In Episode 20, Stephen did it again.
A fun weekly podcast, all about the movies.
In Episode 20, Stephen did it again.
Everyone’s a critic, right? A few are lucky (well, eloquent) enough to get paid for it, but the rest of us do the job for free, cheerfully offering our services wherever and whenever they may be required. We love talking about the achievements and failures of arts and entertainment, and when I say “we” I truly mean to include myself at the front of the pack.
One cliche of criticism that gets repeated over and over again — aptly, I might add — is “What were you thinking??” We might normally love Will Smith, and therefore it practically offends us when he makes something like Wild Wild West and leads us all astray. He tends to make good movies, which suggests he is astute at selecting only the best scripts, and so how could he have made such a grievous error and wasted himself on a stinker?
But perhaps we are analyzing these situations from the wrong perspective.
Way back in Episode 8, Stephen mistook the nature of our audience.
Continuing the theme of Ads For Artists, Part 1, let’s look at some more accomplished filmmakers of 1927 that were featured in full page ads in the Film Daily Yearbook. Last time, I drove home the point that so many of the big names of the day no longer even ring a bell, but this time let’s kick off with one that’s, if anything, bigger now.
The last of the major Oscar prognosticators have trickled in. Martin Scorsese won the Director’s Guild Award, which solidifies his front-runner status for the Oscar. For Best Original Screenplay, the Writer’s Guild picked Little Miss Sunshine, beating out, among others, fellow Best Picture nominees Babel and The Queen. Best Adapted Screenplay went to The Departed.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts gave its Best Film award to The Queen and its Best British Film Award to The Last King of Scotland — somewhat bizarre, since both films were nominated in both categories.
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In Episode 20, our Top 6 list is about sequels that are distinctly different from their originals. Usually, sequels are purposely fashioned to recreate the experience of the original, just bigger and better. Most that do this fail, because usually the element of surprise is what makes the originals successful in the first place. But here are our favorite sequels that attempt to do something entirely new and different. Well…maybe “favorite” is putting it too strongly. Neither one of us could resist throwing in a couple of interestingly appropriate bad movies.
What are your own favorite distinctly different sequels?
As always, we recommend listening to the episode before reading further.
Editor’s Note: This post was intended to be posted last Thursday but was mistakenly marked as a private post.
The conversation thread in the Vintage post from two weeks ago brought up the question of distribution patterns in the late 1920s, and I thought we’d explore that a little further. Basically, today, every big movie opens wide, which means it appears in theaters nationwide the same day. Even smaller movies with limited releases still get released with more synchronicity than movies ever got 80 years ago.
In 1999, writer-director Mike Judge — until that point, best known for creating the cartoons Beavis and Butt-Head and King of the Hill — made a little film called Office Space that was pretty much dumped into theaters by its studio, 20th Century Fox. It received fair reviews and almost no buzz, but its quirky tale of life in a modern workplace resonated on video, and it soon become something of a modern cult classic. Knowing this, what I can’t figure out is why Fox did exactly the same thing to Idiocracy (2006), Judge’s next film.
This tongue twister from the German Expressionism segment of Episode 19 is probably quite appropriate, since it’s talking about a really twisted style of filmmaking.