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Cameron H.

Best Of 2018: Blockbusters

2018  

10 members have voted

  1. 1. Was 2018 a good year for movies?

    • Yes
      4
    • No
      3
    • Comme Ci, Comme Ça
      3


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36 minutes ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

She didn't really say there were the two best things though

Oh ya, that's what I meant too, just worded it shorthandedly.  They are the two movies from 2018 (blockbuster-wise) that I will also hold on to (and Infinity War, but it being part 1 means its not finished in my mind)... so I agree with Paul & Amy on that, even if I seem to disagree with Amy over superhero films.

38 minutes ago, ol' eddy wrecks said:

I do wonder if they should have completely restricted themselves to 2018.

I was thinking about this too.  The year distinction is weird, especially for this podcast which is generally talking about all-time or much more broadly.  Maybe later on we can get some episodes about current directors or genres in the way they broke into "2018 blockbusters".  It would be fascinating to have their view on that.

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On 2/9/2019 at 5:51 PM, ol' eddy wrecks said:

 

I do wonder if part of the reason why critics hate the over-abundance of superhero movies so much is, well, if they don't love them, given their success, they still have to watch them and talk about them for their job.  Realistically, I don't know if a mainstream critic can really avoid them all if they wanted to.

Yes, but couldn’t you say there are parts of all jobs - no matter how glamorous - we’d all rather not do? If that’s the case, then shouldn’t the critic’s responsibility be to judge a movie based on how successful it is at achieving its goals within its particular genre? I keep going back to what Tim Heidecker said in The Odd Life of Timothy Green episode of HDTGM. He says something to the effect of, while it’s not necessarily a great film for him personally, he can’t exactly judge it against high cinema or anything because that’s not what it’s trying to be. All you can ask is: is it a good kid’s movie? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then the movie did it’s job. So, to me, and feel free to disagree, it shouldn’t really matter if a critic personally likes superhero movies. They just need to ask themselves, “Does Black Panther achieve, or maybe even surpass, what a superhero movie should achieve?”

To me, it’s kind of like how many of us view the AFI list. We may not like, say, Westerns, but we can judge each individual movie against other examples in the genre to make an objective argument as to why it should or should not be included on the list.

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10 hours ago, grudlian. said:

EDIT:  And I'm sure it was especially hard with Last Jedi because many of the people who dislike it are very toxic and I wouldn't want to be lumped in with them. Like making that one actress quit acting, rating it hundreds of times on Rotten Tomatoes just to lower its score, starting petitions for the "real" version to get released. Ok, please get a life. 

Yeah, and while the kerfuffles over Wonder Woman or the Ghostbusters reboot or whatever seem to have mostly subsided as those movies get further in the rear view, the Last Jedi anger seems to have continued rolling along. There's also this ludicrous effort to "remake" the movie, entirely by disgruntled Star Wars fans.

https://www.cnet.com/news/star-wars-fans-start-campaign-to-remake-the-last-jedi/

Yeah, it's baffling. I personally really liked the movie, but if I hadn't I would have moved on by now.

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13 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

Yes, but couldn’t you say there are parts of all jobs - no matter how glamorous - we’d all rather not do? If that’s the case, then shouldn’t the critic’s responsibility be to judge a movie based on how successful it is at achieving its goals within its particular genre? I keep going back to what Tim Heidecker said in The Odd Life of Timothy Green episode of HDTGM. Where he says something to the effect of, while it’s not necessarily a great film for him personally, he can’t exactly judge it against high cinema or anything because that’s not what it’s trying to be. All you can ask is: is it a good kid’s movie? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then the movie did it’s job. So, to me, and feel free to disagree, it shouldn’t really matter if a critic personally likes superhero movies, they just need to ask themselves, “Does Black Panther achieve, or maybe even surpass, what a superhero movie should achieve?”

To me, it’s kind of like how many of us view the AFI list. We may not like, say, Westerns, but we can judge each individual movie against other examples in the genre to make an objective argument as to why it should or should not be included on the list.

Critics rate superhero movies (well, not the DC ones) very well. If you look at Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, the MCU have great scores. Even if critics are tired of the over abundance of superhero movies, they are still rating them as individual works.

I really agree with Tom Heidecker's take on how to view a film. I think Roger Ebert expressed similar sentiments for film criticism. "Does the movie accomplish what it set out to do?" But, to expand that, does that mean a movie is suddenly part of the conversation for the canon of films?

For example, I loved Crazy Rich Asians. It's a perfect romantic comedy. It belongs in the canon of romantic comedies. But does it belong in the top 100 American movies of all time? I don't know. I kind of disagree with what I think the AFI did of making sure every genre is included. There's a difference, in my mind, between "the best American movies" and "the best representation of what American movies are". For the former idea, I wouldn't consider Crazy Rich Asians. For the latter, where I'm compiling a budget style of genres, I would.

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6 hours ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Yeah, and while the kerfuffles over Wonder Woman or the Ghostbusters reboot or whatever seem to have mostly subsided as those movies get further in the rear view, the Last Jedi anger seems to have continued rolling along. There's also this ludicrous effort to "remake" the movie, entirely by disgruntled Star Wars fans.

https://www.cnet.com/news/star-wars-fans-start-campaign-to-remake-the-last-jedi/

Yeah, it's baffling. I personally really liked the movie, but if I hadn't I would have moved on by now.

There's a quote "no one hates Star Wars as much as Star Wars fans"

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17 hours ago, grudlian. said:

EDIT:  And I'm sure it was especially hard with Last Jedi because many of the people who dislike it are very toxic and I wouldn't want to be lumped in with them. Like making that one actress quit acting, rating it hundreds of times on Rotten Tomatoes just to lower its score, starting petitions for the "real" version to get released. Ok, please get a life. 

And what’s even more ironic is that toxic group of people would have REALLY hated the rewrites I would have done to The Last Jedi and Wonder Woman. :P 

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On 2/9/2019 at 11:16 PM, Cameron H. said:

I think everyone can agree that some superhero movies are better than others.

LOL  That's not the impression I got from Amy's comments. ;)

(please note the smiley) 

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To Cameron's point, I am arguing quality and popularity. I do think that these top 20 grossing films are being passed off because of their popularity, and I think that's because there's an assumption that they are all not good. But specifically, when talking about Amy's thoughts on superhero films, I think it's just because she herself doesn't enjoy them. There's absolutely nothing wrong with just not enjoying them. It's completely a personal thing for all of us when it comes to movie tastes. I just don't think that any genre should get wiped away from the possibility of being considered "the best of" just because of personal taste. In the same vein popularity doesn't automatically mean the movie is good either, because like Paul said, the Fast and Furious movies make a fuck ton of money but people enjoy those because they are fun crap to watch, not because they want them to win an Oscar, but that doesn't mean that all action movies should be lumped in with the crap quality of that franchise.

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41 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

that doesn't mean that all action movies should be lumped in with the crap quality of that franchise.

And also some of them are not crap! Fast Five is a legit good action movie, IMO (once you accept that it's going to keep the ridiculous implausible physics of your typical action movie).

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On 2/9/2019 at 6:17 PM, Cameron H. said:

Yes, but couldn’t you say there are parts of all jobs - no matter how glamorous - we’d all rather not do? If that’s the case, then shouldn’t the critic’s responsibility be to judge a movie based on how successful it is at achieving its goals within its particular genre? I keep going back to what Tim Heidecker said in The Odd Life of Timothy Green episode of HDTGM. He says something to the effect of, while it’s not necessarily a great film for him personally, he can’t exactly judge it against high cinema or anything because that’s not what it’s trying to be. All you can ask is: is it a good kid’s movie? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then the movie did it’s job.

The "kid's movie" might not be the best case for the argument since that's not just "for the genre," but is making assumptions about the target audience, no?

I think my answer was kind of a drift from the original complaint.  It was in respect to "why do critics hate super-hero movies?"  And my response seemed more akin to Amy trying to address it in the (next episode) Critics episode.  Which is, I don't know if critics really hate them.  Like, it is a sampling bias, but the podcasts I listen to, the critics seem to mostly enjoy them, but (outside of Amy who seems to just flat out hate the genre), the negatives seem to be of the nature of fatigue, exhaustion, and the despair of looking at the future release schedule.  Now, maybe it's projection, but I only watch an MCU movie about once every other year, and it's usually well after it's left theaters (e.g. at the end of 2018, I watched Thor: Ragnarock).  And as such, I end up with the experience of, "I enjoyed it.  Very disposable and I don't know if I'm going to think much about it again."  Though Thor was funnier than the others.  But I also live in kind of a comparative cultural bubble.  I don't see trailers for these movies, because I haven't had cable since 2000.  Being able to not be overexposed to these movies, I don't really care about their existence, as opposed to really having any type of hate towards them.  But it does leave me wondering how I would feel about them if I had to watch them even if I didn't feel like watching them.  I imagine I'd start to hate them.  Then again, I do watch Game of Thrones, which is a fairly empty show.

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So, to me, and feel free to disagree, it shouldn’t really matter if a critic personally likes superhero movies. They just need to ask themselves, “Does Black Panther achieve, or maybe even surpass, what a superhero movie should achieve?”

A critic's job can be multiple things, so I don't fully disagree.  I mean, sometimes, it's valid for them to discuss how does this entry in a genre stack up against other entries in the genre.  Another thing they might engage in, what are limitations or shortcomings of this genre (or at least most known entries in the genre)? Is this movie derivative?  Are we currently over-saturated with entries in this genre?  Somewhat related to the above, I feel like if someone was making the case for the merits of A Nightmare on Elm Street, they're probably better positioned to do it now after we've forgotten about the campy sequels rather than in the late 80s when so many of horror movie franchise sequels were coming out.  But that might just be me.  I also don't think ANoES should be on the AFI all time list (and it's been too long since I've seen it), but compared to other potentially "good" horror movies, something related to the franchise horrors of the 80s, might be a better reference point for thought experiments for the present.

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To me, it’s kind of like how many of us view the AFI list. We may not like, say, Westerns, but we can judge each individual movie against other examples in the genre to make an objective argument as to why it should or should not be included on the list.

Judging a westerns against other entries informs one's opinion of the movie, but, there's still the, "but is it 'good' compared to movies outside the genre?"  Which is grudlian's point of, does it have to elevate it to the best movies of all time classification?  I think choosing westerns from the AFI list is interesting as a comparison point since pretty much all the entries are considered subversive.  It would be funny if the super-hero movies that made it on the AFI list were things like James Gunn's Super.  Or, what Watchmen could have been (from what I've gathered.  I read the GN over the years.  Never saw the movie, because, Zach Snyder.  I heard it discussed to death at the time.  I say that one, because it's the story that would probably be considered most analogous like The Searchers).

Though circling back to people dismissing action movies... Gladiator won best picture.  And Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was nominated (coincidentally the same year X-Men came out, which was ground zero for the current superhero movie boom).  I don't think the former was very good.  But I think action alone isn't necessarily what disqualified them from people taking them seriously.  I think when there's an ephemeral quality to the current crop of superhero movies, especially the MCU (admittedly speaking from limited exposure), that's causing people to not take them seriously.  But I haven't seen Black Panther, and, as the AFI list is concerned, as was pointed out in the comments section, there are action-adventure movies on the list that also don't have a lot of gravitas.  Though, I can't help but wonder, if a superhero movie had the right type of drama or gravitas it would be more reasonably considered (which makes me think The Dark Knight, after we get out of the current superhero glut, might be something people won't moan at in 30 years, in terms of, "should this be on the AFI list?").  Then again, Shane is on the list, and Logan (haven't seen) was supposed to be an updated version of Shane...  I would be curious what the people who voted for Shane on the AFI list felt of Logan (not talking these forums, but for the actual AFI poll).

Granted, I am the person who hasn't been too big on the blockbusters on the list.  But, the list is what it is (in terms of perceived strengths and perceived shortcomings).  I don't know.  I feel like I drifted pretty far away from annetaylorphoto's original complaint in discussing all that.

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