Random Nonsense

Things I miss at the movies
wordweaver_four at 6:29AM, May 26, 2011
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Since nobody liked my game, I'm starting a new topic.

You remember going to the movies as a kid? Remember how it was a big event? Remember how they'd roll back the curtains and you just knew you were going to witness something cool? Remember how it was fun?

What the hell happened to that?

Things I miss:

1) Going to a movie that you knew was good because it was a classic. Anyone younger then 30 or so prolly doesn't remember this, but good movies never used to die. They would keep coming back to the theater every so many years. Most notably were the classic animated Disney movies. I've seen every Disney classic on the big screen. Snow White, Cinderella, Dumbo, Pinocchio, you name it. The flip side of this was a noticeable decline in Disney movies being made in the 70s and 80s, they sorta put their classics on rotation and sat back for a while. Of course these theater returns weren't limited to just Disney. The Wizard of Oz, King Kong, Gone with the Wind, Psycho, Dr Strangelove, Duck Soup… even Star Wars and ET. Any great classic movie made before 83 or 84 likely was widely released at the theaters more then once. So even if the new releases were crap, you could always watch the re-release of John Wayne's El Dorado, or whatever. The VCR killed this of course. It's a shame really, cuz those classic movies kept a lot of crap movies from being made. Not to say that there were no bad movies made, but there were less then there are now. Nowadays if someone makes a movie that is abysmally bad they just go direct to DVD and make their money back anyway.

And that's a crime. There should be a consequence to making dribble.

2) Applause at the end of a movie. I know this a small thing, but nobody applauds at the end of a movie anymore, even if it's good. Used to be that there was always applause at the end. A smattering if the movie was bad, cuz there was always a few people who were at least polite(or dumb enough to actually like it), but a good movie might even get a standing ovation with some hoots and whistles thrown in. Sure, nobody who was actually involved in making the movie was there to appreciate it, but it was something people did anyway. The last movie I was at where the audience applauded at the end was The Army of Darkness. Not sure if that counts since it was opening day and the place was full of Deadheads. (Still, it was a blast, with lots of cheering and carrying on during the movie) Nowadays, even if the movie is fantastic, all that happens is the dull murmur of folks talking and a chorus of cell phones being turned on. Once in a while someone might forget the year and start clapping, but nobody joins in. They just look at that person in horror, as if they had ripped off all their clothes and started strangling a cat.

3) Quaint movie theaters. Theaters now are massive complexes with dozens of rooms in a well thought out layout with convenient concessions stands at every turn. If you've been to one, you've been to em all. What they end up being is very sterile environments to watch movies. There's just something about the old hometown theater with only 4 screens, one restroom, threadbare seats, missing ceiling tiles and a grumpy old man with a flashlight that kicked out the rowdy kids that snuck in through the fire escape. Maybe it's because it family owned and run, maybe it's because they're very picky about the movie selection, or maybe it's because you had a crush on the girl in the ticket booth, but for some reason the popcorn taste better and the movie was more enjoyable.

4) DRIVE IN THEATERS! Where the hell are they now? Can you think of a better way to spend your Friday night then in your car watching a movie with a hot date? Sure the sound quality was pretty rotten and the movie selection was completely absent, but heck, your car seat leans back! You can get comfortable. What's that? It's getting cold in here? Well I've got that problem solved little missy. A nice warm blanket we can snuggle up under. Now I'm getting a tad warm, don't mind if I take my shirt off do you? Now you're too hot? Well you can take your blouse off if you want. Gosh that brassiere looks snug and uncomfortable, let me loosen that a little for you. You know, we could probably see the movie better from the back seat anyway.

I think it was bucket seats that killed the drive in. Used to be that cars had a giant bench seat, in a pinch you could seat four people in front and watch the movie. Also it was much easier to slide over and put yer arm around the gal you brought without a center counsel in the way. DAMN YOU CAR COMPANIES WITH YOUR ERGONOMIC SEATS AND CONVENIENT STORAGE SPACE!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 10:52AM, May 26, 2011
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Oh, don't worry, now they're gonna re-release things again… in 3D! Isn't that wonderful?! Isn't that glorious?! Doesn't it make you wanna puke?!

I am lucky in that when it comes to quaint movie theaters there are two single screen theaters within a short walking distance of my house. Well, one has been closed down for a bit of time now, but not when I was younger. The one that is still active does play the old classics from time to time, but usually late at night.

I can't say I miss drive ins, but that is because I have never been to one. I would like to, but… There may, MAY, be one left in the entire bloody city. And we don't have a car anymore. And there is something near us called theater under the stars where they inflate a giant screen in a park and people bring blankets and come and watch it. A really nice experience. I bet that is sorta what Drive ins were like.

And drat. Now I want to see the Lord of the Rings trilogy in theaters again!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
wordweaver_four at 3:50PM, May 26, 2011
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3D should do what it's done every other time it was tried in the last 50 years, die a horrible, agonizing, puss oozing death. Let IMax carry the torch with empty theaters at 35 bucks a seat for another 20 years. Did you guys see the travesty they had the gall to name “Clash of the Titans”?

Which brings me to the subject of CGI. I'm not going to say that it has to go, but it has made directors and special effects dudes very lazy.

“Okay guys, in this scene we're gonna have an alien pop out behind the hyperdrive chamber in front of Bill, then the alien's little mouth inside it's bigger mouth will shoot out and suck out Bill's eyeball.”

“Alright, great, we'll get to work on the hyperdrive set, electrical shit will be arcing and this really cool…”

“Whoa, wait a minute Al, that sound like a lot of fuckin work. Let's just do the scene in front of a blue screen. We'll edit all that in later.”

“Um, okay, then I guess I'll get to work on the alien. He's gonna have like this long ass head, no eyes, a wicked sharp tail, and all thi…”

“Actually, Al. We're just gonna edit in the alien with a computer too. Bill will be in front of the blue screen and reacting to something that isn't there. Soo… yeah, I guess we don't need you.”

“So the only thing in this scene that is going to be real is Bill?”

“Wow, yeah, yer right, that is stupid. Bill, yer fired.”

“Screw this crap, I'm going to work as a stunt coordinator on the next Transporter movie.”

Used to be you would wonder how a certain stunt or special effect was pulled off. Did they use miniatures? Stop motion? Did they really jump that train over that massive ravine? Did they blow up a real building? Nowadays there is only one answer. Sorta takes the magic out of the movies.

I've seen where they set up a screen in a park before, it's still not quite the same as a drive in. Used to be you would pick the friend with the biggest car to go, chances were you could fit 2 or 3 friends in the trunk and sneak them in for free. Plus bringing in your own drinks and snacks was a breeze when you had a large vehicle. At one time there was a speaker at every parking spot that was attached to a cord that you could put in your window. It had a volume control, but you still had crappy mono sound. Later on the theaters had a small FM broadcast antenna, you tuned your radio to the correct frequency and voila, instant stereo. There are still a few of them around, but not many. Usually they only manage to survive in more rural areas, away from the megaplexes. They had quite a few shortcomings against them: Rain, snow, very hot weather, very cold weather, could only show movies when it was dark, etc. Typically they closed down in the winter months, and since they weren't exactly gold mines when they were open, few of them survive. They are an interesting throwback to the days of hot rods, rock and roll, and poodle skirts.

Back in the 90s a company named Landmark bought up a number of struggling mom and pop theaters across the country. They reimaged them as Arts Theaters and began to show classic movies and independent films. Many of them do well nowadays, but the theaters have a hoity-toity feel with espresso machines and high priced imported treats. They still have the charm, but the family atmosphere is gone. The one in my hometown continues to survive in that way.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 11:53PM, May 26, 2011
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CGI is fine. When used in moderation and done well. When the hand puppet looks more real than the CGI monster, there is a problem. When there is obviously little to no actual interaction going on, there is a problem. Blah. At least try to make it bloody convincing.

I saw Clash of the Titans and enjoyed it as the mindless, predictable, action movie it is. But. I didn't see it in 3D. Just not worth it. And I also believe graphics doesn't make a good film (on its own anyway). That was one of my main complaints against Avatar. No, I didn't see that in 3D either. Why? I, again, don't think graphics make a good film on their own. I also rented it. But, yes, the visuals were interesting and the acting was, for the most part, actually decent. The rest of it, including the scriptwriting (which undermined the acting), was pretty shitty.

Nothing will be the same as a drive in except a drive in. But the theater under the stars idea is a neat one. And ever think that the sneaking in 2-3 friends for free may have undermined the industry? Hmm? So it was your fault they went out of business! (Nah, I'm kidding, there are good reasons for them going out of business: Economics).

The theater I usually go to isn't quite Mom and Pop I suppose, but I don't know if it is Landmark either. But the one that closed down (which I used to go to) was a Mom and Pop kinda place.

Anyway, I'm sure that there are good things about theaters nowadays as well. Moaning about the past is all well and good, but I'm certain that there are good things about the present as well.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 2:29PM, May 31, 2011
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CGI has destroyed all discipline amongst film makers.
I am sure I've said this before, but I will say it again.
CGI allows movie makers to put whatever they can imagine on screen, but it has made them lazy about hiding their methods.
They don't care if you can tell when actors are real and when they are pretend.
They splash CGI across the screen as if they are proud to show off that they can work a computer.
They don't care if it looks fake or obvious, they just plaster it on there.
Special effects from years ago (like in Aliens) still look awesome now as they always did. But comparatively resent films featuring CGI already look like bollocks because movie makers mistake CGI for a free ticket to stick whatever they want on screen with no restraint!

As for drive in movies…when I was in Utah about 3-4 years ago we used to go to the local drive in all the time, it was really busy! So I am certain those places still exist in the US.

And I have yet to see a film in 3D. It just doesn't interest me.
How does having shit coming out the screen make a movie better?
Was anyone watching Terminator 2 and thinking-
“Yeah, this is good…but I wish shit was poking out the screen at me!”
I want to see films about stories and characters, not go on a bloody theme part ride!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 10:39PM, May 31, 2011
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I agree with Hark.

3D… erch. More immersive they say? (Is that a word?)… well… No. I dunno. I saw Alice In Wonderland in 3D (not for the 3D, I think it was only in 3D at that place…). Sure, the movie was fine, (and we had special gift pass tickets), but the 3D didn't make it any better. 3D is a money grab. Plain and simple.

So…

Is anyone out there going to defend 3D and CGI? Anybody? Oh… come on… please?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 9:52AM, June 1, 2011
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What amazes me is that we can find people to defend freakin' Pocohontus, but we cant find anyone to defend CGI and 3D!
Maybe we are all just old cranky bastards round here, complaining about how bad things are and how much better they were back in the good old days.

I know I am!

For more Harkovast related goings on, go to the Harkovast Forum
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 1:40PM, June 1, 2011
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Ahem. The bad guy in Pocahontas was a British character, voiced by an American who sounded like himself. The same voice actor has done several good characters in addition to Ratcliffe (Like the Archdeacon in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, who was a good guy in the Disney version because Frollo was a judge, and not a member of the Church). Sure, Pocahontas was grossly historically inaccurate. But it was still a good children's film.

Also, both sides were made out to be jackasses. Which, historically, they kinda were. But all fairly redeemable.

Oh and they took the “Manitou” idea and blew it up to epic proportions. I mean, the wind now makes people bilingual. And there is a talking tree.

Then there was the Brave New World film. Oh my god. Can people not stop making there be some kind of Romantic connection between Smith and Pocahontas? No! There was none! Zippo! Zero! Zilch! Nada! (Christian Bale played John Rolfe in that one, and he was also in the Disney version as the annoying Redheaded Kid).

Anyway, I kinda miss the quality of some of the old Disney films. Sure, they've done some good stuff recently (like Tangled)… but Princess and the Frog was… well I have yet to see it, but I've heard it is lacking something. Also: grossly historically inaccurate.

So, yes, that is one of those things I miss… and… Lion King 3D? REALLY? Oh my goodness!
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Tiberius at 3:05PM, June 1, 2011
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*magically appears*

Did someone call for a young Optimist?

CGI is like the internet, when it first came out, everyone started getting overly excited about it. With the internet, we got the dot com crash. With CGI, we got star wars- episode 1-3. CGI is not as needlessly used as it used to. Most of the best movies use practical effects when they can. The dark knight had very little CGI. The Hospital blowing up? that was an actual building they demolished just for that scene. The chase scene with the armored cars, and the bat bike? miniatures, and RC's. the 18 wheeler flipping over? An 18 wheeler flipping over (it had a hydraulic hammer that kicked it's back end into the air). CGI hasn't killed practical effects, it's just allowed directors to do more then they used too. Most bad use of CGI effects were early on, before , and for a short time after peiople got used to CGI effects. once people got used to them, they weren't special, and people started complaining, now it's toned down.

3D. I like 3D. I saw Avatar in 3D. The only part of Avatar I liked was some of the action, and the graphics, including the 3D. if I imagine that it's a Nat Geo documentary about Pandora, then it's almost watchable. Avatar is also a great example of CGI Effects done right. the landscapes are beautiful, and could not be done on that scale with practical efffects. I'm giving Avatar too much credit, so moving on.
Toy Story 3. The 3D worked. is 3D needed? no, but it still added something to the movie. 3D can add depth to a movie, make it feel more real, more immersive. When done right (like by Pixar), textures pop out a bit, you feel your watching a world with depth, not a movie, or recording. it removes one more barrier to you disbelief. Not all movies do it right, but when done right, it's very good, and makes the movie more enjoyable.
The post apocalyptic genre- one of the most optimistic of all genres.
Why?
Because we somehow survived the end of everything, and have built a pretty nice town to boot, sometimes with pig powered electricity!
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RED_NED at 3:35PM, June 1, 2011
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I haven't seen a 3D film, but I think the main problems are they make a 3D film in both normal and 2D, with post production 3D being the worst offender. The glasses and the darkness of the film are probably gonna force the technology to change (they are making 3D glasses-less laptops) or I think it will be just a fad because of the inconvenience. That said, 3D films when they work are apparently awesome, and anything that improves the movie going experience has got to be a good thing, especially against piracy which things like dvd extras did well to help dvd sales.

CGI is a tricky one, because nowadays it is being used everywhere for everything. One thing I really like is the accessability though. It lets TV shows do a lot more with a much smaller budget, especially kids stuff. Doctor Who here in the UK is a prime example – its full of diabolically bad cgi, but you dont care because its just a TV show. When you get to films though people tend to get a bit picky.

CGI is best used for an entire film – just watch any pixar film, or as supporting special effects (like fire/blood/explosions) and inanimate objects like space ships. As much as people hated the transformers films, the transformers themselves looked fantastic. You may hate the style or the animations, but they look really good. A model instead would take ages to make and animate and would look shit. Some of the best organic CGI I've really seen are the aliens from District 9, but they are insects so look less organic I guess.

We've had terrible effects for years, like obvious painted backdrops, super imposed models (the undoctored original star wars films were bad for this), dummies for humans that looked nothing like the actors they were trying to be – Terminator 1 and 2 had bits that make you laugh out loud at the foam arnie heads. Alien 1 had the android head obviously a manikin on the table. Remember ED-209? Stop motion ‘For The Win’, It still looks like balls today though.

Its wierd, because although these old effects are a ‘real thing’, We seem to give this a free pass because it really exists, even though we know it looks nothing like what its meant to be. Take the original Clash of the Titans, fun now more as a nostalgic piece where you marvel at how the monsters were made (kinda like cgi today) rather than really thinking the monsters are actually there.
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Canuovea at 9:01PM, June 1, 2011
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I've already said that CGI can be good… when used properly. Problem is that most people don't do so.

I'm sure there are some good reasons for 3D… but… I just haven't seen a lot of em… But RED NED is right. Some of the worst stuff is the post production stuff. Ech.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
wordweaver_four at 2:41AM, June 5, 2011
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Oh, cool! This thread has some legs!

RED_NED
We've had terrible effects for years, like obvious painted backdrops, super imposed models (the undoctored original star wars films were bad for this), dummies for humans that looked nothing like the actors they were trying to be – Terminator 1 and 2 had bits that make you laugh out loud at the foam arnie heads. Alien 1 had the android head obviously a manikin on the table. Remember ED-209? Stop motion ‘For The Win’, It still looks like balls today though.

Yeah, but…

ALL THOSE MOVIES WERE AWESOME!

Term 2 had a few “meh” moments, but for the most part those movies kicked ass. Android head aside, Alien freaked me the fuck out. Besides, the alien itself was pure righteousness incarnate. The face grabber, the acid blood, the industrial, clunky futuristic setting which contrasted with the streamlined vision of the future at the time, the movie is one of the best ever made. CGI would not have made it a better movie, just like CGI didn't make the Star Wars movies any better.

The catch phrase “I'd buy that fer a dollar” will live in infamy. ED-209 and a “Detroit” that looks suspiciously like Dallas takes nothin away from RoboCop. Never has, never will.

This does though….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pOoSe2K5DU&feature=related

I donno, I guess it's just that lazy writing has sorta joined itself at the hip with CGI and as a result has been expected to carry the movie. 3D is poised to do the same.

Just make good movies damnit!!!!!!!!!!!

And the CGI in Transformers was absolutely nut sucking balls. I had no clue what they were doing. Coulda thrown tinfoil and hot wheels at the camera and called it robots fighting and I wouldn't have noticed the difference.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
harkovast at 5:06AM, June 6, 2011
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Transformers robots looked like mechano thrown in a tumble drier.

Special effects being weak clearly isn't enough to sink a good movie.
But good special effects are not enough to raise up a bad movie.

The crutch of CGI has become so over arching that film makers happily use it in place of not only more subtle and tactful visuals but to cover for their lazy, dirivitive plots.

The robots in transformers look like shite, but its the lazy, jumbled plot plot, uninteresting characters, stupid comedy bits and lack luster ending that ruin the movie.
The shitty robots are just the crappy icing on the crud cake.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
wordweaver_four at 12:50AM, June 7, 2011
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Given enough time every topic will eventually become another “Transformers movie sux” thread.

We do a lot of hatin on recent movies and their CGI/3D shit. Let's hate on some truly forgettable older movies.

King Kong (1976) Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange star in this remake of the classic 1933 version by the same name. The screenplay was written by Lorenzo Semple Jr, who brought us such classics as Batman: The Movie (1966) and Flash Gordon (1980), so you know it's going to be campy by intention. The movie starts out with an oil company expedition setting out to find out if there is oil on a recently discovered island. It had remained hidden from the outside world because it was always surrounded by a cloud bank. As everybody knows, clouds were completely impenetrable prior to the 70s. They expect there to be oil there because by 1976 all the oil in the rest of the world was completely gone, so by process of elimination it must be on the forbidden island. A stowaway hippie (Bridges) tells them that there's a big ol monkey on the island. Jessica Lange shows up on a lifeboat. She's the sole survivor of a yacht that exploded because everyone else was jerking off to a porno. Swear to God. They get to the island and find a bunch of natives and a big wall. The natives wanna sacrifice the chick to their god so…

You know what, you know this story. Kong takes chick, guys rescue chick, guys capture Kong cuz the oil on the island is crap and unusable.

For whatever reason, prolly because stop motion wasn't stupid looking enough, they went with the very advanced “dude in a rubber suit” angle. The guy playing Kong doesn't really make much effort to actually act like an ape (with the exception of some chest beating, which shows off the rubber suit very nicely), so you can't even trick yourself into liking how Kong looks. The rest of the movie pretty much plays out like a Godzilla flick.

Although it does lead to the funniest line in the movie when Bridges points to a bunch of toppled trees and says: “Does that look like it was done by a guy in a monkey suit?”

Yes, Jeff, yes it does.

Kong climbs up the newly completed World Trade towers in the end of the movie, which is well over 2 boring hours after the opening credits rolled! Kong gets shot up by helicopters and falls down. There's a lot less splat then you would have expected. Lange cries, pictures are taken, the credits roll…

The End

But wait! That's not the end! The most heinous thing about this movie is there is a sequel!

King Kong Lives! Called King Kong II in the international market. Released ten years later King Kong Lives is untold times worse then King Kong. As impossible as it is to believe, it's true. Kong doesn't die after falling from the towers, instead he has been in a coma under the care of Linda Hamilton. I'm not making this up! I swear to God this movie was made! Kong's heart is starting to fail so they give him a mechanical one, but during the operation he has lost so much blood that they have to do a transfusion. But how do you do a transfusion on Kong? Why you simply find another Kong that how! Seriously, I'm not making any of this up! So they find Lady Kong to save his life. (Why not Queen Kong? No idea, maybe she wasn't of royal blood) Of course King Kong wakes up and the two of them break out, go on a rampage, and do the nasty. At one point one of em steps on a Lamborghini and that's the high point of the movie. Lady Kong is captured and King Kong falls down again and “dies”. But wait! Oh shit! King isn't dead! He breaks Lady out again, they get chased around and shot at, Lady has a baby (a regular size dude in a rubber suit, they don't even try to make it look like an infant, just an off the shelf monkey suit), and then King dies not because he got shot a billion times but because his mechanical heart is failing. Then Lady Kong makes it to Kong's home island somehow with baby. Fuck if I know, they don't tell you.

Oddly the musical score is very good, but it can't carry the movie.

Oh yeah, and Lady Kong has boobs. No, really, she does. Big ol rubbery knockers.

I SWEAR TO GOD! THEY MADE THAT MOVIE!!!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 10:12AM, June 7, 2011
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ahem.



But… but… would CGI make it better?
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
wordweaver_four at 5:45PM, June 7, 2011
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Canuovea




HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ahem.



But… but… would CGI make it better?

I donno, did CGI make the 2005 version of Kong any better?

As much as people make fun of the 76 Kong now, it actually did quite well in both the US and international market. People actually expected a sequel, anticipated it even.

Kong Lives was universally despised and was the biggest flop of the year (And that was the same year that Howard the Duck was released). Unlike the 76 movie it wasn't even accidentally funny, it was just awful. Nothing could have saved the movie.
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Renard at 2:27PM, June 12, 2011
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A big part of the problem with films now is that so many of the ones that I really enjoy wouldn't have been made today.

A good portion of the crap that they peddle these days has weak story, ill-conceived or off-the-shelf characters, and heavy use of special effects. While every film is not the same, you can almost always look at films within a certain genre and pick out very similar plot devices (one of the many reasons I think romantic comedies should DIE).

There is a reason for this however. People have shown that they'll pay money to watch that stuff, and so the studios, concerned with their bottom line, continue to produce what the people have proven they'll watch. They won't dare deviate too much from their formulas, for fear that they could end up losing money on their investment. At the end of the day in entertainment industry is still an industry, so it's still a business.

And by the way, as I understand it the biggest age demographic is teens to mid-twenties. And most of them don't give a flying fuck what they watch, as long as it looks cool and is exciting.

And as for 3D, I think the picture quality suffers severely even when they film it with the intent of showing it in 3D. I can get the same image quality (that you see with the glasses on) in my photographs by moving my camera halfway through a frame, but you wouldn't call that an added feature.
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 11:03AM, June 13, 2011
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As far as the biggest demographic being teens to mid twenties… yeah, and “tweens”, which explains Twilight. OH, dear GOD NO! I swear, I only tried watching the first five minutes in order to be able to properly criticize it! But I couldn't get that far. It was bloody (heh) impossible!

But Twilight bashing is getting old fast anyway. I think everyone knows it's crap now.

I doubt CGI could have improved Kong Lives, just from the description. I was making a joke!
last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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