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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar Voynar@moviecitynews.com

Disney Out $200 Million on John Carter? Zing.

Here’s the story over on Reuters.

$184 MILLION box office and still $200 MILLION in the red. That is fucking insane, people. I liked John Carter, a lot, and completely disagree that it was hard to follow. My eight-year-old followed it just fine and he’s certainly not familiar with the source material. The marketing was ambiguous at best. The title was boring. Leaving the title as “Princess of Mars” probably would have made it seem inherently more interesting, although Disney would probably have drawn the ire of smart-ass, overly sensitive women like myself for calling it “Princess of Mars” — even if that was the original title — when it’s really about a man saving a woman. But whatever. “Princess of Mars” sounds like it has stuff happening. A princess in peril, a civilization — nay, a world! — in dire need of an unlikely hero! Whereas “John Carter” sounds like your boring, closeted gay uncle who likes to talk about his insect collection and has tufts of hair growing out his ears and fidgets with his change in his pants pockets incessantly.

But the reported $250 million budget boggles the mind, does it not? I get that it’s all relative, and so long as you make a profit and not a $200 million loss no one really cares. But man. You could make a lot of indie films, if you had that much money to put into a trust fund, and dole out a few films at a time. Yowza.

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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch