Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category
A new crop of filmmakers based in Los Angeles are shaking up the horror genre with low-budget but cerebral thrillers made without any help from Hollywood LA Weekly reports that films like VHS, Cheap Thrills, and You’re Next were made on the cheap but are starting to attract mainstream attention. VHS played at the Sundance Film Festival, and You’re Next has been picked up by Lionsgate for a wide release this summer.
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures is a documentary released in 2001 about Stanley Kubrick. Narrated by Tom Cruise, the film was directed by his long-time assistant Jan Harlan and features interviews of many actors from Kubrick’s films as well as other noted directors like Spielberg and Scorsese. The entire thing is available on YouTube:
Oscar-winning Les Misérables is the latest film to be given the ‘honest trailer’ treatment.
From the Screen Junkies team, the video pokes fun and points out flaws in the well-received musical in trailer form.
This article also appears on As We Now Think, a site edited by the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes at Arizona State University. ASU is a partner in Future Tense with Slate and the New America Foundation.
Bond is back. But you can forget about stale debates over Connery vs. Moore, Cold War vs. post-Soviet plots, or which Bond babe you’d like to be “attempting re-entry” with. You can even forget about Aston Martins and the veritable museum of Q’s gadgets. There is something far more exciting to discuss: Skyfall features a technology that we should be vigorously pursuing, that is technically plausible, and that could save thousands of lives a year.
‘Star Wars’ figures, dominoes newest additions to Toy Hall of Fame | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com
The Force was strong with these two.
Inducted into the Hall of Fame, “Star Wars” action figures were. But there was another — the centuries old game dominoes.
Both toys will join Barbie, Mr. Potato Head, marbles and the Teddy Bear in the National Toy Hall of Fame. They were introduced with an intergalactic cast at a mid-morning news conference Thursday at The Strong.
“Both are small, but very powerful vehicles of play,” said Christopher Bensch, vice president of collections at The Strong.
“Star Wars” action figures were introduced by Kenner in the 1970s. The success of those toys spurred the industry to create more toys linked to movies, television series and comic books. The toys also were finalists in 2011.
“Every kid knows these toys,” said Hall of Fame Curator Patricia Hogan. “They are a force to be reckoned with.”
From Russia With Love was released almost 50 years ago.
I point that out not to make anyone reading this feel old (or young), but because I revisited the second James Bond picture on a big screen recently, in a small but packed Manhattan theater, and it made me painfully aware that for a good many people, movies aren’t art or experience, they’re product. And products date.
Some of the patrons seemed truly, deeply, un-ironically into the film, but many more seemed to be treating it as a nostalgia trip. The very qualities that made the film seem modern and exciting when it came out amused them. The film’s lack of newness prevented connection with the audience.
Scratch that. It wasn’t the film’s fault. It was the audience’s.
I hate to be the guy who says “You’re watching it wrong,” but these people definitely were.
There might be a lot of factors contributing to the viewers’ failure to engage (surely including lack of film literacy), but ultimately, that’s their decision and their loss.
It’s up to the individual viewer to decide to connect or not connect with a creative work. By “connect,” I mean connect emotionally and imaginatively—giving yourself to the movie for as long as you can, and trying to see the world through its eyes and feel things on its wavelength.
That wasn’t happening here.
I heard constant tittering and guffawing, all with the same message: “Can you believe people once thought this film was daring? It’s so old-fashioned.” The arch double-entendres; the bloodless violence, long takes, and longer scenes; the alpha male attitudes toward women and sex; John Barry’s jazzy, brassy, borderline-hysterical score: all these things elicited gentle mockery. They laughed at Sean Connery’s hairy chest. They laughed at some obvious stunt-double work. When Bond flirted with the secretary Moneypenny and put his face close to hers, a guy a couple of rows in front of me stage-whispered to his friend, “Sexual harassment!”
France made waves in the P2P industry by implementing a controversial graduated response program in 2010 that was designed to reduce the amount of illegal downloads by establishing progressively-harsher penalties on file sharers. The results were strong, as shown in Hadopi’s report, with file-sharing activities traffic slashed by two-thirds in 2011. However, the goal of increasing revenues in the French music and movie industries did not materialize and revenues fell in both industries.
The French music market fell 3.9% in 2011 while the video market fell 2.7%.
As Ernesto of TorrentFreak says, “If we follow the logic employed by the anti-piracy lobby during the past decade, this means that piracy is actually boosting sales.”
The declines in revenue were inevitable and will continue as technology makes it less-expensive to be entertained. Legal downloads and streaming services do not generate the revenue nor the profits that DVDs and CDs once did. The obsessive pursuits by governments, lobbyists, and anti-piracy organizations are wastes of energy when the real challenge the industries face are evolutionary. They are simply not adapting fast enough.
Piracy has an effect on music and movie sales in the same way that smoking has an effect on a person’s health. The problem is that the industries have a much bigger problem with understanding the way that their customers operate today and onward into tomorrow. If piracy is like smoking than lack of innovation is like a bullet wound. When you’re getting shot, you don’t take time to quit smoking.
Hollywood hasn’t given up trying to persuade consumers to buy and collect movies or on digital rights management.
Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox are partnering with Sandisk and Western Digital to develop antipiracy devices in an effort to secure 1080p high-definition movies once they’re in the wild.
The companies announced today that they have formed a new consortium called Secure Content Storage Association (SCSA). The group will create the standards which they hope will be adopted by makers of Blu-ray players, tablets, and smart TVs. As of yet, the SCSA doesn’t have a device to show us but is working to launch a product later this year, according to a Warner spokesman.
You may not be the only one at your Oscar party tonight pretending to have seen all nine Best Picture nominees: 2011 moviegoing attendance was the lowest in 15 years.
Can you guess why? Oh, man, I know this one. Let’s ask Hollywood.com’s Paul Dergarabedian.
The economy, that’s one of the things I think that comes into play. When people are really having a hard time putting their money together, you know, filling their wallet, you have to pick and choose what you’re going to spend your money on.
Right, the economy. It was on the tip of my tongue.
Also, there were a lot of shitty movies, something this piece kind of glosses over. And either way, attendance in 2012 is already on the rise, so we’re either making better films or recovering economically. (Or spending our money more frivolously, if you want to be cynical about it. I did pay $18 to see Star Wars: Episode I in 3D.)
But wait a minute — cut! Thanks to some new popular films, plus mild weather and a whatever-it-is that movie marketers can’t bottle (but worship), movie attendance in 2012 is UP.
I don’t think I will ever be able to muster as much enthusiasm for box office numbers as this author did in her transition. But hey, at least we’ll all be able to do a more thorough job complaining about what doesn’t get nominated next year.