Hollywood Doesn't Get It

Discussion in 'Bill Archer's Guestbook' started by Bill Archer, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
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    A good summary, I think.

    GM keeps blaming everything under the sun for the fact that they're losing money. They refuse to consider that they just don't make products that people actually want to buy.

    Same with Hollywood. Moviemakers only want to preach to us about how bad we all are, how smart THEY are, and how America is nothing but a bunch of rubes.

    Well fine then: make all of these movies you like. Then put on fancy and expensive clothes and give each other awards for how terrific you all are.

    Just don't be wondering why everybody thinks you're a bunch of effete, narcissistic dimwits.


    http://tammybruce.com/archives/2005/12/and_hollywood_w.php
     
  2. FeverNova1

    FeverNova1 New Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    Plano
    What do you expect from a bunch of substance abusers that have no family values, who constantly hook-up with whomever they're starring with in the next flick, and who have now decided to worship a multiple killer that started one of the most violent West Coast gangs ever?

    Hey it’s Hollywood!
     
  3. YITBOS

    YITBOS Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    1.3 hours from CCS
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
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    I realize that Tammy Bruce is one of those "don't call me a chick, chicks" and a lesbian... but she is starting to become a looker.


    Also, I think I've agreed with pretty much everything she has written.
     
  4. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    Believe it or not, I agree with most of what you wrote, Bill. I can't stand how Hollywood congratulates itself over and over again. (Especially disgusting was that Oscars a couple of years ago in which they repeatedly patted themselves on the back for giving two--TWO!--Oscars to black actors. That's hardly the stuff of John Brown.)

    But there are two pretty considerable problems with the article:

    (1) Hollywood has noticed which way the wind is blowing, so instead of inundating us with crappy action/fantasy blockbusters, they're starting to try to inundate us with crappy action/fantasy blockbusters with Christian subtexts.

    (2) If I'm not mistaken, every movie that the author listed was an independent. That kind of kills her attack on Hollywood.

    Brokeback Mountain is supposed to be fantastic; even the Wall Street Journal loved it. And Ted Cikowski would no doubt be pissed that the writer takes a dig at David Cronenberg (who, for what it's worth, is Canadian and shoots his films [IIRC] in Canada).
     
  5. Owen Gohl

    Owen Gohl Member

    Jun 21, 2000
    As I often hear that the only line that matters in Hollywood is the bottom line, I decided to go to IMDB and check the production costs and grosses of the films Bruce references. The first number is the production cost (sometimes estimated), the second is the domestic gross through last weekend. The numbers are in millions, rounded to the nearest million:

    Good Night and Good Luck - 8 / 22
    The Constant Gardner - 25 / 34
    A History of Violence - 32 / 31
    Match Point - 15 / not reported
    Brokeback Mountain - not reported / 1

    So these films do make money but not much money. Several certainly have to depend on overseas receipts to make significant profits.

    Are these flms really independent productions? Well, that's open to question. Again, per IMDB, here are the production companies:

    Good Night and Good Luck - Warner Independent Pictures (7 others listed)
    The Constant Gardner - Epsilon Motion Pictures (3 others listed)
    A History of Violence - New Line Productions (1 other listed)
    Match Point - British Broadcasting Corporaton (4 others listed)
    Brokeback Mountain - Paramount (5 others listed)

    Obviously the production game has gotten very complex, making it pretty difficult to determine just what constitutes an independently produced film. I assume New Line Productions is a subsidiary of New Line Cinema, which is listed as a distributor. Warner Brothers, a distributor of Good Night and Good Luck, presumably controls Warner Independent. Epsilon Films sounds obscure, until you check their credits and find they've produced over 60 pictures since 2000, including Mr and Mrs Smith, Vanity Fair, Down With Love, and Million Dollar Baby. Match Point lists DreamWorks SKG as a distributor.

    In my opinion, Blair Witch Project qualifies as an independent production. These five don't. They weren't made by MGM or RKO but we are far from the simpler days of Louis B Mayer and Howard Hughes. While these films appear to have been made outside "the system", I doubt any of them would have been made in the absence of that system.

    Production companies aside, in the public mind what's playing at the multi-plex comes from Hollywood. Some of these films weren't made there but the attitudes they reflect are dominant there.
     
  6. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    Good point, and I agree.

    Not so sure I agree with this, because I certainly don't think that there's one dominant attitude in Hollywood other than that which you mentioned above: the only line that matters is the bottom line. I would guess that the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe cost more to make than all of these pictures combined, and it will certainly end up grossing more.

    I'm not saying that you're doing this Owen, but it's easy to accuse Hollywood of not representing the values of America and to ignore the fact that "traditional value-based Americans" have done a remarkably poor job voting with their wallets. Terminator and American Pie didn't make hundreds of millions from secular leftists only.

    One thing to add: if Republicans and conservatives can't stand what Hollywood is producing, then they need to start breeding and encouraging more than a token number of writers, actors, and directors. My experience growing up (as a young Republican, even) was that older Reeps generally considered the arts to be fruity. (Everything creative I did, I did in near secrecy, at least until I reached a certain age.)
     
  7. FeverNova1

    FeverNova1 New Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    Plano
    Breeding? My pocketbook can't handle anymore kids.

    I find a hard time believing that you had to hide your creativity (unless it was flower arrangement). I never had to hide my art (in fact, my schoolmates were impressed) and I was encouraged by my conservative father who was also very talented.

    My experience as an adult in the design industry tells me to keep your politics to yourself if you're conservative. Probably because a large percentage of designers are gay/liberal.
     
  8. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    I did, although obviously not from everyone (kind of hard to do that when you work on the high school arts publication).

    I suppose more important is the puzzlement that conservatives (often, not always) express about interest in the arts. I have a deep and lifelong love of poetry, and although my parents supported my decision to study it seriously, they were, at first, quite amazed that anyone would want to study such a thing instead of, say, accounting or finance.

    There's nothing shocking about what I'm saying. There are thousands of literary journals in the United States. Most are apolitical, but of those that are political, I can think of only one (The New Criterion) that is right wing. (The National Review and the WSJ, of course, also have arts sections--often very good arts sections, I might add--but I'm talking specifically about literary journals.) If conservatives want more representation in the arts, they're certainly not asserting themselves very well.

    I'm curious: what did you study, and what kind of design do you do?
     
  9. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    Maybe "hiding" is a pretty extreme word. I certainly didn't show many people what I wrote growing up.
     
  10. FeverNova1

    FeverNova1 New Member

    Sep 17, 2004
    Plano
    Agreed.


    I can't say on this forum. I might get beat up.
     
  11. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    :D
     
  12. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'd be interested in which moveis you're referring to here.

    Of course there's "Passion of the Christ" but that hardly has a "Christian subtext" - it's religiosity is pretty much up front. The Cricifixion scene is a dead giveaway.

    As for the "action" genre, they can't make those movies any more because the bad guys in the world today are Islamofacists, and Hollywood doesn't want to look like they're actually agreeing that there's some kind of threat there.

    So they're trying to make movies with African terrorists or Sweish terrorists or whatever. It's absurd and nobody is buying it.

    The one that's really gotten to me is the George Clooney/Joe McCarthy thing. Haven't seen it, don't plan on it, but for the love of Mike, there's no new ground there. And in any case, it's mostly fantasy, and never bothers to actually refute even one single solitary case McCarthy made. (This would largely be because they can't)

    In any case, to me the crux of the problem is that Hollywood doesn't make movies for the masses; rather, they make movies to impress each other. They live in such an insular community - socially, politically and professionally - that the only thing they really care about is how the people in their social circle feel about the movies they make.

    As for the whole "independent" film vs. "studio" film, the movie business is drastically different than what it was. These days it's completely star driven. You sign a star or stars and THEN you raise money to make the thing. It's virtually ALL done outside a "studio" format.

    This has given the stars not only absurd paychecks but most disturbingly absurd levels of power. Now it's Tom Cruise or Brad Pitt who determines whether a movie gets made, not an executive at Paramount.
     
  13. bojendyk

    bojendyk New Member

    Jan 4, 2002
    South Loop, Chicago
    I was using hyperbole, but I have read that several similar projects are in the pipeline, due in no small part to the success of Passion. Some have argued that The Polar Express has a Christian subtext, but I haven't seen it because it looks like a video game.

    I know I've seen examples to the contrary, but I can't remember what they are. But yes, this is generally true, at least the part about Islamic terrorists. My guess is that this has more to do with a desire to suck the money out of the pockets of the Muslim audience globally than because they're trying to be PC. Hollywood could demonize commies all they wanted to, being that the Iron Curtain shut them out.

    Which is actually kind of funny, in a way. The ethnicity/creed of the terrorists is the most absurd thing in the movie? Vin Diesel jumps from a plane onto a speedboat, wrestles a machine gun from the boat's guard, engages in a firefight with another villain in a different speedboat, and then jumps the boat onto dry land (where it explodes), surviving only because he lands on top of a parade float, right next to a Playboy playmate. But I could only suspend disbelief until I saw that the bad guy was a Swede. ;)

    The right-wing attempt to rehabilitate McCarthy's reputation is perverse. That said, Clooney's last movie, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, was terrible. It was all camera tricks and gimmicks, just sound and fury.

    I'm sorry, Bill, but what planet are you on? Yes, it's an insular community, but . . . Titanic? Forrest Gump? Harry Potter? Star Wars? Wedding Crashers? King Kong? If anything, they're trying too hard to appeal to the masses.

    This is certainly true. There is no shortage of dull vanity projects. There's also some real art out there.

    And as I mentioned earlier, I've read that Brokeback Mountain is excellent. Did someone finance it with the hope of beating ET's box office record? Of course not. But some savvy producer realized that there's a large segment of the population utterly indifferent to a King Kong remake, and that those people have money, too. Furthermore, sometimes, no doubt, a producer sees that a film is simply worth making because it has the potential to be wonderful.
     
  14. Smiley321

    Smiley321 Member

    Apr 21, 2002
    Concord, Ca
    I've gotta agree with the lib here. It seems like a very high percentage of the movies being made these days are simply international financing deals, get a few names, put together some excuse to have them on the big screen and then count the money.

    The production costs are squeezing out the people who might make a movie with something unorthodox and risky.
     
  15. Bill Archer

    Bill Archer BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 19, 2002
    Washington, NC
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'll take "Perverse Rehabilitations" for $400, Alex.


    As soon as you can name one single solitary person that Joe McCarthy called a Communist who was not a) actually a communist and b) working in a sensitive position in the US Government, you can feel free to say whatever you like about him.

    Until such time, you're just repeating the mythology that Hollywood and CBS have constructed around the guy and that has been force-fed to us all by the schools and the media ever since.

    I'll wait here.
     
  16. pjguldan

    pjguldan Member

    Jun 3, 2005
    Columbus
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Who is General George C. Marshall?

    (Are answers supposed to be in the form of questions? :) )
     

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