Random Thread for August 2017

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“The children start school now in August. They say it has to do with air-conditioning, but I know sadism when I see it.”
Rick Bragg, My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South

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20 responses »

  1. The Dark Tower actually has a lower fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes currently (15%) than the Chips remake. Yikes!

    Well, at least it’s got a higher RT than The Emoji Movie (currently ranked the 6th worst film of all time on IMDB).

  2. The Emoji Movie backlash is absurd, btw. It’s bad, but as I’ve said before – it’s not even the worst movie released by Sony’s animation division this year. People are going way over the top.

  3. Back on ‘The Dark Tower’, I notice that none other than our own Rob Hunter is one of the few Fresh ratings on the film and even his take is only mildly positive

    Also, this seems to just underline that Matthew McConaughey’s early 2010s renaissance has totally stalled.

  4. So Disney is pulling their new theatrical films from Netflix in 2019 (Disney/Pixar, Netflix is in negotiations to keep Star Wars and Marvel features) and the streaming service responds by poaching ABC’s biggest producer.

    This is going to be an interesting war. No doubt that losing those films hurts Netflix but ABC has entire weeknight of Shondaland programming. Massive blow.

  5. There will be no wide releases over Labor Day weekend (first time in 25 years!)

    Since that would make for a pretty anticlimactic Ageboc finale, I’m considering keeping things going until 9/8 and the release of IT.

  6. ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ director Tobe Hooper passes away at age 74. With George Romero passing away only a few weeks ago, it’s certainly been a sad time for fans of 70s/80s horror films.

  7. Kind of terrible timing in that there’s been renewed speculation re: who actually directed Poltergeist in the last couple of months. I hope that didn’t trouble him.

  8. I hadn’t realized, until reading his obituary, that he directed Salem’s Lot, which was very good. So it’s not like he couldn’t direct a mainstream production.

  9. Yeah, saw Salem’s Lot several years back; was pretty good.

    Despite its success (or perhaps because of), Poltergeist probably did more harm than good to Hooper’s career because of the constant directing debate over it.

  10. The general rumor is that addiction destroyed what should have been his creative prime. It would explain the sharp decline in quality from his early features to the shlock he was producing from the mid-80’s-on. I’m not sure if he ever specifically commented on it.

    The Poltergeist thing seems pretty clear. Spielberg sought a collaborator to bring his vision to the screen because he was busy prepping ET and locked into a deal with Universal. Over the course of production, it became clear that Hooper was not capable of doing what Spielberg wanted (for whatever reason) and he took over the film. Hooper was still yelling “action!” but you’ve had too many crew members and actors coming forward over the years confirming that Spielberg was the guy setting up shots and actually directing the actors to say it’s Hooper’s film. Hooper was apparently not even involved in post.

    I’ve never seen Salem’s Lot, should probably change that.

  11. So, this will be the worst summer for movies in over a decade, box office wise. Any ideas on why? I don’t think this year has worse movies than other years (last year Suicide Squad, arguably one of the worst movies of any year, led the box office). Is it because people are tired of sequels? Is this another thing the millennials are killing?

  12. I ‘m always a believer that your greatest strength can become your greatest weakness and I think the constant reliance on franchises and endless sequels came back to bite them. Sure, these film franchsies have a core audience who can be relied upon to turn out but it also shuts off that section of the audience who aren’t a part of it and if there are sequels everywhere to film series they don’t follow, eventually they just don’t go to the cinema.

    Also, maybe this is drawing a long bow, but I think the heightened political climate in the USA is playing a role. In similar times 50 years ago, audiences flocked to films they felt are a reflection of how they feel politically and socially but I reckon there are precious few now, especially in the corporatized blockbuster cinema. And this is why a film like ‘Get Out’ (still in the Top 10 BO films of the year) broke out, because it felt timely and current.

    As well, I think the ‘TV is better than film’ mantra that has been going on for a few years now is having an impact. Personally, the drooling over seemingly every second TV series now that pops up on Netflix gets a bit tiresome and feels like a bit of virtue-signalling “look at the sophisticated show I’m right in to.” But I think it’s definitely had a social impact and cinema is now seen as less essential and lower quality by a segment of the younger population.

  13. All good points. Franchise fatigue definitely explains Cars 3, Pirates and Apes underperformance.

    But in terms of the films that are perceived to have been the biggest disappointments of Summer financially (things like Ghost in the Shell, Valerian, The Mummy, Transformers, Dark Tower, Baywatch, King Arthur, The Nut Job 2, etc) it’s all about quality. Combined those movies have an average Rotten Tomatoes score of 15%.

    If just one of those films weren’t a trainwreck it could have added a couple of hundred million more to the Summer box office. More than one and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

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