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BYO What Do You Watch

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18 Responses to “BYO What Do You Watch”

  1. MarkVH80 says:

    Been finding myself gravitating toward more new stuff these days, despite having shelves and shelves filled with unwatched DVDs and Blu-rays of classic/foreign/indie/doc films. Since I had kids I find myself having less and less energy for older or more taxing stuff, but I’ll try to fire one up every now and then. Have re-watched some favorite classics recently – Double Indemnity and Rear Window specifically.

  2. Hcat says:

    I found the opposite, once I had kids I went right for the older stufff as a chaser to all the kids programming. Now I just don’t have time for much. I used to watch every SPC, Focus and Searchlight I could get my hands on (and supplemented those with Magnolia and IFC as methodone waiting for new releases). Now I am way behind on films of theirs I want to see much less the meh films on their slates.

    And now it’s put on hold for the World Cup. In the past two days I have been struck with Alice Vickander size movie crushes on a Jamaican goaltender and the entire Italian squad.

  3. Pete B. says:

    Our art house theater had Double Indemnity on the big screen earlier this year. What a film! Barbara Stanwyck was a treasure.

    I am a sucker for B&W Noir from the 40s/50s. TCM’s Noir Alley is a weekly ritual.

  4. Sideshow Bill says:

    Both. I see as many new movies as possible but I also watch and rewatch old stuff all the time.

  5. movieman says:

    Has anyone seen the 1969 Dutch movie “Obsessions”?
    I never even knew the film existed until two days ago.
    It was co-written (!) by Martin Scorsese and scored (!) by Bernard Hermann.
    Never received a U.S. theatrical release, but it was released two years ago on Blu-Ray by a niche h/vid distributer.

  6. Sideshow Bill says:

    Off-topic but what a dire weekend for movies out. MIB and SHAFT are apparently terrible. Dead Don’t Die is getting mixed opinions but isn’t playing here. I’ll be staying in. So much to watch. HEAD COUNT. STARFISH. ANIARA. HIGH LIFE.

    I may make time for the original MIB. The only reaction the new one is getting from me is the desire to watch the original. It’s a perfect little miracle.

    Oh, also…I want that batshit Glenn Danzig movie in my eyeballs ASAP!

  7. movieman says:

    Really enjoyed “Late Night:” it’s like a cross between “The Mindy Project” and “The Devil Wears Prada.”
    Hadn’t expected Emma Thompson to have the bigger role, but am glad that she did. (She’s dependably great, of course.)

  8. Hcat says:

    Looking at the summer so far, struggling Godzilla and MIB, cratering X-Men, Booksmarts likely 3.5 times budget result isn’t looking too shabby anymore.

    I have a picture in my mind of someone screening the dailies of Phoenix, Alita, and the Predator in late 2017 and saying “they would do better just to sell the damn place!”

  9. Bulldog68 says:

    Talk about X-Men cratering, Rocketman, which is no box office sensation like Bohemian Rhapsody, but still doing good business however, in its 14th day of release, is topping X-Men in its 7th day of release. And Godzilla too, by the way, also on its 14th day. Wow.

    And you gotta wonder whether the wine at Will Smith’s house doesn’t taste especially good this weekend as Aladdin is laying the smack down on everything this summer apparently including MiB4. You gotta get an ego boost, no matter how humble you are when you step into the shoes of Robin Williams in arguably his most beloved and accessible role, and survive the early criticisms and predicted failure to emerge with over/under $300m, while the franchise that you help build is likely to open to about 1/2 of what the first instalment opened with some 22 years ago. Apologies to Tessa Thompson however, because I could watch her in everything.

  10. movieman says:

    Interesting that both “MIB” and “Shaft” are bombing. More sequels/reboots that aren’t hitting their targets. (Ha.)
    It seems like the only retreads working are the ones (“Aladdin,” “Endgame”) made by Disney.
    Of course, “Dumbo” stiffed, so…
    “Dark Phoenix” was a major dud, but it was made by Fox before the Disney acquisition.
    “Late Night” isn’t doing great either, but should have OK legs at least (hope so anyway).
    Very strange b.o. year.

    I’m sure “TS 4,” “Lion King” and (why oh why?) the latest “Spider-Man” will do just fine.
    But not much else screams out as “sure fire” (not the “Child’s Play” reboot, the latest “Annabelle” sequel or certainly “Anna” which looks destined to be another Luc Besson bomb).

    Hope “Yesterday” and Tarantino do well, although T.’s movie looks even more commercially iffy than “Hateful 8.”
    And since most regular moviegoers (kids) don’t even know the Beatles or their songbook, it seems like a film that’ll principally have niche–i.e., old people–appeal. So odds of a breakout are slim to none.

  11. Sergio says:

    Depressing to think that practically the only studio able to open multiple 300M+ movies a year anymore is Disney.
    New Tarantino with Leo, Pitt, and Margot is way more commercially appealing than 8, I really don’t know how you could think otherwise. Even Sam Jackson seems to be heading into Nic Cage land.
    Looking forward to Yesterday, but I’ve the sneaky suspicion it’ll flop badly. There’s hope for turnout for the music like with BoRap, but sung by some nobody? I don’t know. We all still remember Across the Universe. Or don’t, rather.

  12. palmtree says:

    I love Yesterday’s trailer. I can’t remember laughing so hard at a ridiculous but strangely profound premise. I really hope it does well, although I’m not optimistic.

  13. movieman says:

    My concern is that 1969 Hollywood is an era that seems as remote to the majority of full-time moviegoers (i.e., the younguns) as the Crimean War.
    Do any of them even know who Sharon Tate, Steve McQueen or Charlie Manson were?
    There isn’t another movie I’m more anxious to see this year than the new Tarantino.
    But I’ve got a feeling that a lot of people are likely to shrug and not give a damn.
    If nothing else, it’ll be a major test of DiCaprio’s star wattage.
    I’d love to see it succeed, at least as well as say, “Inglourious Basterds.”
    Something tells me it won’t, though.
    Hope I’m proven wrong.

  14. movieman says:

    Sony / Columbia

    4,224 $10,400,000

    — / $2,462
    $10,400,000 / 1


    4,564 $6,890,000

    +54.9% / $1,510
    $75,134,390 / 8

    3 ALADDIN (2019)
    Buena Vista

    3,556 $4,746,000

    +55.2% / $1,335
    $251,480,314 / 22

    4 SHAFT (2019)
    Warner Bros. (New Line)

    2,952 $2,730,000

    — / $925
    $2,730,000 / 1


    3,721 $2,348,000

    +59.7% / $631
    $45,110,350 / 8


    3,021 $2,335,000

    +53% / $773
    $59,677,725 / 15

  15. palmtree says:

    People, even the young ones, know Tarantino and the subject matter will not be a deterrent. If anything, my bet is that it will generate a resurgence of interest in that era. Same was true of Kill Bill, when most people didn’t know his source references but it still got off the ground.

    I have a feeling I’m probably gonna hate the movie (and I loved Kill Bill), but still, can’t wait to see it.

  16. movieman says:

    Like I said, I hope you’re right about the period (and Tarantino’s period fetishism: which is precisely what turns me on so much about the movie) being a turn-off to kids.
    I guess we’ll see next month.

  17. Bulldog68 says:

    X-Men fell 83% from last Friday’s number. That’s brutal. Godzilla still has less egg on it’s face as it still crosses $100m, while X-Men and MiB4, not so much. I’m actually more surprised by the MiB4 number. The negative pre-release news on this one wasn’t as unanimous and loud as Dark Phoenix and it won’t even open above $30m. Harsh. Further proof that Marvel gave no real boost to these actor’s box office prowess in any way.

  18. Christian says:

    My wife is heading out shortly to see “Late Night.” I’m hoping to head out immediately after she gets back to catch a late show of “The Last Black Man in San Franciso.”

    This lame new-release weekend seems like a good time to state what may be obvious by my relatively few curveball posts in these threads. I come here because I enjoy broad discussion of the box-office horse race, studio release strategy and comments about the theaterical experience from viewers who have been aroud long enough to speak from experience about what’s changed for better, or, usually, for worse.

    But I simply am not interested in most big new releases, which is why, when I come here, I tend to bring up limited-release stuff. I know it’s not what drives these conversations, but enough of you see enough movies that you’re at least familiar with some of the smaller films, even if they’re not playing in your market.

    Mark Harris tweeted yesterday about what strikes me about this weekend, and the increasing trend the past couple of years:

    There is stuff being released into a kajillion theaters every weekend that I don’t believe anybody was excited about making or marketing on the PEAK DAY for that movie. And clearly nobody’s excited about seeing them.

    ==I’m certainly not. I do like tracking box office, but when the films are so lame, I look for more limited-release stuff – which is by no means a guarantee of quality, or that I’ll like the film. I just cling to the titles that keep me interested in going to movies. I worry that my decline in interest in wide releases means something grim about my future as a movie-lover. I don’t want that to happen, but I don’t know how to fight it.

    So please indulge me as I grasp at the occasional limited-release straw in these discussions.

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin