12 votes

Tom Cruise’s new ‘Top Gun’ could take movies back to the late ’70s and the golden age of blockbusters

65 comments

  1. [13]
    deknalis
    Link
    It's very funny/deeply sad to see the goalposts understandably shift in regards to what's seen as "higher brow" filmmaking over the years. Nostalgia legacy sequels like this were derided as bottom...

    It's very funny/deeply sad to see the goalposts understandably shift in regards to what's seen as "higher brow" filmmaking over the years. Nostalgia legacy sequels like this were derided as bottom barrel affair about 10 years ago, even if well made, but in the face of true (for now) bottom barrel affair like the new Space Jam or anything Disney puts out now just being a series of ouroboros-esque empty reference generators, they look like high art. I wonder if things will sink to the point of Ready Player One being considered the "good old days".

    15 votes
    1. [10]
      nothis
      Link Parent
      The 70s/80s/90s actually produced these iconic movies and entire franchises from scratch! Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Alien, Blade Runner, Die Hard, Terminator, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future,...

      The 70s/80s/90s actually produced these iconic movies and entire franchises from scratch! Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Alien, Blade Runner, Die Hard, Terminator, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, The Matrix,...

      In the past decade, the only thing close to that are the Avengers movies. I find them entertaining. But I hardly ever feel like re-watching them. The movie business has become so cowardly.

      12 votes
      1. [9]
        elcuello
        Link Parent
        If this is true that's the most depressing thing I've heard all week.

        In the past decade, the only thing close to that are the Avengers movies.

        If this is true that's the most depressing thing I've heard all week.

        4 votes
        1. vegai
          Link Parent
          And not exactly true, the first movie in the "Avengers movies" franchise is Iron Man, from 2008.

          And not exactly true, the first movie in the "Avengers movies" franchise is Iron Man, from 2008.

          1 vote
        2. [7]
          nothis
          Link Parent
          I hope I forgot something?

          I hope I forgot something?

          1. [6]
            onesecond
            Link Parent
            John Wick, Nolan's Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Kingsmen, etc... there is stuff out there

            John Wick, Nolan's Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean, Kingsmen, etc... there is stuff out there

            3 votes
            1. Ember
              Link Parent
              I feel like a lot of major "cultural event" franchises are TV series now, instead of film. The Office, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, or single-season stuff like...

              I feel like a lot of major "cultural event" franchises are TV series now, instead of film. The Office, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, or single-season stuff like Squid Game or WANDAVISION... all were things I'd hear about in offline conversation, away from the Internet. TWD had a huge impact on zombie popularity, Squid Game was literally everywhere for a while, Game of Thrones spoilers were a huge deal.

              If I had to guess on what would be nostalgia-bait in a few decades, it would be these shows instead of original films from the same period.

              9 votes
            2. [3]
              nothis
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              There's just something about those that makes me put them in a different category, which is probably unfair, I know. I couldn't even say why. I mean, for once, 2 of those are comic book...

              There's just something about those that makes me put them in a different category, which is probably unfair, I know.

              I couldn't even say why. I mean, for once, 2 of those are comic book adaptations and one a theme park adaptation. John Wick is a Keanu Reeves adaptation (sorry). Even big stuff like the Harry Potter movies are essentially just merchandise outgrowth of a book franchise, like a videogame or toy series. The movie isn't the center in the way it was for, say, Star Wars.

              Also the 00s had at least some variety and this is where Pirates is from, where The Dark Knight is from. We had LotR which genuinely is big enough to be its own thing and probably the last true entry in the Star Wars tier of movie franchises. That's why I mentioned the last decade, specifically. It seems like things slowed down even further.

              I dunno. Note that I'm not as anti-Top-Gun-2022 as it might sound. I haven't seen it yet but plan to. I also think that, for all the cynical cash-grabs, there's genuinely good entries in decades old franchises out there. Mad Max Fury Road, Blade Runner 2049... well, those two. If this was the quality level we're talking about, nobody would even complain, lol.

              3 votes
              1. [2]
                mat
                Link Parent
                The Dark Knight is a comic adaptation, albeit not directly adapted from a single comic. It's definitely not original IP. Also going back to your original comment, Blade Runner and Jurassic Park...

                The Dark Knight is a comic adaptation, albeit not directly adapted from a single comic. It's definitely not original IP.

                Also going back to your original comment, Blade Runner and Jurassic Park were both adapted from books.

                2 votes
                1. lou
                  Link Parent
                  It's a mix from several comic books for sure.

                  It's a mix from several comic books for sure.

            3. babypuncher
              Link Parent
              John Wick consistently surprises me. I think that is in no small part thanks to Reeve's commitment to the role and exceptional stunt choreography that makes use of his talents. Nolan's Batman...

              John Wick consistently surprises me. I think that is in no small part thanks to Reeve's commitment to the role and exceptional stunt choreography that makes use of his talents.

              Nolan's Batman trilogy actually concluded a whole decade ago.

              Pirates of the Caribbean is emblematic of Hollywoods problem with constant sequels; None of the PotC films have come close to matching the quality of the original, yet Disney continued to pump them out for 15 years.

              3 votes
    2. [2]
      teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      Having seen the new Top Gun it’s hard to agree to this is a sad change. There were some weak points but IMO it’s a great sequel and I’m glad it was made. As for the industry as a whole - I’d love...

      Having seen the new Top Gun it’s hard to agree to this is a sad change. There were some weak points but IMO it’s a great sequel and I’m glad it was made. As for the industry as a whole - I’d love to see more risks being taken. But movie-goers need to open up to more new experiences.

      And it’s not as though you can’t find top tier new IP. Everything Everywhere All at Once, (fingers crossed) NOPE.

      4 votes
      1. deknalis
        Link Parent
        I thoroughly enjoyed the new Top Gun, any statement about its quality wasn't really my point. My point was more that we've gone from the first blockbusters like Star Wars being seen as lesser...

        I thoroughly enjoyed the new Top Gun, any statement about its quality wasn't really my point. My point was more that we've gone from the first blockbusters like Star Wars being seen as lesser compared to the golden era of 70s films to a Top Gun sequel of all things being considered the better path for mainstream cinema. Bit of a sad downturn if you ask me.

        There'll always be great stuff out there in the independent space, Everything Everywhere All at Once is one example. But its $50 million box office would be disastrous for a mainstream studio film, and is only a success story because of its indie status and impressively utilized tiny budget.

        4 votes
  2. [16]
    MimicSquid
    Link
    Tom Cruise can singlehandedly take us back to a time in the entertainment landscape where there was no internet, no TV on demand, barely any home replay of video? Hah! Times have changed, and he's...

    Tom Cruise can singlehandedly take us back to a time in the entertainment landscape where there was no internet, no TV on demand, barely any home replay of video? Hah! Times have changed, and he's no entertainment messiah.

    4 votes
    1. [15]
      deknalis
      Link Parent
      I think the article is very, very optimistic, but I do think streaming services are in a pretty interesting spot at the moment. With their business model never actually proving reliably profitable...

      I think the article is very, very optimistic, but I do think streaming services are in a pretty interesting spot at the moment. With their business model never actually proving reliably profitable and a recession now looming, it'll be interesting to see how they try to manage compared to traditional and (comparitively) proven and reliable theatrical distribution methods.

      2 votes
      1. [12]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        The "proven and reliable" theaters have immense and inflexible overhead in their physical equipment and large real estate footprint. They are also significantly more expensive for someone who...

        The "proven and reliable" theaters have immense and inflexible overhead in their physical equipment and large real estate footprint. They are also significantly more expensive for someone who wants to see a movie. A single person's cost to go to a movie can easily be $30-40 with a ticket, parking, etc. That one movie for one person pays for multiple streaming services for a month.

        If a theater is in a bad location and closes down, a new theater isn't likely to do better there because they're constrained by geography and the economics of the people in the region. By comparison, if a streaming service is in a bad economic spot they can sell/license their entire catalog to another service and little is lost from the consumer's perspective. The flexibility in a recession is night and day.

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          teaearlgraycold
          Link Parent
          Not entirely disagreeing, but I can’t see how your cited $30-40 can be true. I live in the most expensive area of the US and tickets are $15 at most and parking usually is free.

          Not entirely disagreeing, but I can’t see how your cited $30-40 can be true. I live in the most expensive area of the US and tickets are $15 at most and parking usually is free.

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            In downtown San Francisco today it's $18.50 for a single adult ticket to see the new Dr. Strange movie, $22.50 if you want "3d". Parking would be $12 for 3 hours. No parking validation with movie...

            In downtown San Francisco today it's $18.50 for a single adult ticket to see the new Dr. Strange movie, $22.50 if you want "3d". Parking would be $12 for 3 hours. No parking validation with movie ticket. Perhaps you're in some less expensive area?

            5 votes
            1. teaearlgraycold
              Link Parent
              Huh. I guess the SF burbs are way cheaper. $15 with free parking (after validation) for Doctor Strange. Glad again I don’t live in the city.

              Huh. I guess the SF burbs are way cheaper. $15 with free parking (after validation) for Doctor Strange. Glad again I don’t live in the city.

              1 vote
        2. [8]
          deknalis
          Link Parent
          "A single person's cost to go to a movie can easily be $30-40 with a ticket, parking, etc. That one movie for one person pays for multiple streaming services for a month." This argument doesn't...

          "A single person's cost to go to a movie can easily be $30-40 with a ticket, parking, etc. That one movie for one person pays for multiple streaming services for a month."

          This argument doesn't actually mean much when the services themselves are losing money due to chasing growth over immediate profitability, and is in fact indicative of why streaming services haven't actually shown that they actually have a profitable and sustainable business model yet. If theaters wanted to make attendance soar instead of concerning themselves with actually making money, they could take on billions in debt and make tickets $2, it just wouldn't be very advisable as a business decision. Every streamer is burning cash to establish a foothold until they can raise prices or slow down content spending to achieve profitability.

          1 vote
          1. [7]
            MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            Yeah, but I don't care if they're bleeding themselves dry to get viewers. I don't really see why it'd be a loss if half of the streaming platforms went bust and leased their catalogues to one of...

            Yeah, but I don't care if they're bleeding themselves dry to get viewers. I don't really see why it'd be a loss if half of the streaming platforms went bust and leased their catalogues to one of the other ones. For me, right now, it's cheaper to have several big streaming services than to see one movie a month.

            1 vote
            1. [6]
              deknalis
              Link Parent
              My point was from the eyes of investors, not consumers. Losing billions a year doesn't work when investors get skittish in recession markets of betting on anything but commodities, and we don't...

              My point was from the eyes of investors, not consumers. Losing billions a year doesn't work when investors get skittish in recession markets of betting on anything but commodities, and we don't know if people are willing to pay $40 a month for Disney Plus.

              1 vote
              1. [5]
                MimicSquid
                Link Parent
                Ok, but stock market value frankly only matters to day to day operations when the company is trying to make money, or in such instance when the investors can actually collectively get together the...

                Ok, but stock market value frankly only matters to day to day operations when the company is trying to make money, or in such instance when the investors can actually collectively get together the will to change up the board of directors/C-suite. It's possible the streaming services will have issues, but I'm not sure that a drop in investor confidence would impact their bottom line as much as a drop in customer confidence. Besides, almost all streaming services at the moment are branches of existing media companies, and thus aren't directly vulnerable to investor sentiment. If anything it's more important that they keep looking good to the c-suite within the respective companies.

                1. [4]
                  deknalis
                  Link Parent
                  "but I'm not sure that a drop in investor confidence would impact their bottom line as much as a drop in customer confidence." It absolutely would if they're reliant on taking on debt as a...

                  "but I'm not sure that a drop in investor confidence would impact their bottom line as much as a drop in customer confidence."

                  It absolutely would if they're reliant on taking on debt as a business model, which they are. They're reliant on billions being poured into them a year in content spending without profitable yield. If investor confidence goes away, they have to take more desperate measure to try to compete like taking on debt on worse terms and higher interest rates. It's true that the majority of big players are subsidiaries of existing media companies, but even in cases like that, it's not uncommon for companies to consider how much they're willing to compete in spaces they won't be seeing profit in for potentially a decade during economic downturns, and restructure accordingly.

                  1 vote
                  1. [3]
                    MimicSquid
                    Link Parent
                    The thing is, those larger companies are mostly pulling from their own catalog. There's definitely costs associated with administering and supporting a streaming service, but I wouldn't be...

                    The thing is, those larger companies are mostly pulling from their own catalog. There's definitely costs associated with administering and supporting a streaming service, but I wouldn't be surprised if the back catalog supports a lot of subscriptions at very minimal cost. This article is 7 months old, but implies billions of profits for the major players. Is there data pointing the other way?

                    1. [2]
                      deknalis
                      Link Parent
                      That article is a bit strange, I can't tell if it's using income and revenue interchangeably or not being transparent enough about how it's getting its numbers. If you look at investor calls, you...

                      That article is a bit strange, I can't tell if it's using income and revenue interchangeably or not being transparent enough about how it's getting its numbers. If you look at investor calls, you see that companies are largely discussing lower overall profits and justifying them through content spending on streaming as a form of future proofing. It's mentioned here from Disney's earnings reports that they believe Disney+ will be profitable in 3-4 years. Warner talked about a nearly 30% drop in overall profit because of increased HBO Max investment in their last earnings call as well.

                      1 vote
                      1. MimicSquid
                        Link Parent
                        Thank you, that's definitely better info than I had.

                        Thank you, that's definitely better info than I had.

      2. [2]
        cloud_loud
        Link Parent
        Everyone also needs to realize that the movies that generally do the best on streaming services are those that are released in theaters first.

        Everyone also needs to realize that the movies that generally do the best on streaming services are those that are released in theaters first.

        1 vote
        1. MimicSquid
          Link Parent
          Does that control for relative advertising? Movies that are released in theaters are generally advertised more heavily than direct to consumer movies, among other potentially confounding factors.

          Does that control for relative advertising? Movies that are released in theaters are generally advertised more heavily than direct to consumer movies, among other potentially confounding factors.

          1 vote
  3. [29]
    tomf
    Link
    I saw Maverick the other night and just didn't like it. The in-flight scenes were cool, especially in the main part, but I'll never watch it again. It's a harsh, unfair comparison, but it was...

    I saw Maverick the other night and just didn't like it. The in-flight scenes were cool, especially in the main part, but I'll never watch it again. It's a harsh, unfair comparison, but it was almost like Van Sant's Psycho... but not as bad as Van Sant's Psycho, if that makes any sense.

    For context, I also didn't like Interstellar, Fury Road, or a lot of the other big movies that were universally adored. With Maverick and these others, I just didn't feel any sort of investment with the characters. They go here, do one thing, uh-oh something has gone wrong, they fix it, some authority figure says 'I'm going against everything for this, but you're the only one who can do this', they do it, everybody is happy, slap in some hot woman for the hero to fall in love with... same old crap. Some of this doesn't apply to Fury Road, but I just don't see any reason to care about these characters.

    The Batman was awful. Give me High and Low... but not a remake.

    Anyway, all this said, maybe he's right about bringing back 70s and 80s blockbusters. Outside of the initial ones that come to mind, a lot of the big commercially successful movies from then weren't great. Everything Everywhere All at Once should be a blockbuster, since its actually heading into new territory like the truly great blockbusters of that era, but all of the big studio cash goes to rehashing existing properties that can play universally.

    Why was Avatar ever successful?! Neat as a proof of concept / reel, but it ends there... at least for me.

    3 votes
    1. [28]
      lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Insterstellar is fine if you understand it's not the new 2001, but rather melodrama in space. Avatar is similar: melodrama with blue people. There's not much I can tell you about Fury Road, it is...

      Insterstellar is fine if you understand it's not the new 2001, but rather melodrama in space. Avatar is similar: melodrama with blue people.

      There's not much I can tell you about Fury Road, it is to me a masterpiece. But I'll say this: it's not a movie that depends on a deeply surprising reveal. It is very contained and tells one simple story. It reminds me of Dredd, a pure action romp.

      I didn't like The Batman. The last person that tried to explain me why The Batman is a masterpiece told me "I know the screenplay is bad, but the movie is good". Which kinda says it all, I cannot conceive a super hero movie that is good with a bad story. Other people clearly have different priorities 🤷.

      History is being written, and according to the vast majority The Batman is better than anything Nolan did with the character. To me that's absurd, but I'm clearly in the losing side of that dispute.

      I haven't seen the new Top Gun, but I don't think I liked even the first one. The Charlie Sheen parody was pretty good though.

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        babypuncher
        Link Parent
        As a bit of an astrophysics nerd, Interstellar was basically the second coming of Jesus for me. I want to see more movies with major plot points hinged on some of the stranger implications of...

        As a bit of an astrophysics nerd, Interstellar was basically the second coming of Jesus for me. I want to see more movies with major plot points hinged on some of the stranger implications of general relativity.

        4 votes
        1. [3]
          lou
          Link Parent
          It's a great movie, but I could do without the sappy melodrama and the books metaphor. What's sad about Interstellar is that it really could have been the contemporary answer to 2001, and it's...

          It's a great movie, but I could do without the sappy melodrama and the books metaphor. What's sad about Interstellar is that it really could have been the contemporary answer to 2001, and it's easy to turn against it because of that. But it's pretty awesome if you embrace the overt sentimentality.

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            babypuncher
            Link Parent
            I think the sappy melodrama was Nolan overcompensating for critiques about his prior works feeling too cold and clinical.

            I think the sappy melodrama was Nolan overcompensating for critiques about his prior works feeling too cold and clinical.

            3 votes
            1. lou
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              Maybe! But that wasn't the story to address those concerns IMHO. I personally don't care about cold and clinical. I'm the kind of guy that actually empathize's even with Greg Egan's characters.

              Maybe! But that wasn't the story to address those concerns IMHO.

              I personally don't care about cold and clinical. I'm the kind of guy that actually empathize's even with Greg Egan's characters.

      2. [23]
        tomf
        Link Parent
        The Batman was so bad. Not Superman v Batman level, but not far off. To say that The Batman is better than Nolan's work is madness. Everybody has been trying to emulate Ledger's Joker since that...

        The Batman was so bad. Not Superman v Batman level, but not far off. To say that The Batman is better than Nolan's work is madness. Everybody has been trying to emulate Ledger's Joker since that came out. Phoenix had a decent Joker, but I don't think that Joker would work with Batman in the mix.

        I think The Watchmen captured the right tone for Batman. A lot of people hate on The Watchmen, but I really liked it.

        Dredd, The Raid, etc are a whole other breed of film. A lot of current action films suffer by trying to force sentimentality into the mix. With Maverick, if the whole story was simply the mission and Maverick's relationship with Goose's kid, it would have been fine. Shift the focus more toward Teller's character and pump up the tension between him and the new Iceman guy -- done like dinner. But, like you said, HOT SHOTS was better :) I also miss these sort of parody films. It feels like its been a long time since we got a pure comedy.

        I'm going to give Fury Road another shot. I watched the normal a few times, Black and Chrome once, and this other modified isolated score edit that was neat.

        Somewhat related, I really think Maveric should have done a 1:1 soundtrack.

        3 votes
        1. [22]
          lou
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          I don't really get why Watchmen is considered to be so bad, I think it's great. And I know the comics since the 90s, so I'd have every reason to be in the "the book is always better" crowd.

          I don't really get why Watchmen is considered to be so bad, I think it's great. And I know the comics since the 90s, so I'd have every reason to be in the "the book is always better" crowd.

          4 votes
          1. [19]
            tomf
            Link Parent
            right! I never understood the hate at all. Especially the Ultimate cut with the dark freighter --- I love it all.

            right! I never understood the hate at all. Especially the Ultimate cut with the dark freighter --- I love it all.

            2 votes
            1. [18]
              mat
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              If you're unclear why Zack Snyder is a dreadful right wing hack who utterly and completely misunderstood Watchmen, I suggest Maggie Mae Fish's excellent series on the guy. It's long but it's worth...

              If you're unclear why Zack Snyder is a dreadful right wing hack who utterly and completely misunderstood Watchmen, I suggest Maggie Mae Fish's excellent series on the guy. It's long but it's worth it.

              Edit: you can probably just jump straight to episode two, the first one is mostly about Superman.

              Snyder made more of a mess of Watchmen than I think any other comic-to-screen adaptation and I'm including The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell in that.

              4 votes
              1. [17]
                tomf
                Link Parent
                well, I don't care about Snyder's politics... and considering such a thing is an odd point to make in a thread re: a film starring the grand wizard of Scientology. That being said, I don't think...

                well, I don't care about Snyder's politics... and considering such a thing is an odd point to make in a thread re: a film starring the grand wizard of Scientology.

                That being said, I don't think its possible to come close to adapting the nuance of The Watchmen to the big screen. Nobody has ever really done it.

                I'm just glad he didn't give it the Bourne Identity treatment. Expecting an adaptation to match the source material is a recipe for disappointment. It has been done, but not with a graphic novel, so far as I can think of off the top of my head.

                2 votes
                1. [12]
                  lou
                  Link Parent
                  What do you think of the TV show?

                  What do you think of the TV show?

                  2 votes
                  1. [11]
                    tomf
                    Link Parent
                    I liked it enough. The initial pacing felt off, but it picked up. It had a neat tie-in. You? I can only assume Alan Moore hated it :)

                    I liked it enough. The initial pacing felt off, but it picked up. It had a neat tie-in. You?

                    I can only assume Alan Moore hated it :)

                    2 votes
                    1. [10]
                      lou
                      (edited )
                      Link Parent
                      I believe the last comic book adaptation Alan Moore watched was Tim Burton's Batman. So he probably don't have an opinion, besides a general resentment towards anything that is not a novel or a...

                      I believe the last comic book adaptation Alan Moore watched was Tim Burton's Batman. So he probably don't have an opinion, besides a general resentment towards anything that is not a novel or a very specific kind of comic book. Guy's intense.

                      I think I agree with your opinion of the show. I actually wrote about it before.

                      Spoilers for Watchmen (HBO, 2019)

                      I finished Watchmen. It's a mixed bag. Before that, Damon Lindelof helped create Lost and was the main responsible for The Leftovers, a strong candidate for the best show ever. He clearly prefers cerebral storylines and slow burns and is very competent at it. One technique that he uses repeatedly is to foreshadow uncontextualized elements that become relevant later on. That's a great way to entice the audience to generate hypotheses, creating a sense of anticipation, culminating in a gestalt where everything comes together in a cohesive way.

                      However, for these narratives to work, the source of the mystery must be sufficiently fascinating -- puzzling, yet achievable, always shifting and redirecting our expectations in interesting ways. That is what happens in The Leftovers, but, in Watchmen, the procedure falls flat. The delayed exposition, as well as the many cryptic and strange scenes, feels like a cheap trick that strains our imaginations instead of feeding it. And when the curtain is pulled, what we find behind is quite pedestrian.

                      This show made me fall in love with Regina King, which I knew from Leftovers but didn't appreciate as much as I should. The scene when she starts falling in love with Dr. Manhattan is so beautiful and charming and true. I have a thing for this specific kind of scene, scenes where people fall in love. That's such a precious moment, so hard to capture in a genuine fashion. For another beautiful example, watch the scene in which Lady Gaga first sings to Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born (2018).

                      So is this a bad show? No, absolutely not. But it definitely falls short of the expectations set by the first episodes and is a far cry from Damon Lindelof's previous work.

                      Later, I added:

                      Absolutely, the show contains an intricate menagerie of engaging references and callbacks both internal and external. This makes for an universe that feels alive and cohesive, and render itself very well to comparisons and commentary to the actual world. I don't think it works quite well as a narrative, but I certainly didn't feel that I wasted my time. Some narrative just work more strongly conceptually than, well, actually. The Leftovers achieved both conceptual sophistication and sublime narration, so to me Watchmen fell short in that respect.

                      One thing I forgot to write is that the subplot of Ozymandias as an old aristocrat surrounded by clones of the same men and woman was far too long, cryptic, and dull, and the show would be immensely better if we spent less time with him.

                      1 vote
                      1. [9]
                        tomf
                        Link Parent
                        Regina King is great. If you like cop shows, Southland is pretty good. One really great thing The Watchmen did was remind / introduce a lot of people to the Tulsa massacre. It's a safe play on...

                        Regina King is great. If you like cop shows, Southland is pretty good.

                        One really great thing The Watchmen did was remind / introduce a lot of people to the Tulsa massacre.

                        It's a safe play on Moore's part to avoid comic adaptations. Almost every novel I love that has been adapted has been a let down. I mentioned Bourne earlier, since its got to be the absolute worst offender of them all. The movies have nothing to do with the books outside of amnesia, some character names, and... a girl.

                        Its a shame, but its how it goes unless the stars align, which is rare. The more you know and understand a property, the more disappointed you'll be by the adaptation if you're expecting it to be 1:1.

                        Speaking of adaptations, Adaptation is a perfect adaptation of The Orchid Thief. I couldn't think of a better way to bring that book to life. It definitely isn't 1:1, but it does capture the spirit of the people involved.

                        1 vote
                        1. [8]
                          lou
                          (edited )
                          Link Parent
                          Yeah Adaptation is crazy! I was having a screenwriting class at the time at it kinda fucked me up in a good way lol. Synecdoche New York took me even far on that mind-bending direction afterwards....

                          Yeah Adaptation is crazy! I was having a screenwriting class at the time at it kinda fucked me up in a good way lol. Synecdoche New York took me even far on that mind-bending direction afterwards.

                          But there are plenty excellent novel and play adaptations. Most Hitchcock's are adaptations. There's also Godfather, The Exorcist, The Shinning, Closer. And a lot of very awarded contemporary films as well. Predestination is in my opinion an excellent take on Heinlein's All You Zombies.

                          The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay is a good source of excellent adaptations.

                          1 vote
                          1. [7]
                            tomf
                            Link Parent
                            I agree that there are a lot of great adaptations, but if you're a superfan of the source, there's always going to be a lot of detail missed. Even The Godfather had some details and changes that I...

                            I agree that there are a lot of great adaptations, but if you're a superfan of the source, there's always going to be a lot of detail missed. Even The Godfather had some details and changes that I wish they hadn't done. Minor stuff, but when I finally read the book, I remember some spots where I was wishing the scenes were there.

                            Have you read The Shining? I always assumed Kubrick's took some liberties, but not much -- but he changed so much of it.

                            Now, if we're going to talk about a near-perfect adaptation, No Country for Old Men takes the cake... or at least shares it with To Kill a Mockingbird.

                            1 vote
                            1. [6]
                              lou
                              Link Parent
                              I have read The Shinning, yes. I believe the movie is vastly superior, and also vastly distinct. I learned that there's a degree of liberty in an adaptation which I tend to embrace.

                              I have read The Shinning, yes. I believe the movie is vastly superior, and also vastly distinct. I learned that there's a degree of liberty in an adaptation which I tend to embrace.

                              1 vote
                              1. [5]
                                tomf
                                Link Parent
                                I love Kubrick's. I'm going to watch the TV movie soon -- but the kid just doesn't compare. The addition of the labyrinth to replace the topiary is better, too. I totally support liberties when...

                                I love Kubrick's. I'm going to watch the TV movie soon -- but the kid just doesn't compare. The addition of the labyrinth to replace the topiary is better, too.

                                I totally support liberties when they work... but I will never get over my disappointment for the Bourne series, which is a deeply personal point of contention. I really wanted the second and third books to be filmed 1:1 more than anything.

                                1 vote
                                1. [4]
                                  lou
                                  (edited )
                                  Link Parent
                                  I think that's the issue right there. Movies and books are just inherently, essentially, profoundly distinct. I could try some reasoning here, but I'll do something fun instead. I'll ask you a...

                                  I really wanted the second and third books to be filmed 1:1 more than anything

                                  I think that's the issue right there. Movies and books are just inherently, essentially, profoundly distinct. I could try some reasoning here, but I'll do something fun instead. I'll ask you a question: if Ray Charles sang Elanor Rigby, would you want him to sound like Paul McCartney?

                                  1 vote
                                  1. [3]
                                    tomf
                                    Link Parent
                                    haha. that'd be awful. But in the same, we'd still hope he'd stick to the lyrics, no matter how much he changed the rhythm. But I get your point.

                                    haha. that'd be awful. But in the same, we'd still hope he'd stick to the lyrics, no matter how much he changed the rhythm. But I get your point.

                                    2 votes
                2. [4]
                  mat
                  Link Parent
                  Snyder's politics matter partly because he's almost the polar opposite of Alan Moore. Which is one reason Snyder made such a disastrous mess of Watchmen. Tom Cruise is just an actor. He has to...

                  Snyder's politics matter partly because he's almost the polar opposite of Alan Moore. Which is one reason Snyder made such a disastrous mess of Watchmen.

                  Tom Cruise is just an actor. He has to stand up and say lines someone else has written for them. Whatever weird shit he thinks doesn't matter. A director's politics do matter, because they inform so much of what they're creating - and that goes double when they're making a film based on a deeply political book.

                  Snyder doesn't just "not come close" to the book, of course nobody could do that - but he misses spectacularly.. Watch the videos I linked, Maggie Mae explains it much better than me. Zack Snyder makes terrible films with largely very unpleasant messages, about mostly awful people. Watchmen is his worst and yes, I have seen Sucker Punch.

                  Off the top of my head: Sin City was a pretty solid adaptation of the comic. Ghost in the Shell too (not the live action one). Akira nails the first book of the series almost frame-for-frame.

                  2 votes
                  1. [3]
                    lou
                    Link Parent
                    I believe it is safe to say that Tom Cruise is a force of the industry and very much not "just an actor", and it is probably relevant that he's credited as a producer in this movie.

                    I believe it is safe to say that Tom Cruise is a force of the industry and very much not "just an actor", and it is probably relevant that he's credited as a producer in this movie.

                    3 votes
                    1. [2]
                      mat
                      Link Parent
                      You must have noticed by now that everyone and anyone with a certain amount of clout in the industry gets a producer credit. It doesn't always mean anything. Regardless, even if he's pretty active...

                      You must have noticed by now that everyone and anyone with a certain amount of clout in the industry gets a producer credit. It doesn't always mean anything.

                      Regardless, even if he's pretty active in a production role - producer Cruise is still not in one of the major creative positions - writer or director; or to a slightly lesser extent cinematographer or editor.

                      1. lou
                        (edited )
                        Link Parent
                        I won't pretend that I know exactly how this production took place, I'd just like to note that huge stars with producer credits often do have a certain degree of autonomy and influence that are...

                        I won't pretend that I know exactly how this production took place, I'd just like to note that huge stars with producer credits often do have a certain degree of autonomy and influence that are not available to someone who's "just an actor".

                        1 vote
          2. [2]
            babypuncher
            Link Parent
            Watchmen is pretty good, but I think it is clear in some instances that Snyder did not fully understand the intended message of the source material. The way the action scenes feel stylized and...

            Watchmen is pretty good, but I think it is clear in some instances that Snyder did not fully understand the intended message of the source material. The way the action scenes feel stylized and exciting rather than objective and horrifying highlights this. The number of people who come out of it thinking Rorshach was a good guy reflects an inadequate portrayal of his character.

            It is still a far more enjoyable and faithful adaptation than I think any of us expected though, and easily Snyder's best work.

            1 vote
            1. lou
              (edited )
              Link Parent
              I do think that he understands those intentions, and the overt theatricality is used very well for contrast and commentary.

              I do think that he understands those intentions, and the overt theatricality is used very well for contrast and commentary.

              1 vote
  4. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    Nah, they're hitting the 70s+ nostalgia button. Top Gun: Maverick will be a hit because it is built on an old name that many people have good memories of. We will likely not see original stories,...

    It's almost like the pandemic is enabling Hollywood to hit the reset

    Nah, they're hitting the 70s+ nostalgia button. Top Gun: Maverick will be a hit because it is built on an old name that many people have good memories of. We will likely not see original stories, but reboots, rehashes, and franchise recycling in major releases, and as tentpoles, because we have given permission for these practices over decades. I don't even think we'll see many new adaptations, pulling instead from a body of work going maybe to the 60s.
    You'll see articles written like the above but they ignore one thing: The author is blind to their own nostalgia. In a decade we'll see "90s movies" as a thing as millennials age into being shot-callers approving comfortable concepts.

    I've seen enough in this past decade to see it is fans of movies making the call to revisit the movies they love, which will give rise to arthouses like a24 (which is generating a lot of buzz) driving this golden age if it happens, not our conventional block-busting studios offering comfortable fare for what they think the masses to be. I don't want to overstate the value of independent movies in the market, but they will be what drives new ideas in movies, instead of the culty fringe it was in the past.

    There is still plenty of good stuff coming out, don't get me wrong. I don't mind a lot of the specific films made by the methods I'm complaining about.
    I also don't think there is a blockbuster renaissance coming, but a pliably nostalgic audience getting the wool pulled over their eyes by big studios.

    3 votes
  5. [5]
    elcuello
    Link
    Reddit is being gamed hard on this right now and it's honestly frustrating.

    Reddit is being gamed hard on this right now and it's honestly frustrating.

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      knocklessmonster
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      What's happening on Reddit? Die-hard nostalgia, or rage about reboots?

      What's happening on Reddit? Die-hard nostalgia, or rage about reboots?

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        MimicSquid
        Link Parent
        Really hard astroturfing; glowing reviews, lots of "movie insights", pieces lauding Tom Cruise, etc. If there's a half sensible way for Top Gun to fit into a subreddit's theme, there's positive...

        Really hard astroturfing; glowing reviews, lots of "movie insights", pieces lauding Tom Cruise, etc. If there's a half sensible way for Top Gun to fit into a subreddit's theme, there's positive coverage there.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          knocklessmonster
          Link Parent
          I don't mean to seem too cynical, but there's a pattern of marketing in which people want their chosen franchise/thing catered to them, and Reddit is sort of that way on the whole, especially with...

          I don't mean to seem too cynical, but there's a pattern of marketing in which people want their chosen franchise/thing catered to them, and Reddit is sort of that way on the whole, especially with anything 80s or 90s. Sort of like some communities or people even want to be astroturfed, if that makes any sense?

          I can't help but feel the article that spawned this thread is an example of one who wants to see this 70s-80s revival as a renaissance and creates the window for that sort of marketing, to provide an example of an effect of this when it becomes more organic.

          3 votes
          1. MimicSquid
            Link Parent
            Yeah, of course. I admit to a bit of a pleased feeling when, after a lifetime of my parents' generation's media being glowingly worshipped, my own beloved media properties' turns started to come,...

            Yeah, of course. I admit to a bit of a pleased feeling when, after a lifetime of my parents' generation's media being glowingly worshipped, my own beloved media properties' turns started to come, but I'm also aware that it's just preying on my nostalgia and desire to feel like the things I loved are still relevant without needing to learn to love anything new or novel.

            It's not healthy, though. It's akin to being trapped in amber, stuck in a media echo chamber being slathered with the same old stuff until you're totally frozen in resin. (I say, having gone on at length in the "old videogames still worth playing" thread.) Like, it's not that you shouldn't love what you love, but tying yourself to media from 40+ years ago isn't the way to stay alive and engaged.

  6. cloud_loud
    Link
    With this making a lot of money and Avatar being a guarantee to be the highest grossing movie of the year both domestically and world wide. I think the landscape in Hollywood is about to shift.

    With this making a lot of money and Avatar being a guarantee to be the highest grossing movie of the year both domestically and world wide. I think the landscape in Hollywood is about to shift.

    1 vote