Summary of “How the Internet Ate Movies”

The Net isn’t terribly good as movies go, but it is more real, more current, than I suspected two decades ago.
Our feelings about these changes were mirrored in the movies as fear and beguilement-a bunch of rubes trying to make sense of this darned technology eager to eat our minds.
The internet is still eating our minds-and now, more than ever, the movies themselves.
Dozens of recent movies dramatize the act of vanishing down the internet’s rabbit holes, into the gloss of a digitally manipulated life.
The sequel to 2015’s slick, unnerving horror movie Unfriended will travel to the Dark Web, where the most ghoulish, Bitcoin-backed corners of the internet spring to life, and, eventually, bring death.
All of these movies are products of a world that isn’t necessarily afraid of the internet-just obsessed with it.
Movies about the consequences of the internet aren’t new, exactly.
It has zapped movies of an inherent power-the ability to transport, to reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world.

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 “How Disney Took Over Moviegoing in the 21st Century”

In his 44 years at Disney, he noted, “I’ve never seen anything like the reaction we’ve gotten.”
Black Panther’s storming of the gates means that six of the 10 biggest box-office grossers ever have been released by an arm of the Disney group, all within the past six years.
The major studios are casually known as the Big Six: Warner Bros., Universal, Fox, Columbia, Paramount, and Disney.
These delineations don’t accurately reflect what Disney has managed to do in the past five years.
Walt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” In this century, Disney isn’t just the architect of the imagination-it’s the landlord.
We know because Disney is managing the industry within an inch of its life, with the hearts and minds of stockholders as present in the strategy as the millions of children becoming emotionally addicted to their stories each year.
The one thing in the world that Disney proper doesn’t do well is win traditional film industry awards.
With a slate to envy, another masterful acquisition, and perhaps the biggest movie of all time just six weeks away, Disney sits elevated, owner of nearly one-third of the moviegoing market share so far this year, a number that, if it held, would be a record by a wide margin.

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 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 “Barbra Streisand on Oscar Snubs, Sexism in Hollywood & Her Clone Dogs – Variety”

Some 34 years later, the barriers that Streisand broke through – as the first woman to juggle duties as the star, director, producer and co-writer of a single studio movie – are at the forefront of everyone’s mind in Hollywood.
“It’s just awe-inspiring,” says Streisand, 75, who was motivated to speak out in a rare two-hour interview with Variety.
Streisand – who won a best actress Oscar nearly 50 years ago for “Funny Girl” and another statuette for song for 1976’s “A Star Is Born” – was the biggest female movie star in the post-studio system.
“I had an impression of her before we got together,” says Robert Redford, her co-star in 1973’s “The Way We Were,” which earned Streisand a best actress Oscar nomination.
Streisand has been a Hollywood trailblazer for five decades, creating a climate where discussions about equal treatment for women could even exist.
In 1977, Streisand became the first female composer to win a best song Oscar, for “Evergreen” from “A Star Is Born.” Although her 1991 drama “The Prince of Tides” received seven nominations, including best picture, she was overlooked again in the director category.
Although many women in Hollywood have horrifying stories of sexual harassment, Streisand isn’t one of them.
Streisand had a hunch she wouldn’t get an Oscar nomination for “Yentl.” “I remember looking at the Directors Guild list. I think there were only 11 women, and I thought to myself, ‘There is no way they’re going to vote for me.’ I didn’t even think the women would nominate me.” Some of her harshest reviews came from female critics.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Reexamining the ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ Backlash Cycle, Five Years Later”

Hollywood had already made multiple movies out of the story, including Kathryn Bigelow’s prestigious, expensive, Oscar-nominated Zero Dark Thirty, and the political machine had long since given it the requisite spin.
A movie like Zero Dark Thirty went a long way toward establishing that party line, in the first place.
Was Zero Dark Thirty a nuanced apologia or merely a reckless one? Suddenly, everybody was a sociopolitically minded movie critic.
Even before it was an Oscar nominee, Zero Dark Thirty was clearly an Oscar movie, having racked up strong reviews and honors from critics’ groups paired with the legacy success of its director, who in 2009, with The Hurt Locker, became the first woman to direct a movie honored with Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
In the case of Zero Dark Thirty, the debate centered around the role movies play in our culture and their responsibility to the public, accordingly.
So much of our misfortune as a nation can be attributed to the cottage industry of political narrative that it’s no wonder we can’t seem to wrestle with Zero Dark Thirty strictly on its own terms, as merely a movie.
The extent to which torture “Works” in this movie is tempered with all the incidents in which it doesn’t-including in one of the film’s most dramatic scenes, a reenactment of the 2009 bombing at Camp Chapman which, in the movie’s rendering, kills one of Maya’s closest colleagues.
The movie is only too eager to confound easy explanations: That is what makes it formidable, powerful, and prone to problematic and complex interpretations, of the sort that one-note backlash debates don’t really have the capacity to generate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Black Panther and Marvel’s increasingly troubled relationship with America”

2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Thor: Ragnarok, and Black Panther, with four more movies to come in 2018 and 2019 – the more complicated its relationship to power becomes, but only up to a point.
Another superhero movie was a smash hit in 2008: Iron Man, the beginning of Marvel’s entire cinematic universe and a movie about a man who realizes that his power has been used toward evil ends, so he decides to start using it toward good ones.
The long string of Batman movies from 1989 to 2012 were frequently criticized for having villains who outshone the movie’s hero, and for as good as Christopher Reeve’s Superman was, Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor was having a lot more fun.
The Marvel movies couldn’t really do this because they seemed constantly uncomfortable with dissecting how their heroes, save maybe Captain America, were ultimately a little lacking in terms of moral clarity.
In a movie as good as The Avengers – still my favorite Marvel movie – the villains are literally a faceless, invading horde from outer space.
Something like the 2014 phase two movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier is interested in the idea that S.H.I.E.L.D. has caused more problems globally than it has solved, but it then contorts itself to suggest that this is because the organization has been infiltrated by literal Nazis.
The movie’s true villain was simply a puppet master, pulling strings to get Captain America and Iron Man to fight, because his life had been destroyed by the Avengers.
The movie spends most of its running time questioning whether Asgard itself, Thor’s home and the primary setting of much of the first two Thor movies, is worth preserving.

The orginal article.

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Marvel vs. DC is a debate that keeps on giving.
While Marvel Studios has had a very impressive string of critical and commercial successes, DC Films has struggled to do the same.
Hell, some people would disagree entirely, saying the DC movies are wonderful and Marvel movies are bad. But one person who knows both the comic book and film business, Mark Millar, has an idea.
He’s also created characters that have been brought to life on the big screen.
In a recent interview, Yahoo asked why he thinks DC hasn’t been able to match Marvel’s success.
“The [DC] characters aren’t cinematic.”
Whereas the Marvel characters tend to be based around the personality of Matt Murdock or Peter Parker or the individual X-Men, it’s all about the character.
Something feels a little old about them, kids look at these characters and they don’t feel that cool.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Race, Barriers and Battling Nerves: A Candid Conversation With Oscar’s Only 4 African-American Directing Nominees in 90 Years”

If this elite group were expanded to include all black directors, it would add only Britain’s Steve McQueen, who earned his nomination in 2014 for helming 12 Years a Slave.
With the March 4 ceremony looming and the racial makeup of the Academy and the industry at large under increased scrutiny, THR gathered the quartet for a candid conversation about how success can feel like failure, the doors Black Panther has opened and why not one of these guys was able to enjoy his big night.
PEELE Part of the cultural learning curve with this, too, is tied up with this thing that every time a black achievement happens, it’s a black achievement.
Jordan’s film is not a full black cast, but it’s a black movie and it’s also not a black movie.
Lee, a few years ago, you said as part of a THR Roundtable that you hated when white people wrote for black people.
“SINGLETON There are two sides of this coin. The Last Emperor was a huge hit when it came out, and Bernardo Bertolucci is Italian, not Chinese. But he did his homework. Steven Spielberg did The Color Purple. Black people assailed against that when it came out, but it’s a classic among African-Americans now. But for every one of those films that was made by someone who was from another culture exploring something that they were interested in, there are these stacks of where black people have had to say,”OK, at least they tried.
One of my favorites is Glory, where the Matthew Broderick character is in a lot of ways [director] Edward Zwick saying, “I don’t know the black experience, but I see through the eyes of this character who is empathizing with the black experience.” With Get Out, I wanted to make a movie that ripped the rug out of this idea of the one good white character evil and see what that would do.
Do you have a black superhero movie in your back pocket?

The orginal article.