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Andrew Reid

The "Annihilation" of Paramount Pictures

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Paramount don't think Ex-Machina director's next film, starring Natalie Portman will make any money so they scrapped the cinema release and dumped it for cheap on Netflix's porch like an abandoned baby.

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/01/annihilation-paramount-netflix/551810/?utm_source=atlfb

These execs are going to be the death of cinema.

Good thing is we have great TVs now and HDR :)

Alex Garland is one of the most talented directors and writers working today, loved Ex Machina and it was a huge hit. Intelligent sci-fi is in. Black Mirror on Netflix is popular. Arrival was a hit. Why not this? Apparently Annihilation is a direct to video B-movie in the eyes of these Paramount idiots whose summer schedule consists of a Transformers spin-off called Bumblebee and another Mission Impossible... and practically nothing else.

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If it's *just* about money, if the only votes that count are those of the shareholders, this industry is doomed. Applicable to everything. If we are measured by by the degree we can be exploited, our kidneys will be sold and the rest becomes soap. 

Watch The Cooler. The old casino mafia ruled this frivole business with cruelty - and passion. Then the bankers appeared and took over. And the world turned to shit.

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In the article, it says that paramount did a couple of test screenings and found it to be too intellectual....

Which explains a lot.... I remember being in a second year psych. course in University back in the early 2000s.... And the professor asked a question, can't remember the actual question or what prompted him to say this.... But I remember it almost on a consistent basis.... He said, "You are technically smarter than 85% of the population." Which made me think... It is true on some respects, you need to get the top grades (85% or more) to get into University.... But, is this true in respects to everybody.... 

I'm starting to believe it is.... I've been running into a lot of them too, and Im sure some of you guys have too.... Examples: Some cashier that can't do basic math, a barrista that can't get a simple order right. Ever get a time when you specifically say... "No mayo" or something similar and you repeat it a couple of times too, and they say "yes, yes.... No mayo..." And the sandwich comes back with Mayo. Then you look at the sandwich and ask what the hell is this.... And she is looking at you weirdly... This has been happening to me on the regular. And, I generally go when it's not that busy cause you don't want to hurt their pea brains with small requests like this amongst all the other requests.

I know.... The above sounds a bit petty, especially if you've never experienced it yet. But, if you experience it on the regular... I, especially, try to avoid confrontation too... I completely try to avoid the dumb peeps... I always say, these people work here for a reason.

Going back to this movie, if it's only going to appeal to the top 15 percenters.... Then I too would choose those that know how to subscribe and use Netflix.

 

 

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At the same time, some of the most brilliant movies are considered great because they appeal to everyone at many levels of intelligence. Think of The Godfather, for instance. Cinematography nerds can love Gordon Willis' innovation of using darkness and top-lighting to establish mood in a way that was scary to Hollywood at the time. Writing and story buffs can enjoy every morsel of how Puzo and Coppola adapted the novel to screenplay form. The production design. How many times has Pacino's performance in parts one and two been called "brilliant"? I enjoyed the movie as a kid, as a teen, and now in my middle age just as much, but for different reasons. There are great popcorn moments in The Godfather just as there are deeper things you can think about for a lifetime - what does being an honorable son mean, for instance, or how does capitalism and loyalty corrupt one's ideals?

In the same way that using a lot of big words might make you sound smart but won't necessarily mean that you're a great communicator, I think the ultimate brilliance and intellectual challenge of making a film is how to talk about big ideas to a mass audience. Films like The Godfather do that. There may be audiences (albeit smaller ones) for stories that don't try, don't "pander", to people with low intelligence, and that's fine. But let's not confuse being intellectual with quality filmmaking.

The flip side of the coin, of course, is the lowest common denominator. The films that do well precisely because they do pander to the audience but don't stand the test of time due to their lack of depth and intellectual rigor. Think of films like Dances With Wolves, which won best picture the same year that Goodfellas came out. Most film buffs, even the dumb ones, have watched and talked about Goodfellas many times in the intervening 25+ years, but time has not been so kind to the other.

The studio system, and many such systems guided by groupthink and large investment dollars will often ferret out the most original ideas in favor of safe ones. Which is why we have so many sequels. But the alternative of making pedantic movies for no audience is just as dire for the audience.

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3 hours ago, Raafi Rivero said:

The studio system, and many such systems guided by groupthink and large investment dollars will often ferret out the most original ideas in favor of safe ones.

This.

The studios used to take chances, in the 70's.

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5 hours ago, mkabi said:

In the article, it says that paramount did a couple of test screenings and found it to be too intellectual....

 

My feeling is that 'intellectual' works better in a subscription model like Netflix than in the Cinema. We see that 'intellectual' like some TV series or documentaries dont attract high audience figures but they do tend to inspire loyalty to the channel brand and anchor subscriptions. So on that note, we dont know 'how much' Netflix is paying Paramount 'NOT' to release it in the Cinema. Afterall Netflix spent over US$50m making 'Okja' last year (which I thought was excellent.)

Anyways, it is useless blaming 'bean counters' and 'studio executive' or 'youtube' when they are simply catering to audience demands. Considering that 'Fast and Furious 8' generated US$1bn faster than any movie in history, it is just heroically optimistic to expect a next Godfather movie.

 

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27 minutes ago, mercer said:

That’s because studio heads were former producers that loved movies. Now they’re run by Harvard Business School graduates that look at the movie business as if it were any other widget.

Line them up... along with all the others.

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1 hour ago, Robert Collins said:

My feeling is that 'intellectual' works better in a subscription model like Netflix than in the Cinema. We see that 'intellectual' like some TV series or documentaries dont attract high audience figures but they do tend to inspire loyalty to the channel brand and anchor subscriptions. So on that note, we dont know 'how much' Netflix is paying Paramount 'NOT' to release it in the Cinema. Afterall Netflix spent over US$50m making 'Okja' last year (which I thought was excellent.)

Anyways, it is useless blaming 'bean counters' and 'studio executive' or 'youtube' when they are simply catering to audience demands. Considering that 'Fast and Furious 8' generated US$1bn faster than any movie in history, it is just heroically optimistic to expect a next Godfather movie.

 

It's no secret that we are certainly seeing a fragmentation of distribution. But if it helps me find films that I actually want to see, then I'd be happy to forgo the Hollywood schlock. Of course seeing great films in theatres still warms my heart, but not when some troglodyte is kicking the back of my chair. I've been collecting images of people who do this and may start a website to compile them. Starting with this guy at CPH:DOX World Premiere of The Look of Silence.

x.jpg

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Just now, User said:

It's no secret that we are certainly seeing a fragmentation of distribution. And if it helps me find films that I actually want to see, then I'd be happy to forgo the Hollywood schlock. Of course seeing great films in theatres still warms my heart, but not when some troglodyte is kicking the back of my chair. I've been collecting images of people who do this and may start a website to compile them. Starting with this guy at CPH:DOX World Premiere of The Look of Silence - Joshua Oppenheimer.

x.jpg

Shit, that was your seat... 

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13 minutes ago, mercer said:

Shit, that was your seat... 

“Look into the eyes of a chair kicker and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world.”
― Werner Herzog

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