Marvel Comics on Film

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TwoTecs
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#226 Post by TwoTecs » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:59 pm

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Tue Nov 05, 2019 6:58 pm
Martin Scorsese wrote:That’s the nature of modern film franchises: market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption(...)
In many places around this country and around the world, franchise films are now your primary choice if you want to see something on the big screen. It’s a perilous time in film exhibition, and there are fewer independent theaters than ever. The equation has flipped and streaming has become the primary delivery system(...)
It’s a chicken-and-egg issue. If people are given only one kind of thing and endlessly sold only one kind of thing, of course they’re going to want more of that one kind of thing.(...)
But the most ominous change has happened stealthily and under cover of night: the gradual but steady elimination of risk.
Excellent Op-Ed. I wonder if he had to rewrite it 4 times like Rosenbaum's Op-Ed on Bergman obituary...
Why does he namedrop a few of the filmmakers he likes, but none of those that are bad at doing franchise films?
His chicken-and-egg issue is a bit weak in my opinion. When you only serve people the same thing, they could get fed up and look the other way at some point. The problem is bigger than this. It's the disinterest for diversity in the people taste, not because they've been accustomed to it by necessity but because they seek this same kind of cheap thrill.
I appreciate his plead for auteurism, but it's hardly a solution to the franchise problem. We're not going to reverse the tentpole/niche model by replacing a team of screenwriters by an auteur.
He somehow throws Hitchcock under the bus... but better exemples of expensive blockbusters from the past should have been Cleopatra, BenHur, Intolerance, Foolish Wives, Gone With the Wind, The Ten Commendments, Metropolis...
The chicken and egg issue makes sense to me and Rosenbaum has expressed the same concern many times:
To put it simply, the U.S. is a third-world backwater when it comes to the opening of most foreign and independent pictures. This state of affairs seems to suit most of the industry flacks — giving the studios first dibs on what we see and ensuring that most mainstream publications will treat studio product as the best stuff around, regardless of how awful it is — and it isn’t likely to change unless people drastically revise their moviegoing habits. In other words, a fundamental lack of respect for the American public is now being factored into the basic policy decisions of the studios and their yes-people — a lack of respect that can be traced through film production, distribution, promotion, exhibition, and most reviewing.
The disinterest for diversity has been cultivated by the studios and the culture at large. People aren't born to love Marvel or born to be disinterested in challenging cinema.

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tenia
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#227 Post by tenia » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:04 am

Oh I know plenty of people who never wanted movies to be anything else than brainless entertainment.
We've have this kind of debate in France for decades, especially to remind people not all non-brainless entertaining movies are Bela Tarr-styled.
But while in reality, the general audience knows this perfectly since the box office figures show independant quite serious movies being sometimes public successes too, when it comes to theorising it, you can easily see the manicheism there.
The price of a ticket and the ability to see many things at home but on smaller screens most likely indeed also influences the audience to choose their movies accordingly. $15 a ticket for a big screen ? Yeah, let's choose a very long and loud movie.

On Hitchcock : he doesn't really throw him under the bus. It's quite the opposite actually, since Scorsese reminds people you can do studio "franchise" and end up with movies that aren't only the children of a shareholders brainstorming.

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BenoitRouilly
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#228 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:51 am

Well Rosenbaum has been writing about the niche artfilm market in the USA for decades. It is a structural problem endemic to the USA market.
But the more recent Comics tentpoles is a generational thing. Comics movies have been made for a long time without the same success they meet nowadays. Nerd is the new cool. Wait for the videogames-made-into-movies generation next.
tenia wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:04 am
Oh I know plenty of people who never wanted movies to be anything else than brainless entertainment.
Deciders or consumers? I agree with the former.
tenia wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:04 am
We've have this kind of debate in France for decades, especially to remind people not all non-brainless entertaining movies are Bela Tarr-styled.
What is wrong with more Tarr-styled artfilms???
tenia wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:04 am
On Hitchcock : he doesn't really throw him under the bus. It's quite the opposite actually, since Scorsese reminds people you can do studio "franchise" and end up with movies that aren't only the children of a shareholders brainstorming.
It was a tongue-in-cheek comment, I forgot the quotes "throws Hitchcock under the bus". I meant Scorsese cites him as the studio model equivalent to today's blockbusters, with the fertile tension between studios and auteurs that is missing now.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#229 Post by domino harvey » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:12 pm

His point was Hitchcock was popular AND art, which is a fundamental aspect of his legacy and reputation

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#230 Post by tenia » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:14 pm

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:51 am
tenia wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:04 am
Oh I know plenty of people who never wanted movies to be anything else than brainless entertainment.
Deciders or consumers?
Consumers. I have a few friends who keep on insisting they only go to the movies to "empty their heads".
BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:51 am
tenia wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:04 am
We've have this kind of debate in France for decades, especially to remind people not all non-brainless entertaining movies are Bela Tarr-styled.
What is wrong with more Tarr-styled artfilms???
Nothing, but they're quite at the opposite spectrum compared to brainless Hollywood entertainment.
domino harvey wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:12 pm
His point was Hitchcock was popular AND art, which is a fundamental aspect of his legacy and reputation
Exactly. This would a go-to "auteur" that also manage to make popular movies, thus being a proof you can do both. It's a quite cliché example actual, but I guessed that was the whole point : making sure anyone would understand what Scorsese wants to point out without leaving space to argue against it.
BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:51 am
Wait for the videogames-made-into-movies generation next.
I think we had that in the 90s and it didn't go well.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#231 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:50 pm

Joanna Hogg's ditto on Scorsese takedown (in the Guardian) :
There’s a certain kind of cinema, but I’m not sure if you can call it cinema, that’s very homogenised in a way, that’s not created out of a real passion.

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TwoTecs
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#232 Post by TwoTecs » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:15 pm

tenia wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:04 am
Oh I know plenty of people who never wanted movies to be anything else than brainless entertainment.
We've have this kind of debate in France for decades, especially to remind people not all non-brainless entertaining movies are Bela Tarr-styled.
But while in reality, the general audience knows this perfectly since the box office figures show independant quite serious movies being sometimes public successes too, when it comes to theorising it, you can easily see the manicheism there.
The price of a ticket and the ability to see many things at home but on smaller screens most likely indeed also influences the audience to choose their movies accordingly. $15 a ticket for a big screen ? Yeah, let's choose a very long and loud movie.

On Hitchcock : he doesn't really throw him under the bus. It's quite the opposite actually, since Scorsese reminds people you can do studio "franchise" and end up with movies that aren't only the children of a shareholders brainstorming.
I am not saying that people who want movies to be brainless entertainment don't exist but that their existence is not a natural occurrence. People's ideas of what movies are or what they can be is based on what they see and based on what they hear about other types of movies. This thinking is a cultural creation but it doesn't necessarily have to be this way. Although it is almost impossible to change it now since its existence is in the interests of mutibillion-dollar corporations.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#233 Post by captveg » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:33 pm

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 10:51 am
Nerd is the new cool. Wait for the videogames-made-into-movies generation next.
This'll be skipped over, as watching other people play video games has arguably been far more successful for viewership than video game story adaptations into movies has ever been.
Last edited by captveg on Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#234 Post by captveg » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:36 pm

tenia wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:14 pm
Exactly. This would a go-to "auteur" that also manage to make popular movies, thus being a proof you can do both. It's a quite cliché example actual, but I guessed that was the whole point : making sure anyone would understand what Scorsese wants to point out without leaving space to argue against it.
I get the feeling Scorsese put the Hitchcock content in for exactly this reason. By extension, he is also saying "Yes, you can point to an exception in some of the MCU films, but there are always exceptions." It's not the exceptions he's worried about, but rather the status quo.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#235 Post by knives » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:54 pm

But that further shows that historically the non-exceptions have existed forever as well. For every Hitchcock and Ford there's a thousand anonymous films made purely for profit (though I don't see why that's a bad thing as long as the movies are good). It's always a fun game to look at the top grossers for various years and be left with a bunch of forgotten studio junk. After all the Andy Hardy series, which fits Scorsese's criticisms well, was a powerhouse once upon a time. I honestly just don't understand what Scorsese's complaint is as in the long eye of history, maybe less so in the years when he was struggling up but I doubt that severely, Marvel isn't a unique phenomenon. There's still hundreds of films he'd like being made each year.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#236 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:06 pm

I think he makes pretty clear that he's concerned that the omnipresence of these franchises are crowding anything that is artist-driven (as opposed to market-research driven) out of showing in theaters accessible to the vast majority of Americans. It's not the number of quality films from auteurs being made that are the problem here, but their relative theatrical inaccessibility to those not living in the 15 biggest cities in the country.

And — as discussed above — the limited options available also serve to condition audiences to have certain expectations about what film-going entails, and serves to further undermine non-franchise films when they do happen to be available. I fully agree with you that there are more good films released annually in the US now than have ever been in history, and that there's a long-established place for Marvel-esque product in the theatrical marketplace, but Scorsese's concern about the unprecedented ubiquity of that product and the precariousness of film-making for adults are also totally legitimate to me.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#237 Post by knives » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:48 pm

I guess my point is why is auteur driven inherently better than market-research driven? They aren't even opposing qualities necessarily as shown by someone like Buster Keaton who used his primitive version of market-research to fine tune his films.

The second point seems more reasonable to me, but it's important to remember that ubiquity is limited pretty much to Disney while all the other studios are doing other things with even WB, the closest analog, flailing around unsure how to do what Disney does. So really that ubiquity is limited to one company who released only about ten features last year. That doesn't sound all the ubiquitous to me and definitely shouldn't have the crux of the ire thrown at Marvel who at most release a film a quarter.

A much more compelling argument might be one of studio personality being reduced due to the forming of trusts (e.g. Disney just buying Fox), but that's an argument unrelated to the individual worth or ubiquity of Marvel itself.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#238 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:56 pm

I personally would tend to subscribe to the view that art representative of an individual's perspective is inherently more worthwhile (if not always better on a case-by-case basis; a Kevin Smith joint is rarely better than the latest Marvel movie, but I tend to find the former more interesting) than product refined by committee to appeal to the broadest possible pool of consumers, but even if I didn't, I'd still think that a film industry that made room for both to be broadly available for theatrical consumption would be healthier than one where only one or the other was an option for most people.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#239 Post by knives » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:13 pm

But you haven't explained how those are mutually exclusive traits. Going with the supposed ne-plus-ultra as mentioned before in this thread many singular voices have managed to express their voices clearly in the committee vision of Marvel. We can have a top tier James Gunn movie and a slick Hollywood product.

Additionally, and I feel this is my main point, Marvel isn't crowding out smaller movies. They don't make enough movies for that to be possible. Assuming your average small town threater has five movies it can hold at any one time and they hold them for an average of about five months even at max occupancy which is something I suspect never happens you'd have two theaters available for something else. Marvel's only that ubiquitous in people's minds.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#240 Post by BenoitRouilly » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:23 pm

knives wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:48 pm
So really that ubiquity is limited to one company who released only about ten features last year. That doesn't sound all the ubiquitous to me and definitely shouldn't have the crux of the ire thrown at Marvel who at most release a film a quarter.
Remember that the average American movie goer sees less than 6 movie per year. (40% watch less than 1 movie a month) And looking at the box office, we know what those 6 movies are for most people.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#241 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:56 pm

knives wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:13 pm
Additionally, and I feel this is my main point, Marvel isn't crowding out smaller movies. They don't make enough movies for that to be possible. Assuming your average small town threater has five movies it can hold at any one time and they hold them for an average of about five months even at max occupancy which is something I suspect never happens you'd have two theaters available for something else. Marvel's only that ubiquitous in people's minds.
Right, Marvel is just the most prominent and successful of the franchises that are demonstrably doing the crowding out I'm describing (anecdotally, I lived in a smallish town in the South for five years, and saw this happening in real time earlier this decade). Of the top 20 grossing films this year, only It: Chapter Two, Us, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Glass can charitably be described as non-franchise films, and two of those are sequels and one is a superhero movie! I'm not demanding that every American be able to see the latest Hirokazu Kore-eda on the big screen (god forbid), but if something like Hustlers is the least focused-grouped and most original film you can see in a theater in an average quarter, there's an imbalance in what is available to you.
knives wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:13 pm
But you haven't explained how those are mutually exclusive traits. Going with the supposed ne-plus-ultra as mentioned before in this thread many singular voices have managed to express their voices clearly in the committee vision of Marvel. We can have a top tier James Gunn movie and a slick Hollywood product.
They're not strictly mutually exclusive, of course, but surely you're not arguing that your average Marvel, Star Wars, or Fast & Furious entry has something approaching a singular artistic vision?

And how would we know what a top-tier James Gunn movie would look like? He's only made four features, two of which are Marvel movies and the other two of which are a low-budget dark comedy and a hard-R grossout horror film. I like the Guardians movies more than the average Marvel film, but I'm also not going to pretend that a less blandly generic version of the house style than usual = a showcase for a singular voice.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#242 Post by Titus » Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:57 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:06 pm
I think he makes pretty clear that he's concerned that the omnipresence of these franchises are crowding anything that is artist-driven (as opposed to market-research driven) out of showing in theaters accessible to the vast majority of Americans. It's not the number of quality films from auteurs being made that are the problem here, but their relative theatrical inaccessibility to those not living in the 15 biggest cities in the country.
They aren’t replacing artist-driven films, though; they’re replacing other kinds of market-research driven films that were more prevalent in the past, like the broad comedy vehicles that were so ubiquitous in the 90s. I grew up in a small SE Kansas town, and I can assure you that a Claire Denis film never played anywhere near me, despite the lack of an MCU. This isn’t a new issue.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#243 Post by tenia » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:06 pm

Disney's conglomerate position over the worldwide BO IS a new paradigm. Star Wars 9 isn't out yet but 6 of the movies from the worldwide Top 10 2019 BO are from Disney, even if the movies not in the top 10 (or even 100) probably are similar to the ones that weren't in it 20 or 50 years ago.

There have always been huge BO successes eating most of the cake and leaving crumbs, but there was at least a certain diversity in those movies and the studios behind them. It's not the case anymore.

It's also clear that more than ever, those successes are not movie successes but products successes. Apple is happy selling their latest iPhone, Wolkswagen their latest car and Disney their latest movie, all for pleasing the shareholders first.

As an aside, the one director I'd be interested in his take here is Soderbergh. He's often talked about the business side of things, especially the studios vs indies market split, and I'd love to know what his analysis is about this.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#244 Post by knives » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:28 pm

BenoitRouilly wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:23 pm
knives wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:48 pm
So really that ubiquity is limited to one company who released only about ten features last year. That doesn't sound all the ubiquitous to me and definitely shouldn't have the crux of the ire thrown at Marvel who at most release a film a quarter.
Remember that the average American movie goer sees less than 6 movie per year. (40% watch less than 1 movie a month) And looking at the box office, we know what those 6 movies are for most people.
So? Let's play the imagination game. What do you think those six movies would be without Marvel (also Marvel would in an average year make up only half of that)?
DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:56 pm
knives wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:13 pm
But you haven't explained how those are mutually exclusive traits. Going with the supposed ne-plus-ultra as mentioned before in this thread many singular voices have managed to express their voices clearly in the committee vision of Marvel. We can have a top tier James Gunn movie and a slick Hollywood product.
They're not strictly mutually exclusive, of course, but surely you're not arguing that your average Marvel, Star Wars, or Fast & Furious entry has something approaching a singular artistic vision?
Yes? Fast and Furious is kind of a bad example for you given how much of it evolved and became a beloved thing thanks to Justin Lin. His imprint is as pronounced as Sausage earlier explained Waititi's to be on Thor. Even Star Wars which leans more heavily on the committee then these average things has in the core trilogy been highly influenced by the directors. Though, still, I wonder why we have to have the director be this almighty figure and why it isn't valid to have the guiding voice be someone from another position?
And how would we know what a top-tier James Gunn movie would look like? He's only made four features, two of which are Marvel movies and the other two of which are a low-budget dark comedy and a hard-R grossout horror film. I like the Guardians movies more than the average Marvel film, but I'm also not going to pretend that a less blandly generic version of the house style than usual = a showcase for a singular voice.
He's also been a prolific writer of movies, but the simplest answer is the same way you determine anyone's top tier work. By what's the best.

Also one thing we've been sidestepping in this is that the theatrical experience is like vinyl. It may be the better way, but the effort of maintenance isn't worth it in a world with the internet for most.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#245 Post by FrauBlucher » Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:55 pm

FrauBlucher wrote:
nitin wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:23 am
But yeah it must be because these people are old.
This is the point exactly. And this is not to be taken as an insult as I am closer to their age than the MCU crowd. But I think the point is they came from cinema. They cut their teeth watching cinema. As a kid Scorsese watched Powell and Pressburger, Italian neo-realism, Fellini and a little later the French New Wave. I'm sure Copolla followed the same path, as did Lucas who was all about Kurosawa which shows up in Star Wars. Int'l films and many American films from that same era were very influential to those filmmakers that started in the 60's. I believe this is more of what Scorsese was going for in his comments. They can't relate to or feel anything about this modern style of movie and movie making.
After reading his op-ed it confirmed my notion that his original comments were based on the era he came out of. Plus, his consternation of them dominating the movie biz is what’s become his bane. I totally get what he’s saying. I too feel the same watching them. I don’t hate them at all but not satisfying on any intellectual and human level. As a kid I loved super hero cartoons and comics. But it didn’t develop into an art form for me. I’m sure if I was from more recent generations I would feel differently. It’s a shame he got hammered on Social Media that he felt he needed to go to the Times to write an op-ed on his prior opinion. Oh well, these be the times

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#246 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:02 pm

knives wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:13 pm
DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:56 pm
They're not strictly mutually exclusive, of course, but surely you're not arguing that your average Marvel, Star Wars, or Fast & Furious entry has something approaching a singular artistic vision?
Yes? Fast and Furious is kind of a bad example for you given how much of it evolved and became a beloved thing thanks to Justin Lin. His imprint is as pronounced as Sausage earlier explained Waititi's to be on Thor. Even Star Wars which leans more heavily on the committee then these average things has in the core trilogy been highly influenced by the directors.
You're conflating "somewhat recognizable influence" with "singular voice" (your phrase from upthread) in a way that I can't get on board with. If F&F is quality popular film-making in your book, then we're not going to understand each other on this subject.
knives wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:13 pm
Though, still, I wonder why we have to have the director be this almighty figure and why it isn't valid to have the guiding voice be someone from another position?
Not a problem, from my perspective, as long as it's the voice of an individual artist or even group of artists and not an IP exploitation strategy.
knives wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 5:13 pm
Also one thing we've been sidestepping in this is that the theatrical experience is like vinyl. It may be the better way, but the effort of maintenance isn't worth it in a world with the internet for most.
I've tried really hard not get sucked into this discussion over the last several weeks, because this conversation invariably seems to consist of people talking past each other, but let me throw this out: Even if I were to accept that the current wave of franchises is nothing new, and that some of them can even be good, and that the vast majority of popular films have always been shitty corporate products, and that the theatrical experience is dying (either through consumer indifference or corporate strategy or some combination of the two)... how does any of that negate the perspective of people like Scorsese arguing that this state of affairs is less than ideal and it shouldn't necessarily be that way? Why is asking for more and better either confronted defensively as an attack on letting people enjoy things or derided as laughably out of touch with corporate business strategies? Regardless of why or how outside the norm it is that the vast majority of screens devoted to my favorite art form in America are taken up with cross-sector marketing platforms pretending to be movies, how does it make me or Scorsese or whoever the asshole for wanting something different?

If you're satisfied with the selection at your local multiplex on a regular basis, more power to you, sir. If you want to assume that the lack of adult-oriented films being produced and distributed theatrically is an immutable result of infallible business logic, go with god. All I'm saying is I'm not and I don't.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#247 Post by knives » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:13 pm

I just find it strange to target Marvel. If Scorsese framed his argument as one of corporate unification I'd be much more sympathetic. By specifying Marvel he sidesteps the actual issue laying blame on something we'd have some version of anyway. At best I take his, and your, statements as comparing historical apples to oranges. Scorsese is more financially successful now then he has historically been even if, as he's admitted, 90% is because of star power. Marvel's replacing Apatow not necessarily intimate dramas and other fodder he presumably would like.

Then again it might also just be because I don't like the messenger's movies and would rather watch your average Marvel whatever to Silence.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#248 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:21 pm

He didn't specifically call out Marvel. Some thoughtless interviewer asked him what he thought of Marvel movies and all Scorsese did was give his honest opinion. If anyone deserves our ire it's that interviewer

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#249 Post by knives » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:22 pm

That's for sure.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#250 Post by Brian C » Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:37 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:
Wed Nov 06, 2019 7:02 pm
I've tried really hard not get sucked into this discussion over the last several weeks, because this conversation invariably seems to consist of people talking past each other, but let me throw this out: Even if I were to accept that the current wave of franchises is nothing new, and that some of them can even be good, and that the vast majority of popular films have always been shitty corporate products, and that the theatrical experience is dying (either through consumer indifference or corporate strategy or some combination of the two)... how does any of that negate the perspective of people like Scorsese arguing that this state of affairs is less than ideal and it shouldn't necessarily be that way? Why is asking for more and better either confronted defensively as an attack on letting people enjoy things or derided as laughably out of touch with corporate business strategies? Regardless of why or how outside the norm it is that the vast majority of screens devoted to my favorite art form in America are taken up with cross-sector marketing platforms pretending to be movies, how does it make me or Scorsese or whoever the asshole for wanting something different?

If you're satisfied with the selection at your local multiplex on a regular basis, more power to you, sir. If you want to assume that the lack of adult-oriented films being produced and distributed theatrically is an immutable result of infallible business logic, go with god. All I'm saying is I'm not and I don't.
I don't really understand the usefulness of this line of logic. I mean, I think I speak for everyone when I say that, yes, I'd love for there to be "more and better" good movies. Who wouldn't? But aside from the banality of the question, this is treading dangerously close to "why don't they release only what I want?" territory.

I think no one's really talking past each other here, it's just that I think a lot of people (myself included) aren't really on board with either the "things are so much worse now" complaint or the snobbery underlying the discussion here. You don't like the current wave of franchises and I don't either, but other people do, and well, that's life. But that's always been true, at least for me - as much as I love going to the movies, my tastes have only occasionally (and seemingly only incidentally) synched with the general public's. I don't see why it makes sense to me to sit around scolding other people for it. It is what it is, and there's still more to watch than I can make time to see.

At any rate, going mostly unremarked here is that the big reason more theaters aren't showing The Irishman is that Netflix and NATO can't work out a deal on the theatrical exclusivity window. In other words, the reason exhibitors aren't showing it - as with Roma and others - has nothing to do with it not being sufficiently focused-grouped or franchisey. Which perhaps undercuts Scorsese's argument just a tad.

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