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Where do you think cinema goes from here? (1 Viewer)

jcroy

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She does set him up though because she asks him the question 'Do you think 99% of today's movies are garbage?" so he does not say that, it comes from her question. Then in the third video she says she thinks that Staying Alive is a great film/sequel. I laughed at that because I think Staying Alive is virtually unwatchable it is so bad.

Ha, perspective is everything.

(Tangentially).

I'm generally not "tuned in" to the vocal "in crowd" when it comes to perception of movies, tv shows, music, etc .... and other extremely highly subjective endeavors.

For example, my favorite CSI show was CSI: Cyber. (CSI Miami to a lesser extent). Just about everybody else who is a very vocal CSI viewer online, almost always thinks CSI Cyber was absolute shit. ;)
 

Reggie W

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(Tangentially).

I'm generally not "tuned in" to the vocal "in crowd" when it comes to perception of movies, tv shows, music, etc .... and other extremely highly subjective endeavors.

For example, my favorite CSI show was CSI: Cyber. (CSI Miami to a lesser extent). Just about everybody else who is a very vocal CSI viewer online, almost always thinks CSI Cyber was absolute shit. ;)
Absolutely, every piece of entertainment has fans and entertained someone. I probably would have said to the woman asking that question "Well, you are setting me up with that." before saying anything else. Then I would have said "I don't see 99% of movies that get released so I can't provide an honest nor accurate response to that."

The most I could say would be that most pictures, particularly the big budget effects stuff, does not look like it will appeal to me so I end up not seeing them.

Once and a while there are exceptions. I had an interest in Jungle Cruise at first but did not end up seeing it. I will likely watch it later on blu or streaming because I am curious about it. Also while I have not watched a Marvel picture since Doctor Strange, Shang-Chi did look interesting. I probably won't see that in a theater either though now but maybe will watch it at home or someone else's home at some point.

Does anybody watch 99% of the pictures that get released?
 

Reggie W

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I get his and many fans' desire to see those characters together again but they already made the movies where those characters had adventures together. This was a new set of movies focused on other characters. The biggest criticism of The Force Awakens was that it wasn't original (and I'm POSITIVE that Chris Gore said that) but Gore also wants that nostalgic trip down memory lane? You can't win with a lot of the fans. And I would have loved to see those characters together again too but trying to give the audience what they want is exactly the trap that The Rise Of Skywalker fell into.

Also, it's also worth noting that Han, Luke, and Leia spend very little time together as a trio in the original movies so the idea of getting them all together again was never that big of a deal to me.

Many writers, or at least some, would tell you that an audience will not care about or even remember the plot but they always remember your characters. If you give them great characters and a great plot, fantastic. If you only give them a great plot it will go to waste because what they attach themselves to is not the plot but the characters.

Star Trek was always about the characters and their relationships. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, etc...this is what mattered and drew people in. Really, if you were a person that fell in love with Star Wars when it first came out, you had a massive attachment to those characters.

So, the payoff that I think a lot of people wanted was to see the characters reunited because they had an emotional attachment to them and to that happening. I have to admit that I thought when I was watching The Force Awakens that everything was leading up to Han and company going to pick-up Luke on his island and we were going to get that reunion between them all. Emotionally, and I like Star Wars but am not a mega-fan, it just seemed where it was heading. I think Mark Hamill thought the same thing.

Sure, that may be a cliche, the gang all getting together for one last ride, but many things that followed their reunion probably would have had more emotional weight if that reunion happened. I do think it is wise to have this kind of character payoff moment when you are dealing with beloved characters. I don't think I am off when I say that people would have cried when that happened and it was the one giant thing when you announce you are bringing those characters back that you pretty much owe the audience.

It is something people emotionally attach to because reunions in real life are emotional. So, while a cliche, it's a solid and true one.

I saw all of the pictures in the final trilogy and the truth is, I was more than mildly baffled how poor the ideas and writing were. I was not angry, like mega-fans were, but I rated them as, the first one was good, the second bad, and the final OK. I could see and understand why fans would feel ripped off.

Characters and character moments matter and they matter a lot if you are dealing with characters people have loved for decades.
 
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ManW_TheUncool

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Many writers, or at least some, would tell you that an audience will not care about or even remember the plot but they always remember your characters. If you give them great characters and a great plot, fantastic. If you only give them a great plot it will go to waste because what they attach themselves to is not the plot but the characters.

Star Trek was always about the characters and their relationships. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, etc...this is what mattered and drew people in. Really, if you were a person that fell in love with Star Wars when it first came out, you had a massive attachment to those characters.

So, the payoff that I think a lot of people wanted was to see the characters reunited because they had an emotional attachment to them and to that happening. I have to admit that I thought when I was watching The Force Awakens that everything was leading up to Han and company going to pick-up Luke on his island and we were going to get that reunion between them all. Emotionally, and I like Star Wars but am not a mega-fan, it just seemed where it was heading. I think Mark Hamill thought the same thing.

Sure, that may be a cliche, the gang all getting together for one last ride, but many things that followed their reunion probably would have had more emotional weight if that reunion happened. I do think it is wise to have this kind of character payoff moment when you are dealing with beloved characters. I don't think I am off when I say that people would have cried when that happened and it was the one giant thing when you announce you are bringing those characters back that you pretty much owe the audience.

It is something people emotionally attach to because reunions in real life are emotional. So, while a cliche, it's a solid and true one.

I saw all of the pictures in the final trilogy and the truth is, I was more than mildly baffled how poor the ideas and writing were. I was not angry, like mega-fans were, but I rated them as, the first one was good, the second bad, and the final OK. I could see and understand why fans would feel ripped off.

Characters and character moments matter and they matter a lot if you are dealing with characters people have loved for decades.

Very good points.

I was alright w/ the latest trilogy myself. Didn't hate any of them -- my son hated especially the 2nd installment, but probably also the last. For me, probably the awful prequels killed enough expectations for me to lower the bar enough to just enjoy the ride w/ the latest trilogy. I was probably just glad to have more Star Wars and w/out Lucas mucking things up (although I was never into the Clone Wars animated series)... and of course, we're getting more even if not in the form of big budget, blockbuster movies...

_Man_
 

Reggie W

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Very good points.

I was alright w/ the latest trilogy myself. Didn't hate any of them -- my son hated especially the 2nd installment, but probably also the last. For me, probably the awful prequels killed enough expectations for me to lower the bar enough to just enjoy the ride w/ the latest trilogy. I was probably just glad to have more Star Wars and w/out Lucas mucking things up (although I was never into the Clone Wars animated series)... and of course, we're getting more even if not in the form of big budget, blockbuster movies...

_Man_

I did not hate any of the films but I did not have the sort of emotional investment in them that a fan would have. Personally, the issue with making Star Wars pictures to me is the first two films Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back set such a high bar that now you have a hard time following them up. And the truth is Lucas did have a hard time following them up. Then Disney seemed lost as to what to do with them so they took the formula, laid in with it the requirements for today's films, and churned out three pictures that end up being an oddly confusing mess where it almost does not matter that you brought back Han, Luke, and Leia. You kill off Han in the first and Luke is not even in the first. Luke is comic relief mostly in the second. In the third you are trying to recover from how off track the second was and Han, Luke and Leia are dead. So, in the end you could have just done the pictures without them and wrote different characters for those parts. The huge announcement that they were bringing back Han, Luke, and Leia was nearly pointless...except as marketing.

In the prequels you are handicapped because you have removed main characters that the audience loved. Lucas had to introduce new characters, or old ones played by different actors, and while doing it he wanted to expand upon the political universe of Star Wars with a lot of gobbledygook that was not what interested most people in the world he created with his first three films. They loved the simple story of friends facing great danger together and overcoming it. Yes, there were lots of cool special effects to aid in the world building but the real hook, the real powerful pull into the world, was the characters. Honestly there was a lot to identify with in those characters and that put people square in the middle of that universe. Simple human interactions right in the middle of all the effects but the key factor is, really, the effects were secondary to the human emotion of the entire thing.

This, to me, is a key flaw in the formula they have come up with for modern blockbusters. In reality, you can see the shift in movies like Jaws and Jaws 2. The people financing the films obviously thought that the big draw with Jaws was a giant shark eating people. So, in Jaws 2 they throw out the window all the character stuff that made Jaws great and insert more action set pieces and the characters are throwaway victims to be fed to the shark. Sure, Brody is there but he is pretty much there just as a thing, a guy from the first picture. He just represents the sheriff in town that will come to the rescue.

Here's the funny thing, people love to say that Jaws was the model for these giant blockbusters but these newer giant blockbusters are more modelled on Jaws 2 than Jaws. Jaws is a character picture. What makes it great is you have these three fantastic characters stuck on a boat together. When Quint gives the Indianapolis speech we are riveted because it is a great speech and great writing. We are fully invested in these three men. We care for them more because they have this moment getting drunk and telling stories to each other. Not because of some special effect or action set piece.

Here's something that tells you people are invested in the film and the characters...THEY REMEMBER THEIR NAMES! People remember Brody, Quint, and Hooper. With the big modern blockbusters a lot of the time people can't even recall the names of the characters. However, at the end of Jaws, you know and feel like you were friends with Brody, Quint, and Hooper. This is because in modern blockbusters they don't do character building the characters are just things. All you need do is establish what thing they are. This is particularly easy in a super hero film because you know right from the jump this is Batman, that is the Joker, you don't need to do much to let the audience know who is who and what they are. So, typically they don't because doing character building moments takes time away from CGI action set pieces. So, if they give you something it will be a very brief exchange about something like "I lost my mom when I was young." and someone responds "I never knew my mom." and sad music plays. Cut to action sequence or nonhuman character makes joke "I was grown in a lab so I guess my mom was a test tube...and I still have her!", holds up test tube, then cut to action sequence.

The modern blockbusters are not influenced by or modelled after the first pictures in franchises like Jaws, or Friday the 13th, or Halloween...they are modelled after the second pictures. What is funny is the way they make modern blockbusters makes it seem that all of these people worship the 2's not the original pictures that created the desire to make another one.

It's like they think the great films are Jaws 2, Halloween 2, or Friday the 13th 2.

Today, the Indianapolis speech in Jaws would horrify somebody attempting to produce a blockbuster. They would say it stops the picture dead in its tracks and they would either totally cut it to add three more CGI action set pieces instead, or they would cut it down to:

Quint: I was on the Indianapolis.

Brody: What is that?

Hooper: A boat that was sunk delivering the atomic bomb. Most of the crew was eaten by sharks.

---LOUD CRASH AS SOMETHING SMASHES INTO THE ORCA---

INSERT ACTION SET PIECE HERE

That would be all they would allow today because the stopwatch would require an action scene or goofy joke.

So, a modern cut of Jaws would be a much different picture. It would not feature all the moments that build up and make you fall for the characters. Instead all you need do is establish WHAT the characters are rather than who.

Brody - Town police chief

Quint - captain of the Orca

Hooper - marine biologist

Then as "character moments" you have Hooper tell a joke, Quint burp and fart loudly a couple times, and Brody say how frightened he is. Done, everything else would be CGI and action set pieces.
 

jcroy

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Today, the Indianapolis speech in Jaws would horrify somebody attempting to produce a blockbuster. They would say it stops the picture dead in its tracks and they would either totally cut it to add three more CGI action set pieces instead, or they would cut it down to:

Quint: I was on the Indianapolis.

Brody: What is that?

Hooper: A boat that was sunk delivering the atomic bomb. Most of the crew was eaten by sharks.

---LOUD CRASH AS SOMETHING SMASHES INTO THE ORCA---

INSERT ACTION SET PIECE HERE

That would be all they would allow today because the stopwatch would require an action scene or goofy joke.

So, a modern cut of Jaws would be a much different picture. It would not feature all the moments that build up and make you fall for the characters. Instead all you need do is establish WHAT the characters are rather than who.

Brody - Town police chief

Quint - captain of the Orca

Hooper - marine biologist

Then as "character moments" you have Hooper tell a joke, Quint burp and fart loudly a couple times, and Brody say how frightened he is. Done, everything else would be CGI and action set pieces.

Heh.

This type of shark movie has already been made: Sharknado

;)
 

jcroy

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That's true but I don't think they set out making Sharknado as a blockbuster. It is more of a parody of modern blockbusters.

Even more hilarious is when the The Asylum (ie. Sharknado's owner) is producing films which are almost indistinguishable from the "real movies" they are copying/parodying, at a fraction of the cost.
 

Reggie W

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Even more hilarious is when the The Asylum (ie. Sharknado's owner) is producing films which are almost indistinguishable from the "real movies" they are copying/parodying, at a fraction of the cost.

It is sort of interesting to me that they dump so much money into making these big effects pictures but people, real creative people, can make a picture for a fraction of the cost that looks as good or better, often tells a much better story, and leaves you with something much more memorable.

I mean when you make the 250 million dollar effects picture people will take apart the CGI and often complain about how lousy it looks. I think the "lousy" aspect that generally bothers people is how it is so obviously unrealistic because movement is often presented in ways that nothing actually moves in real life. That can knock a person out of a film unless all you are watching for is the spectacle.

If you want to see an interesting effects picture shot for pennies compared to the big CGI stuff, check out The Wanting Mare. I think in many ways the budget limitations force a lot more beautiful creativity out of the filmmakers.
 

Reggie W

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My point being in my comments above having nothing to do with audiences but rather how the people that make these big budget pictures perceive the audience.
 

Billy Batson

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Budgets will come down, but over time I think they'll creep back up again. For some reason, the big studios seem to love to spend a fortune on a big film. For now, I'm going to take advantage. Early next year I'll be able to buy the blu-rays of: Jungle Cruise, Dune & No Time to Die, that's an amazing 615 million dollars of budget I'll be buying for just £45!

There was a report on the radio the other day about the record level of film & TV production right now in the UK. No one seems to know why, but all the studios are fully booked, as are all the technicians. Some companies are having to convert some empty factories/warehouses into temp studious.
 

Reggie W

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For now, I'm going to take advantage. Early next year I'll be able to buy the blu-rays of: Jungle Cruise, Dune & No Time to Die, that's an amazing 615 million dollars of budget I'll be buying for just £45!

Ha, this is true and if we added up the budgets to make all the pictures in our collections we've landed quite a bargain.
 

English Invader

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I went to see the new Candyman yesterday and I was shocked at the pricing. £12.99 ($18.01) for a standard adult admission and it was £17.69 ($24.53) for IMAX and 4DX. I can't see cinema lasting for much longer with prices like that. You can get heavily discounted monthly passes but not everyone is going to want to be on the hook for that when they just want to watch a film every once in a while rather than every week.

For me to go to the cinema now, it has to be something I'm looking forward to and really want to see. It wouldn't matter to me if they were releasing it on physical media or streaming at the same time; if I care about the film, I want to see it in the cinema first.

They would also get more money from me if they rescreened older films more often. Rosemary's Baby or Barry Lyndon would be an absolute no brainer.
 

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Where do you live, English Invader? Believe it or not those are equal to or below the average prices for movies in major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

I believe that we’re in the middle of a reconfiguration of sorts, where the relationship between seeing a movie and going to theaters is akin to that of watching a sports game and going to a stadium - more people watch sports overall than those who go see it in person, and I think it’s the same with movies.
 

English Invader

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Where do you live, English Invader? Believe it or not those are equal to or below the average prices for movies in major metropolitan areas in the U.S.

I believe that we’re in the middle of a reconfiguration of sorts, where the relationship between seeing a movie and going to theaters is akin to that of watching a sports game and going to a stadium - more people watch sports overall than those who go see it in person, and I think it’s the same with movies.
I'm in the UK.

If we go back 30 years, more people still rented the video or waited for it to come on TV than saw it in the cinema. "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" informed buying decisions then just as it does now, it's just that the people who don't pay to see the film in the cinema don't have to wait as long to see it and have more options available to them which means more people are going to opt out of the cinema experience or not even consider it in the first place.

The question is: Can cinema survive as a niche industry with a small but devoted customer base? High, Covid-related prices will kill off the mainstream market.
 

Josh Steinberg

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The question is: Can cinema survive as a niche industry with a small but devoted customer base? High, Covid-related prices will kill off the mainstream market.

I think these are two different issues.

Can cinema survive? Yes, I believe it can. Football is the most popular sport in America and its games are broadcast for free on our airwaves, and yet, every single seat in every stadium sells out, year in and year out. Why? In part, because the audience that watches at home is a different audience that wants to attend in person. Having the games on television only enhances its popularity, which allows teams to charge ever increasing fees for tickets and merchandise.

I can’t speak to UK cinema prices, but in the States, they’ve been high before the pandemic, and 2019 was a record year at the box office. But despite record grosses, the average American only goes to the cinema about once a year. This suggests to me that the business is primarily driven by a smaller group of people who prefer to go more regularly. Theater owners have adapted to this by making theaters more comfortable for those who do like to attend, rather than trying to increase the number of people coming out.

I believe that is the correct strategy. Covid isn’t the long term problem. The long term issue is and has been that in the 21st century, theaters are no longer the only way to see a film; in the view of many, they’re not even the best way. Just like TV broadcast audiences will never be as large as they were when there were only three channels, movie audiences are different today than they were when going to the theater was the only option. Covid may have accelerated that trend, but it was already in place.

There’s a reason every major studio now has a direct-to-consumer streaming service: this is how the general public prefers to view most content most of the time. They want to pick what to watch when they want to watch it.

I believe that the biggest and best exhibition formats, like IMAX and Dolby Cinema will be just fine. I believe art houses will also be fine - there are still plenty of people who visit museums even though audiences can view the same art at home, and it’ll be the same with specialty cinemas. The theaters that are in danger, in my view, are oversized, outdated multiplexes that have been poorly maintained and offer poor quality presentations and uncomfortable, dated seating.
 

Jeff Adkins

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I went to see the new Candyman yesterday and I was shocked at the pricing. £12.99 ($18.01) for a standard adult admission and it was £17.69 ($24.53) for IMAX and 4DX. I can't see cinema lasting for much longer with prices like that. You can get heavily discounted monthly passes but not everyone is going to want to be on the hook for that when they just want to watch a film every once in a while rather than every week.

For me to go to the cinema now, it has to be something I'm looking forward to and really want to see. It wouldn't matter to me if they were releasing it on physical media or streaming at the same time; if I care about the film, I want to see it in the cinema first.

They would also get more money from me if they rescreened older films more often. Rosemary's Baby or Barry Lyndon would be an absolute no brainer.
Aren't there two different unlimited monthly offerings in the UK for around £20/month?
 

Jeff Adkins

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I think these are two different issues.

Can cinema survive? Yes, I believe it can. Football is the most popular sport in America and its games are broadcast for free on our airwaves, and yet, every single seat in every stadium sells out, year in and year out. Why? In part, because the audience that watches at home is a different audience that wants to attend in person. Having the games on television only enhances its popularity, which allows teams to charge ever increasing fees for tickets and merchandise.

I can’t speak to UK cinema prices, but in the States, they’ve been high before the pandemic, and 2019 was a record year at the box office. But despite record grosses, the average American only goes to the cinema about once a year. This suggests to me that the business is primarily driven by a smaller group of people who prefer to go more regularly. Theater owners have adapted to this by making theaters more comfortable for those who do like to attend, rather than trying to increase the number of people coming out.

I believe that is the correct strategy. Covid isn’t the long term problem. The long term issue is and has been that in the 21st century, theaters are no longer the only way to see a film; in the view of many, they’re not even the best way. Just like TV broadcast audiences will never be as large as they were when there were only three channels, movie audiences are different today than they were when going to the theater was the only option. Covid may have accelerated that trend, but it was already in place.

There’s a reason every major studio now has a direct-to-consumer streaming service: this is how the general public prefers to view most content most of the time. They want to pick what to watch when they want to watch it.

I believe that the biggest and best exhibition formats, like IMAX and Dolby Cinema will be just fine. I believe art houses will also be fine - there are still plenty of people who visit museums even though audiences can view the same art at home, and it’ll be the same with specialty cinemas. The theaters that are in danger, in my view, are oversized, outdated multiplexes that have been poorly maintained and offer poor quality presentations and uncomfortable, dated seating.
I agree with pretty much all of this except the idea that theaters are "no longer the way to see a film". Hasn't that been the case ever since video stores started appearing in the late 70s?
 

English Invader

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Aren't there two different unlimited monthly offerings in the UK for around £20/month?
The two main chains in the UK are Odeon and Cineworld and they both offer that "Unlimited Cinema" deal. They're both currently doing it for £9.99:

Of the two, I think Odeon is the better experience. The Cineworlds are getting pretty run down now and they haven't really changed much since the early 00s. The Odeon seats are a lot more comfortable and the Premium ones give you an insane amount of leg room. I saw the Apocalypse Now Final Cut at the Leicester Square Odeon and that was a fantastic experience.

Years ago when I was a student, you could get into the cinema for £3 a time and I used to go "Mystery Box" film watching. I would just go up to the counter and choose the first film I saw with a convenient start time without knowing anything about the film and just enjoy the surprise. There isn't enough variety in the cinema these days to make that worthwhile - they pack 70% of the screens with the latest Fast and Furious or whatever.

I used to go on Monday nights when hardly anyone was there. It's a lot of fun having a whole auditorium to yourself.
 

Josh Steinberg

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I agree with pretty much all of this except the idea that theaters are "no longer the way to see a film". Hasn't that been the case ever since video stores started appearing in the late 70s?

To a certain extent, yes, but a VHS doesn’t compare to a film print, and having to leave the house to go to a store to rent a video and a second time again to return it isn’t exactly convenient.

I think only very recently have we hit that sweet spot with higher quality TVs that cost less than ever, with streaming making so much available at the touch of a button, and discs easy to order by mail for those who prefer them.
 

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