Since when does quality filmmaking not include popcorn movies?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by SteveGon, Jul 24, 2003.

  1. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    Okay, after reading through various discussion threads (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Bad Boys II, etc.), I felt the need to chime in on something that's been bothering me of late. Frankly, I'm getting sick and tired of people making excuses for subpar films by dismissing them as "popcorn movies" or "rollercoaster rides." I'm sorry, but that's a line of reasoning I just don't understand. A film may be intended as an entertaining diversion, but that is NO reason for it to pander to its audience. Nor is it an excuse for shoddy and lazy filmmaking. There is absolutely NO reason that a film meant solely to entertain can't be well-executed. Now I don't expect every summer film to be as good as Robocop, Superman, The Matrix, or Raiders of the Lost Ark (to name a few), but is putting forth a modicum of effort that friggin' difficult?

    Here's to the day when Michael Bay and others of his ilk hang it up for good. Stop crapping on us you hacks!
     
  2. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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  3. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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  4. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Steve, I am so with you. I dislike the term popcorn movie. As you can see on my worst list, I also despise this popcorn genre.
     
  5. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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    I don't care much for the term either. However, that doesn't mean I'm opposed to the idea of movies made solely as entertainment - not every film has to be a heady treatise on the meaning of life. [​IMG]
     
  6. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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  7. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Supporting Actor

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    Hulk is anything but a summer popcorn film. That's why it's not doing as well. POTC is more of a summer popcorn film, but it's very fun and that's what audiences want in a summer film. If Michael Bay had made Hulk in his "style" instead of Ang Lee's meditative take on the green guy, I guarantee it would be making ridiculous amounts of money this summer. HULK SMASH? No, they made "HULK ponder MEANING OF LIFE..." instead and that never sells tickets! [​IMG]

    -Dennis
     
  8. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I also hate the term popcorn movie. I, for one, eat popcorn while watching The Seventh Seal. Does that make it a popcorn movie?

    If popcorn movie is code for summer blockbuster with lots of action, I'll just say that:

    Both great and horrible movies come out in summer, winter, spring & fall

    Both great and horrible movies have been blockbusters, theatrical flops, cost lots of money and cost very little to make

    Both great and horrible movies have had lots of action and things blowing up, as well as little or no action.

    If you want to bemoan specific bad films (like Armageddon) I'll agree. Then again, Cries & Whispers is hardly a popcorn movie, but it IMO (don't read this Brook)sucks
    even worse than Armageddon. [​IMG]
     
  9. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    While I don't think you should mark points off from a summer blockbuster for not having the dramatics of a Citizen Kane, I also don't think it should get a free ride from the critics and the audiences just because it aimed low and acheived it. No matter what level you judge LXG on, for instance, it's a piece of shit.
     
  10. Stephen_L

    Stephen_L Supporting Actor

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    I don't consider myself a film snob; I enjoy films in every genre from period pieces to foreign films to action adventure. However, whatever the genre I expect the film to be well made, to tell an interesting story with intriguing characters. There are many Hollywood blockbusters that fit that bill including Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the Terminator films, Blade Runner, Alien, Aliens, and more recently The Sixth Sense and the Pixar films. There is never a good excuse for a film to be predictable, trite, or present wooden uninteresting characters.
     
  11. Mikel_Cooperman

    Mikel_Cooperman Producer

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    I am sick of those excuses as well.

    There are such things as Good Popcorn movies but they are few and far between. Most of them these days are high on Explosions at the expense of character development.

    The only person I can think of at the moment is James Cameron who does Great Popcorn movies.


    I too am tired of movies Bay and Brucheimer put out. The exception as mentioned by someone below is The Rock
     
  12. SteveGon

    SteveGon Executive Producer

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  13. Matthew_Millheiser

    Matthew_Millheiser Supporting Actor

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    I like Armageddon. I think it's a good movie. It ain't high art, but its enjoyable as hell. Don't believe me? I'll break you with my bare hands!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]




    Where was I?
     
  14. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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  15. Tino

    Tino Lead Actor
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  16. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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  17. Stephen_Dar

    Stephen_Dar Stunt Coordinator

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    Just want to agree, I'm disappointed at how frequently in this forum I see people giving movies a free-ride by saying something like "It had all kinds of problems, but as a popcorn movie it was pretty good."

    Actually, I for one would vote for just lowering the level of political correctness on this forum. The problem seems to be that people don't feel free to express an opinion anymore. I can't count the times I've read on this forum (and in published reviews written by journalists) a review that goes something like: Well, the movie had problem X and Y, and then there was Z that really bugged me. I also thought A and B were disappointing based on what I expected from the previews. But, don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this movie, I just didn't think it was all it could be," or some such blather. In the case of the professionals, I understand they may be forced to soft pedal their reviews to avoid offending sponsors (not that I like it), but in here I'm really disappointed by this trend. If ya didn't like a movie, just say so and leave it at that! Don't be afraid of hurting the feelings of those who toiled to make the movie, they didn't do it for charity! My 2 cents.
     
  18. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Adam,

    I'm sorry if you think my post made me come off as "Elitist Bastard" (which I am, in a way, but not always.), but from what I've seen at movie theaters in the summer, it seems to be the truth as far as teens go. They are there to see a "type" of movie, that they might have fun with, but they are doing with their friends. It may be good, it may be crap. They don't care.

     
  19. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i like jerry bruckheimer - so there, i said it. [​IMG]

    okay, well, i sorta like his popcorn flicks. i'm sure i don't need to go into his filmography, but it reads like a who's who of fun movies.

    sometimes it's nice to just go into a theater and see stuff blow'd up real good. sometimes it's nice to just go into a theater and simply check out for a while.

    also, don't forget this quite important fact. most of us here are not your *average* movie-goer. we take movies more seriously. we're more critical and demanding.
     
  20. Joseph Young

    Joseph Young Screenwriter

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    I am also tired of the term 'popcorn flick' as a dig for praise for a filmmaking effort that clearly doesn't hit the mark. I would love it if filmmakers were could re-adopt a variation on the old Powell/Pressberger archery sequence at the beginning of their films.

    Although I disliked Michael Bay efforts like Armageddon, Gone in 60 Seconds, Pearl Harbor, et al., I really enjoyed The Rock. It made fun of the 'swinging dick' genre by making the main protagonist an analytical nerd who completely deconstructed the cliches of action movies. 'The Rock' was both parody and an excellent, thrilling example of the genre. A lot of the other Michael Bay films, however, resemble those 'Like a Rock' truck commercials, all sweat, grime, cigarette-stained bleating and testosterone.

    Popcorn flicks should be movies that are, above all else fun, but are fun because they appeal to all of our sensibilities in equally successful ways. Romance, action, thrills, wit, pacing... if these elements all succeed equally well, they make a good 'popcorn movie.' If a film stumbles consistantly but makes a few good attempts here and there, it's simply not enough to make it a good movie.

    Pirates, although clearly spawned from the same idea factory, succeeds totally because every relevant aspect of the film is infused with enough care, detail, and intelligence that the plot/character motivation flaws can be overlooked. You leave the theater feeling that no one aspect of the film sags so much that it drags the rest of the film down with it. coughcoughravesequencecoughcough

    ~j
     

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