Summary of “”2001: A Space Odyssey”: What It Means, and How It Was Made”

Fifty years ago this spring, Stanley Kubrick’s confounding sci-fi masterpiece, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” had its premières across the country.
“2001” is a hundred and forty-two minutes, pared down from a hundred and sixty-one in a cut that Kubrick made after those disastrous premières.
In his initial letter to Clarke, a science-fiction writer, engineer, and shipwreck explorer living in Ceylon, Kubrick began with the modest-sounding goal of making “The proverbial ‘really good’ science-fiction movie.” Kubrick wanted his film to explore “The reasons for believing in the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life,” and what it would mean if we discovered it.
Kubrick had seen a Canadian educational film titled “Universe,” which rendered outer space by suspending inks and paints in vats of paint thinner and filming them with bright lighting at high frame rates.
Kubrick had seen exhibits at the 1964 World’s Fair, and pored over a magazine article titled “Home of the Future.” The lead production designer on the film, Tony Masters, noticed that the world of “2001” eventually became a distinct time and place, with the kind of coherent aesthetic that would merit a sweeping historical label, like “Georgian” or “Victorian.” “We designed a way to live,” he recalled, “Down to the last knife and fork.” By rendering a not-too-distant future, Kubrick set himself up for a test: thirty-three years later, his audiences would still be around to grade his predictions.
Olivier Mourgue’s red upholstered Djinn chairs, used on the “2001” set, became a design icon, and the high-end lofts and hotel lobbies of the year 2001 bent distinctly toward the aesthetic of Kubrick’s imagined space station.
The reason given for the films’ failures suggested the terms of their redemption: Kubrick was incapable of not making Kubrick films.
Inside these disparate but meticulously constructed worlds, Kubrick’s slightly malicious intelligence determined the outcomes of every apparently free choice his protagonists made.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Horror Movies Became the Best Bet in Hollywood”

Horror is booming, experiencing a sustained era of growth and diversity that is comparable to only superhero movies and animation.
While horror movies can be frightening, the scariest thing at the movies is sameness.
The last You’ve gotta see it! movie that few saw coming was It, the long-gestating, thought-to-be-troubled Stephen King adaptation that eventually became the biggest horror movie of all time.
Horror movies are cheap to make, easy to sell, galvanizing social experiences, and fun to talk about.
Hard-core fans of superhero movies wait to see whether the Hollywood machine has been faithful to its origins; hard-core horror fans wait to get traumatized.
All three made their American debuts on Netflix, and all three are among the most recommended movies to me by horror fans in recent years.
Notably, the last time Paramount led the studio business in market share, 2011, it had a stake in the superhero world, codistributing two Marvel movies, three animated films, and a $104 million horror movie.
There’s a case to be made that she’s the biggest star to appear in a horror movie at this stage of her career in the history of movies.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” Gets Right About Japan”

A week ago, I saw Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs,” or “Inu-ga-shima.” I saw it as someone who, upon hearing that name, is forcibly reminded of Oni-ga-shima, the isle of demons where Peach Boy, a hero of Japanese folklore, fights evil with his canine band of brothers.
This is all to say that I watched “Isle of Dogs” as a Japanese person-as someone who was born in Japan, who spent my childhood and adolescence there, and who looks and speaks and reads and eats like a native.
The dogs speak English; the humans, for the most part, speak Japanese, which is often but not always translated.
Reading the reviews, I found that there were some familiar gripes: the film Orientalized, it Othered, it had a white-savior narrative, it rendered Japanese people flat and mysterious and inscrutable, and it was part of a grand old Euro-American tradition of white men plundering Japanese aesthetics for their art.
A scientist, presenting her findings on snout flu, spoke with the bored, clipped tone of every ponytailed researcher on Japanese daytime TV. In a scene that must’ve seemed an incoherent buzz to non-Japanese viewers, a doctor interrupts another’s hushed importance during surgery with an equally serious “Gauze!”-a deadpan, bull’s-eye rendition of “Iryu,” the Japanese version of “ER.” No one else in the theatre got it, but I couldn’t contain my laughter.
His commitment to showing the daily rhythms of a living, breathing Japanese people reveals itself not only in his cast of twenty-three Japanese actors but in his depictions of how exactly a Japanese TV-news anchor transitions to a new topic, what milk cartons for elementary schools look like, or how a couple of scientists might celebrate-with a clink, “Yo-oh!,” and a clap.
We might note, when considering “Isle of Dogs,” that the tradition of white men “Appropriating” Japanese art was, in large part, aided and abetted by the Japanese.
The history of Japonism-of the West’s obsession with Japanese aesthetics-can’t be unwoven from the fact that said obsession served as an efficient, effective distraction as Japanese troops invaded Manchuria, Taiwan, and the Korean Peninsula.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Disneyflix Is Coming. And Netflix Should Be Scared.”

They’re actually watching much, much more-on their smartphones, laptops, and internet-connected TVs-thanks to the rise of streaming, where Netflix, not Disney, reigns supreme.
It might seem confounding that Netflix’s market value is about 90 percent of Disney’s, considering that Disney does many things profitably while Netflix has one specialty, internet video, and hardly makes a dime on it.
Black Panther, Disney’s latest box-office megahit, offers a perfect lens through which to see both the benefits of Disney’s traditional model and the virtues of a new path.
In its latest fiscal year, Disney made about 40 percent of its total revenue, or about $24 billion, from its television networks, including ESPN, the Disney Channel, and ABC. But since 2010, viewership for traditional television has fallen 51 percent among Americans ages 12 to 24, according to Nielsen.
This decay will accelerate as Disney’s streaming service gets off the ground and fewer people feel the need to pay for cable when they can subscribe instead to Netflix and Disneyflix.
Disneyflix wouldn’t carry advertisements for other brands, but it could function as a nonstop advertisement for Disney itself.
In this vision, Disneyflix wouldn’t just be Netflix with Star Wars movies-it would be Amazon for Star Wars pillowcases and Groupon for rides on Star Wars roller coasters and Kayak for the Star Wars suite at Disney hotels.
That’s a product that could rival Netflix and create the kind of profits Disney has enjoyed during its unprecedented century of dominance.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘The stench of it stays with everybody’: inside the Super Mario Bros movie”

This anecdote reveals a lot about the making of the Super Mario Bros movie, which has slipped into cinematic legend for all the wrong reasons.
“Joffé wanted to do with Super Mario Bros what Burton had done for superheroes with Batman,” says Steven Applebaum of the website Super Mario Bros: The Movie Archive.
With no directors forthcoming, Joffé turned to Jankel and Morton, who had only made one Hollywood movie: the obscure Dennis Quaid vehicle DOA. Morton and Jankel were pioneers in the use of computer graphics.
“Right before Rocky and Annabel started on principal photography, they were handed the new script and told to go shoot it; they had already storyboarded the whole movie and planned the sets and everything and the new script blew all that out of the water,” says Ryan Hoss from the Super Mario Bros: The Movie Archive.
“It’s very hard to remake a movie as you’re filming, and that’s what caused a lot of the problems,” he told Nintendo Life.
Speaking about the movie to Wired in 2014, he was sanguine about the film: “It’s not that I defend the movie, it’s just that, in its own extraordinary way, it was an interesting and rich artefact and has earned its place. It has strange cult status.”
Super Mario Bros was the first movie to employ the soon-to-be pervasive CGI software Autodesk Flame, then still in beta, and helped to shape the direction of computer special effects.
“A major advocate is Christopher Woods, who supervised the film’s visual effects. He’s talked about how innovative the work they were doing was” Hoss and Applebaum have helped Second Sight to release a Blu-ray of the movie, producing a making-of documentary for the disc.

The orginal article.

Summary of “All the New Things We Learned From the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Blu-Ray”

The release is jam-packed with goodies, many of which cover things we’ve covered on the site already, such as Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson’s different opinions on Luke Skywalker, the Captain Phasma deleted scene, and Johnson’s motivations behind some of the film’s bigger, more controversial moments.
Before he even wrote the movie, writer-director Rian Johnson had these very specific ideas in his head: The idea of a casino planet where the one percent of the Star Wars universe lives.
Seeing BB-8 doing repairs inside an X-Wing was another of Johnson’s first ideas, because we’d never seen exactly how R2-D2 fixed Luke’s X-Wing in the original trilogy.
The idea of Rose being a fan of Finn’s came late in the writing process and only after Kelly Marie Tran changed Johnson’s perception of the character from mopey to more positive.
The reveal shot behind Yoda was his idea and, later, he went into the editing room to give Johnson ideas on how to edit a puppet scene and make it more dramatic.
In the original version of the Crait Falcon chase, Johnson imagined a giant crystal monster that would attack the ship from underground, but it was cut well before filming.
While writing, Johnson considered having Luke use the Force for some massive attack at the end, but felt it went against his idea that the Force is not a superpower.
Johnson recorded his director’s commentary before the movie was released, so he never addresses some of the more “Controversial issues.” However, even then he already had an idea they would be polarizing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The final trailer for Avengers: Infinity War is here”

We’re just a few weeks away from the release of Avengers: Infinity War – its release date was recently bumped up a week to April 27th – and now, Marvel has released new trailer to stir up some more excitement for the upcoming superhero showdown.
Infinity War promises to be one of the biggest films Marvel has ever made, combining almost every single superhero from across the 18-film franchise that began 10 years ago with the release of Iron Man in 2008.
As the star-studded trailer shows, Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther, Chris Evans’ Captain America, Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man, the rest of the Avengers, the Guardians of the Galaxy, and pretty much every other ancillary character from the Marvel Cinematic Universe are back.
All these highly paid actors will be joining forces against the villainous Thanos, the big bad that Marvel has been teasing in post-credit stingers since the first Avengers film was released six years ago.
Thanos is trying to gather the six Infinity Stones, the MacGuffin items of power from across the various Marvel films.
Judging by the trailer, it’ll be an uphill battle to stop him.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Jennifer Lawrence: the fascinating subversion of Hollywood’s sweetheart”

So proves Jennifer Lawrence’s laundry list of apparent provocations over the last two weeks, with unseemly acres of tweetage given over to the fact that she a) wore a dress outdoors; b) never finished watching Phantom Thread; and c) briskly rejected Bafta host Joanna Lumley’s claim that Lawrence is “The hottest actress on the planet”.
“More interested in women’s bodies than in their experiences,” scoffed Slate’s Inkoo Kang of the “Off the mark” film, while Uproxx’s Amy Nicholson defended what she saw as the film’s morally conscious perversity: “[It] refuses to let us leer at Jennifer Lawrence’s long legs without a jab of shame.
” Another sidebar of criticism questions Lawrence’s very autonomy in making the film to begin with, positing the actress as a kind of doll being bent into compromising positions by her male industry superiors.
“It’s hard not to think she is losing some battles here,” speculated Jonathan Dean for GQ, casting doubt on Lawrence’s repeated assertions in interviews that she chose to do the film as an act of self-empowerment, claiming control over her body and its exposure after a much-publicised leak of private nudes in 2014 left her feeling violated and powerless.
Has the sleek sleaze of Red Sparrow backfired on Lawrence’s feminist motivation for making it? You could argue the point either way, but it seems unconstructive to deny her full credit for consciously taking the risk to begin with – just as she did with last year’s aggressively polarising Mother!, her ex-boyfriend Darren Aronofsky’s baroquely metaphorical study of women cyclically tortured by the male creative ego.
Mother! is the gutsiest film she’s yet made, yet some of the film’s most virulent detractors described Lawrence as its victim – conflating the young actor with the brutally exploited ingenue she cannily played in it.
Lawrence’s social media rebuttal was curt: she chose the dress, she liked the dress, and if she wanted to be cold to look hot, that was entirely her prerogative.
If Lawrence’s contemporary and near-parallel in the music world is Taylor Swift, perhaps Red Sparrow is her showily abrasive Look What You Made Me Do. The old J-Law can’t come to the phone right now – she’s dead and loving it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Streaming Void”

The defining cult film of the twenty-first century is neither a mirror held up to nature or a hammer used to shape reality.
So what’s sadder: that it set the prototype for the twenty-first-century American cult film or that it might wind up being our last enduring cult hit?
Although the phrase “Cult film” wasn’t common until the seventies, the idea that movies and their stars could have cultish appeal dates back to the silent era.
In the essay “Film Cults,” from 1932, the critic Harry Alan Potamkin traces the phenomenon to French Charlie Chaplin fans in the 1910s.
Cultists’ holiest text, Danny Peary’s Cult Movies, does a solid job enumerating their most common attributes: “Atypical heroes and heroines; offbeat dialogue; surprising plot resolutions; highly original storylines; brave themes, often of a sexual or political nature; ‘definitive’ performances by stars who have cult status; the novel handling of popular but stale genres.” Rocky Horror, a retro sci-fi musical that chronicles a prudish young couple’s corruption at the hands of a genderqueer alien/mad scientist who is ultimately vanquished by his own servants, meets all of these criteria.
There are cult kiddie cartoons and cult porn flicks.
The cult of the objectively bad film is apolitical, derisive, and a touch sadistic.
Given the death of IRL counterculture, it is likely the last American cult film, in the Nietzschean sense as well as the literal one.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Rotten Tomatoes may have radically skewed the Oscars’ Best Picture race”

That’s where the best films end up – the movies too smart or creative to be fully appreciated by the broader Academy, and certainly not widely accepted enough to get into the Best Picture race.
Get Out and Lady Bird – which wouldn’t have received Best Picture nominations 10 years ago – weren’t merely the eighth or ninth films that got into the field; they’re both considered contenders to actually win Best Picture.
Like any major institutional shift, the growing number of offbeat Best Picture nominees comes from several interconnected factors: the nomination process for Best Picture has changed, and the Academy’s makeup has changed.
It makes great sense – why should a film be nominated for Best Picture if there isn’t a sizable faction of the Academy who think it’s actually the year’s best picture?
The Rotten Tomatoes scores for Best Picture nominees over the years seem to suggest that some kind of shift occurred in the early 2010s.
Rotten Tomatoes scores are the opposite of the new Best Picture nominating process – they measure consensus instead of passion.
With an average Tomato score of 92.9, this year’s Best Picture nominees have the second highest collective Tomato rating of any Best Picture crop this century.
Phantom Thread was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, but it couldn’t squeeze out a Best Original Screenplay nomination.

The orginal article.