‘the way she was dressed…’ defense is not accepted in modern society, and for good reason. But many in modern society seem to have difficulty in distinguishing between saying that a behavior is risky, and saying that the same behavior justifies a particular response.

****At this point there are probably reflexive if not outright indoctrinated responses – not all from Democrats, alas – that the Right is just as much a bunch of cowards.  Far be it from me to suggest that the GOP is made up of a band of strong-jawed paladins and stalwarts.  But we do know when it’s time to circle the dang wagons, and this would be one of those times.

Nov
03
2013
5

My hopeless plea to the horror section of Hollywood.

Dear Sirs or Madams*,

Please make more new things.

Respectfully,

Moe Lane

*Mostly ‘Sirs.’  I wonder why that is, particularly since the existing status quo is serving up crap on a regular basis.

Jun
26
2013
6

QotD, Hollywood Can’t Figure Out How Obamacare Works, Either edition.

This being a family website, I am alas constrained from giving my full opinion on this sudden realization by Hollywood that they’re about to get messed up by Obamacare; but rest assured, said opinion is incredibly foul-mouthed of me, and includes references to marsupials.

Determining the exact nature of the new laws has been difficult, given that many ACA [Affordable Care Act] terms have yet to be worked out. Hollywood productions, for instance, might find it irksome simply trying to categorize employees as full- or part-time, seasonal or variable, and it’s important that they get the classifications right lest they face hefty fines. “ACA is thousands of pages, and it wasn’t written with this industry in mind,” says Belcher.

Ain’t that a shame.  But, hey, look on the bright side: at least Hollywood elected Barack Obama, right?  Brilliant move there, guys.  Brilliant.

(more…)

Jun
16
2013
3

Connecticut stops offering Hollywood a luxurious tax break.

It kind of helps if you think of a state as a business enterprise in these cases.

More than 80 movies featuring stars such as Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins and Michael Douglas have been filmed in Connecticut over the past seven years, thanks largely to $137.4 million in tax credits to film production companies.

But the parade of stars may stop: Connecticut, confronting budget difficulties and competition from other states—including New York—is putting the tax-credit program on a two-year hiatus.

The move comes as the state recommits to luring television-production enterprises, which it says offer the type of permanent jobs and investments that film outfits can’t.

(more…)

Aug
21
2012
5

Jonathan Chait (unintentionally) lays out the case for ending the Hollywood tax cuts.

Is Jonathan Chait not feeling well?  Not so much for writing the below, but for writing the below (as AoSHQ Headlines notes) so baldly.  The topic was the Left’s domination of television/movies; Chait copped pretty much to admitting that the Right’s basic argument is correct, that it also has merit (something that you can’t actually expect the Left to just concede), and ends with:

This capacity to mold the moral premises of large segments of the public, and especially the youngest and most impressionable elements, may or may not be unfair. What it is undoubtedly is a source of cultural (and hence political) power. Liberals like to believe that our strength derives solely from the natural concordance of the people, that we represent what most Americans believe, or would believe if not for the distorting rightward pull of Fox News and the Koch brothers and the rest. Conservatives surely do benefit from these outposts of power, and most would rather indulge their own populist fantasies than admit it. But they do have a point about one thing: We liberals owe not a small measure of our success to the propaganda campaign of a tiny, disproportionately influential cultural elite.

…which, by the way, enjoys a set of tax exemptions, loopholes, shelters, and other market-distorting favors that benefit them far more than the dubious benefits that supposed accrue to us. Now, despite what you may be hearing, we are still going to be in a position to pass laws next year, and when we do pass those laws I think that it’ll be long past time to stop allowing the entertainment industry to evade paying its fair share while taking a partisan political side.  Long past time.  Which means that I explicitly echo Glenn Reynolds in calling for a repeal of the Hollywood tax cuts.

And before you tell me that Hollywood is too big to take on, funny: that’s exactly what people told me about the public sector unions.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

Jun
22
2012
4

Hollywood reads the Declaration of Independence. [UPDATED]

[UPDATED: NotSoBlueStater notes in comments that this is from 2003, which argues that even though they read it, a large number of these people probably didn’t get it.  Such is life.]

This… isn’t bad.  They played it straight.  Tried to keep the frills under control.  Allowed the text for speak for itself.

:holding up hand: Yes, yes, I know your objections.  I even share some of them.  But at least now we know for certain that a couple of these people have actually read the damned thing.

Via @cayankee.

Oct
07
2011
7

#rsrh I dunno how much Hollywood worries about this.

I also don’t know how much they should worry about this:

In a far-ranging poll Penn Schoen Berland conducted for The Hollywood Reporter of 1,000 registered voters to gauge moviegoing tendencies of Democrats vs. Republicans, it’s clear political allegiances have shifted entertainment viewing habits. Jon Penn, the firm’s president of media and entertainment research, says that before Freeman’s words, interest in Dolphin Talewas considerably higher among conservatives and religious moviegoers than among liberals. After the remarks, 34 percent of the conservatives who were aware of them, and 37 percent of Tea Partiers, said they were less likely to see the film — but 42 percent of liberals said they were more likely. (Five days after Freeman’s remarks, 24 percent of all moviegoers were aware of them.)

In fact, overall, 35 percent of Republicans and 45 percent of Tea Partiers consider a celebrity’s political position before paying to see their films, compared with 20 percent of Democrats.

After all, Hollywood seems happy enough with the outcome (more Democrats going to movies); and the Hollywood-Democratic party strategic alliance doesn’t exactly seem about to collapse. Or to stop insulating the former from poor market decisions. (more…)

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