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  • #31
    Regarding the Alamo Drafthouse, oh boy,.... loved them at first but something never felt right. I now see the conditions at the multiplexes were so bad that the controlled chaos the Alamo Drafthouse offered was welcome.
    After moving out of the US & recently returning to the theater after 2.5 years has made me realize what hypocritical bullshit the Alamo Drafthouse is. Now I just go to the movies, everyone STFU like adults, and there's glorious cinema.

    The Alamo Drafthouse is the infantilization of the movie going experience.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Toyboy View Post

      I realized that I never read the full quote from Scorsese to get the context and intent of his statement and in searching for it I found his follow-up editorial from the New York Times. To boil down his clarification he says that superhero films are not art because they do not take risks and are made to "satisfy a specific set of demands and are designed as variations of a finite number of themes"

      He's describing exploitation and, in turn, the majority of film and television since the dawn of the mediums. I wonder if Marty took the time to see what exactly was playing in the grindhouses Travis Bickle drove past in TAXI DRIVER.

      He's describing every Tarzan movie. Every teen sex comedy from the 80's. He's describing every Western where the sheriff has a showdown with a villain. Every slasher flick. Every Hong Kong martial arts period piece. Every porno..
      I think Scorcese would be pretty comfortable with that take. With the definition of cinema he's giving I don't think he would be counting Tarzan flicks or exploitation movies as cinema. They are amusement park rides in his definition. I think that's fair enough. If you accept his point of view though I think you also have to acknowledge that some films can rise above their station. I wouldn't call Ms 45 or Female Convict Scorpion just exploitation flicks for example though that's their native genre. Artists used a genre for their own purposes in those cases Likewise, very occasionally, a superhero film can do more than it has any right to do given it's genre. i'd say The Batman is an example of such. By and large though, yeah, none of the films from the genres you are listing films are anything more than thrill rides and if Scorcese wants to have an arbitrary definition of cinema that they don't fit into that's fair enough. I figure he's earned the right at this point.

      Knowing I'll probably catch a little heat for this, I contend that the first two waves of MCU movies (barring maybe THOR:THE DARK WORLD and IRON MAN III) were as enjoyable and in some cases more so than what many would consider classics in the SCI-FI/ACTION category. I don't see much difference in terms of quality in something like Nolan's DARK KNIGHT or CAPTAIN AMERICA:WINTER SOLDIER as I do with any of the MISSION:IMPOSSIBLE films or a 90's film like FACE/OFF or even something slightly classier that has no SCI-FI like HEAT. People speaking intensely, car chases, big guns, big explosions. Is it the costumes that somehow devalue these movies in peoples' eyes? The marketing and the connectivity? Why do 007 movies get a pass but BATMAN doesn't? Does Scorsese hate Zorro and Robin Hood?
      It's not the costumes, cause I can look past that for something like The Batman. it's just the boredom I feel watching these films. Almost all of them contain a scene, a scene that can go for half an hour, of two indestructible beings throwing each into wallls while I'm sitting their screaming at the screen "you're both indestructible! Throw each other into walls and the only thing damaged is the wall!" It's tedious stuff. That said, I'm not sure that these films are dismissed critically in the way that you say they are. Black Panther has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (I thought it was shit), the Winter Soldier 90% (not seen it), The Dark Knight 94% (it's got Ledgers Joker but other than that tedious in the extreme). I'd say if anything these films get massively more acclaim than they're due.

      "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Oily Maniac View Post
        Regarding the Alamo Drafthouse, oh boy,.... loved them at first but something never felt right. I now see the conditions at the multiplexes were so bad that the controlled chaos the Alamo Drafthouse offered was welcome.
        After moving out of the US & recently returning to the theater after 2.5 years has made me realize what hypocritical bullshit the Alamo Drafthouse is. Now I just go to the movies, everyone STFU like adults, and there's glorious cinema.

        The Alamo Drafthouse is the infantilization of the movie going experience.
        Say whatever you want about the Drafthouse, but they actually make an attempt at preserving the spirit of the experience. I also have issues with the bar/food service during showings but it's (in my direct experience) massively better than the "upscale" AMC/Regal equivalent. At least at the Drafthouse, they make an effort to be quiet. At both AMC "dine-in" theaters I've been to, the waitstaff and delivery folk spoke at full volume DURING the movie.

        As to infantilization ... blame the U.S. populace, not the theater that's reacting to idiots inability to police themselves. Before the Drafthouse, I had mostly stopped going to movies -- you were risking either a physical altercation or being ignored by theater staff that clearly didn't give a shit re: disruptive choads. Now? People are warned, clearly, before the start of the show, and if they choose to be children, it's easy to get them ejected. I'd like for it be like it is in Europe but I'm not going to get my unicorn either....

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        • #34
          Originally posted by null View Post

          As to infantilization ... blame the U.S. populace, not the theater that's reacting to idiots inability to police themselves. Before the Drafthouse, I had mostly stopped going to movies -- you were risking either a physical altercation or being ignored by theater staff that clearly didn't give a shit re: disruptive choads. Now? People are warned, clearly, before the start of the show, and if they choose to be children, it's easy to get them ejected. I'd like for it be like it is in Europe but I'm not going to get my unicorn either....
          There's also the Cereal Parties, Sing-A-Long screenings, and sanitized "cult" movie screenings that scream infantilization to me. I seriously appreciate the ability to choose seats & the strict No Talking policy, but it's pathetic that's a selling point.

          Getting back to superheroes: pulpy, or what some consider lowbrow entertainment, is always going to get crapped on by the fancy pants, especially when it's of high quality. Whuttaya gonna do?


          Oily Maniac
          Member
          Last edited by Oily Maniac; 06-11-2022, 07:20 PM.

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          • #35
            The MCU movies are not pulpy, they're notoriously lacking in any sex for one.

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            • #36
              As a hoity-toity European, I'd just like to chime in and say that the idea of food & drink ordering & delivery going on during screenings strikes me as absolute bullshit which I would not stand for.

              Admittedly, the ability to take alcohol into boutique / arthouse screenings has been an absolute god-send over the past few decades (a large glass of red wine has helped many an overhyped art-horror movie go down more smoothly), but please people -- get what you need BEFORE you go in, and deal with your decisions thereafter. Frankly, if you're half way through, I dunno, 'Sorcerer' and find yourself thinking "I must have a hotdog RIGHT NOW", you should probably give up and find a better use for your time.

              (Or perhaps if the cinema want to maximise their profits without ruining people's experience, they could have an interval? Intervals are good, and much missed in longer movies these days.
              Just a thought! )
              https://breakfastintheruins.blogspot.com/
              http://stereosanctity.blogspot.com/

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              • #37
                Meanwhile, since the subject came up, re: the whole Scorsese "Marvel movies are not cinema" farago -- I understand where he's coming from on an emotional level, as I also find those movies pretty much unwatchable in a way that was never the case with early generations of blockbusters, but the way he framed his argument strikes me as insufferably idiotic and self-important (and disappointing from someone of Scorsese's obvious intelligence/insight).

                Superhero movies are collections of moving images which are a couple of hours long, and people pay money to sit in rooms and watch them - therefore they are cinema, end of story.

                That doesn't mean you have to like them or respect them, but acting as a self-appointed gatekeeper of what does or does not qualify as part of your chosen artform automatically makes you a fool in my book -- the equivalent of the hypothetical olde time portrait painter shaking his fist at a Picasso or Warhol exhibition saying, "but my five year old could do better than that", etc.

                (Which is not to say that superhero movies are in any way comparable to Picasso or whatever, but, uh... you get what I mean, I hope.)

                In fact, this whole concept he puts forward of "cinema" being some great accumulation of grand and noble ideas makes me want to never use the word again; it's a popular entertainment medium, the same as anything else. Sometimes it's immortal genius, sometimes it's good, often it's shit, it runs the whole gamut of possible creative intentions/audience needs, and everyone is welcome to judge it as such, but deciding that things ARE NOT PART OF IT just because you don't like them is not a valid or helpful argument.

                Ok, rant over.
                https://breakfastintheruins.blogspot.com/
                http://stereosanctity.blogspot.com/

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by BW Haggar View Post
                  (Or perhaps if the cinema want to maximise their profits without ruining people's experience, they could have an interval? Intervals are good, and much missed in longer movies these days.
                  Just a thought! )
                  My local single screen art deco flea pit still has an interval. Depending on how gripping the film is, and how full my bladder is, it's either a pain in the arse or a godsend.

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                  agent999
                  Senior Member
                  Last edited by agent999; 06-12-2022, 08:15 AM.
                  I'm bitter, I'm twisted, James Joyce is fucking my sister.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by BW Haggar View Post
                    Meanwhile, since the subject came up, re: the whole Scorsese "Marvel movies are not cinema" farago -- I understand where he's coming from on an emotional level, as I also find those movies pretty much unwatchable in a way that was never the case with early generations of blockbusters, but the way he framed his argument strikes me as insufferably idiotic and self-important (and disappointing from someone of Scorsese's obvious intelligence/insight).l..
                    Scorsese's words have been discussed here in other threads, but here the connection is how the streamers treat everything as product. It's a "new release" - no matter if it's a major theatrical film, crappy "Netflix original" movie that is meant to be consumed quickly and then forgotten, a TV series or some recent acquisition of an existing "product" that the streamer just purchased or leased.

                    Folks just jumped all over him because they thought he was only dissing the holy Marvel and its ilk. It's a much broader thesis than that simplistic take.
                    JoeS
                    Senior Member
                    Last edited by JoeS; 06-12-2022, 01:01 PM.

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                    • #40
                      Scorsese is not some genre snob, I remember him praising Hammer films with Frankenstein Created Woman in particular coming up.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Randy G View Post
                        Scorsese is not some genre snob, I remember him praising Hammer films with Frankenstein Created Woman in particular coming up.
                        Absolutely. Unfortunately, most folks have only seen the headlines and 1000s of memes based around "Scorsese slaps Marvel as not cinema!" misquotes and misreadings

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by JoeS View Post

                          Absolutely. Unfortunately, most folks have only seen the headlines and 1000s of memes based around "Scorsese slaps Marvel as not cinema!" misquotes and misreadings
                          Having just read his entire piece I will say that he could have done a better job of separating a single studio's output from a general trend in filmmaking and distribution. I also disagree with his stance that people are only seeing Marvel/superhero flicks because they have no other option, which again places blame for the current state of film-going on something that is actually the byproduct of it.

                          Pre-COVID my mom would go with a friend to see a movie pretty much every other weekend at her local multiplex. There were occasions where she'd tell me that they decided to just go grab lunch because every film showing that particular day was either something they'd already seen or a superhero movie, which she has zero interest in (she has copped to including all sci-fi and action films in that category. A STAR WARS movie is a superhero move in her eyes). Scorsese's claim is disproven in this case. My mom isn't going to see the latest SPIDER-MAN movie because it's in wide release and it's her bi-weekly "movie date" so she has some obligation to see something. She spends her money elsewhere. People have plenty of other activities to keep them busy and they'll see a CGI filled popcorn movie if that suits their fancy.

                          One other thing not mentioned here yet is that for the most part superhero films are family films, which when done right are always winners at the box office. Most MCU screenings I've attended were filled with families with children of all ages. They appeal to the lowest common denominator and hit that magic balance of elements that will please a good chunk of viewers. They're ketchup movies, designed to hit every taste bud, and there is an undeniable elitism factoring into the disdain they receive from cinema snobs.
                          Now everyone can have a complete KRULL lifestyle.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Toyboy View Post

                            Having just read his entire piece I will say that he could have done a better job of separating a single studio's output from a general trend in filmmaking and distribution. I also disagree with his stance that people are only seeing Marvel/superhero flicks because they have no other option, which again places blame for the current state of film-going on something that is actually the byproduct of it..

                            One of the pieces and interviews. He's given multiple. In context, his thoughts are more complex than: Marvel. Bad.

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                            • #44
                              Ah, a few people here mentioned Alamo, so I will touch upon that, first....

                              Alamo, before I had a location somewhat nearby, sounded good to me. I saw their trailers online, and some of the things they'd put together. Certain older films would show, it had alcohol, and the no-talking rule sounded good. "Sounded good" is the key thing.

                              I have been to Alamo only once. I may go again, if something I really want to see is playing, however, I found the place WAY too structured. Also, what I got for the price, I just didn't find it worth it. I do not need tons of structure. I like not knowing what the fuck adventure i may go on when i go to the theatre. Put me in the theatre with the general public acting however they're going to act. Sometimes, the spontaneous shit that happens, that may be, "SHUSHHHHHHED" up at Alamo is part of what makes the experience memorable. Also, even reading some of the activities they have, such as quote alongs, and read about screenings where they give the audience props to play with for certain scenes... In my mind, I'm just like, "Yeah, OK, whatever floats your boat..."

                              So, in my experience, the whole Alamo experience felt far too sterile to me. People AFRAID to speak since they could be tattled on... The employees dashing all scrunched down to take orders, deliver food and drinks. I went once, and it was just not my thing. Not that I'd never go again, but I want a surprise, spontaneity. Not knowing how great, normal, or shitty things may be.

                              Now, I have some preferred theatres. Normally due to nostalgia, the films they play, quality of the picture/sound, seating, etc. Many things come into play.

                              I think back on when I saw Beavis and Butt-head Do America in 1996. OH my god, that was nuts. Opening night. Before the previews, people were loud as shit, screaming, some seemed pretty drunk, high, etc. Others just teens, 20 somethings. The previews, loud as fuck. I recall an usher going in there, sometime soon after lights went down, with his flashlight and a smile on his face at the antics he was witnessing. Some people were out of their seats, but he didn't tell them to sit down, he was soaking it in, as well. The start of the film, where there were cheers as Butt-head appeared, and much louder cheers when Beavis appeared. It was an event, I still recall it 25 years later.

                              Another one that would not have happened at an Alamo was Tales from the Crypt's Demon Knight... That was an experience. A bit of noise at first, light talking, but pretty normal. Once Billy Zane through that punch, the audience REALLY got into the film, exclamations of, "OH SHIT!". "AHHHHHHHHHHHH". "HOLY SHIT/FUCK!". That set the tone for the rest of the film, lots of blurting out lines at times, laughter, some screams, overall, a damn good time and I STILL recall that screening.

                              Overall, most of the movies I've seen in a theatre have had a, "tolerable" audience. I have had some bad experiences, and in the late 90s I did ask for a refund due to some young kids in front of me fucking with me, and other patrons, throwing popcorn, etc. This happened mid-way through the film, and not often enough for me to miss some of my film. I did complain afterward, and I got a ticket for a free showing. I was asked why I didn't walk out and get someone. i mentioned why should I miss some of the film and not them, and also if they were told to settle down, they'd probably just act up more, and they should maybe have an usher just check on things once during the film, peak in there, no walk the aisle, just take a look for a minute, see how things are going.

                              Oh, another time, 2005. Saw a film, and a guy's cellphone rang during the first 5 minutes into the film. This guy then proceeded to have a conversation in Spanish on his phone. As it went on, the audience went from, "SHHHHHHing", to some other Spanish speakers speaking whatever to him, to finally some guy turning around and yelling, "SHUT THE FUCK UP! SHUT THE FUCK UP! LEAVE THE THEATRE". The guy on the phone just laughed, and gave no shits, finished his conversation, and that was the end of that. The rest of the movie was just fine, though.

                              I think since 2005, I've not really had any memorable, "Bad" experiences at a movie theatre. Some movie theatre screenings I have gone to I've expected a bit of silliness, loudness. They're not Alamo theatres, so not structured, just the common, everyday, as they have been, "rules". There was a good crowd years back when i saw Temple of Doom, 2013, 2014, something like that. The place served booze. A good group was in there, I can't recall all people blurted out, though I do recall, "KICK HIS ASS, SHORTROUND!!!" and a lot of the patrons having a good chuckle out that. mid 10's I recall seeing Escape From New York, pretty uneventful screening, but when The Duke's car made an appearance, someone in the theatre blurted out, "Damn.... That nigga's got chandeliers hanging off his car!", that caused a bit of laughter in the crowd as it came out of nowhere, lol.

                              Overall, I prefer the surprises, the lack of structure that I get from theatres other than Alamo. If lots of structure, tattling, super-quiet, structured activities, etc are your thing, then, sure, Alamo is cool. Myself, I like the unpredictability. Also, I'm the type of guy who on occasion interjects a sentence or 2 during the film, or at least at the end, such as when I saw X and at the end, as I stood up to leave, turned to those seated in the theatre and said something along the lines of, "Instead of X, they should have called it Old People Sex!"


                              Also, to get back more on topic here. I don't care much for the Marvel, DC superhero movies, And as someone showed on the first page here, that's been a lot of what has been released, recently. Myself, I am not keen on them, so, I don't see them. That's led to lulls in myself going to the movie theatre. Some years I go more often than others. When i do go, I find that I prefer the surprise of how the experience with the audience will be.

                              Thinking back, i did take a break from the movie theatre in the early 00s when DVD was getting a lot of stuff released. I found myself happy enough seeing all this stuff I used to only be able to get from bootlegs or whatever. Back then I was a bit of the attitude of, "Why go out? I have a nice TV and the DVD player". as the 00s wore on, I did find myself missing the movie theatre experience, and got back into it.

                              Different strokes for different folks. I do hope to see a bit more variety with the movies being offered in the coming years, however, if the superhero movies are what brings in the $, I understand why they're the most numerous out there. I'll just enjoy whatever I can from what gets released, or re-released. Well, not always enjoy, I have sat through some crap, somewhat recently (Downsizing, it comes at Night, etc)

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Toyboy View Post
                                One other thing not mentioned here yet is that for the most part superhero films are family films, which when done right are always winners at the box office. Most MCU screenings I've attended were filled with families with children of all ages. They appeal to the lowest common denominator and hit that magic balance of elements that will please a good chunk of viewers. They're ketchup movies, designed to hit every taste bud, and there is an undeniable elitism factoring into the disdain they receive from cinema snobs.
                                I think the hardcore fans of superhero movies are guilty of elitism and snobbery as well. I do think a lot of these guys are comic book fans first and film fans second (hell, maybe third or fourth, after video games and toys) and because of that (which is only an opinion) I think we get a little defensive about outsiders coming in and acting like they know everything without any real film education (or no knowledge of anything made before this century). The trailers for the MCU films have become increasingly smarmy and obnoxious in their confidence and this idea that if you haven't been keeping up with the whole fucking thing then you can't watch any of the new ones is very clique-y as well. Scorsese said what he said, but the reaction to his comments from some fans was pretty damn snobby too (like calling Scorsese an "old white man" and infuriating shit like that).
                                Why would anybody watch a scum show like Videodrome? Why did you watch it, Max?

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