It may not be Thursday, but we're sensing some serious TBT realness after watching this fantastic display of showmanship.
Not only does an 11-year-old, pre-Mickey Mouse Club Ryan Gosling manage to give us face in a brief close-up, he demonstrates a swagger we wish we had at that age! And all of it done to a remix of Cathy Dennis's "Touch Me (All Night Long)"!
"Every great film should seem new every time you see it." - Roger Ebert
Pop Quiz: "Name the past ten Academy Award winners for Best Picture."
You may be able to name two or three at best without cheating. Venture over to Wikipedia and you will find yourself realizing just how forgettable the Best Picture winners of the past decade have been. Most are "one and done" watches by even the buffest of film buffs.
The film industry is in a flux, constantly trying to adapt to the market shares television and on-demand streaming services have cemented. They moan and groan about piracy all while recording record profits and exchanging movie screeners like baseball cards. The industry has always been about making money and I am not one to fault them on this fact. It is "show business" after all. It just seems like the model has changed drastically in an incredible short amount of time.
After doing a little digging, I have found some interesting data.
Budgets of Best Picture Winners 2007-2014
2014 - 12 Years A Slave: $20 million 2013 - Argo: $44 million 2012 - The Artist: $15 million 2011 - The King's Speech: $15 million 2010 - The Hurt Locker: $15 million 2009 - Slumdog Millionaire: $15 million 2008 - No Country For Old Men: $25 million 2007 - The Departed: $90 million
Average Budget of a Best Picture Winner 2007-2014: $29.88 million
Budgets of Best Picture Winners 1991-1998
1998 - Titanic: $200 million 1997 - The English Patient: $27 million 1996 - Braveheart: $72 million 1995 - Forrest Gump: $55 million 1994 - Schindler's List: $22 million 1993 - Unforgiven: $14.4 million 1992 - Silence of the Lambs: $19 million 1991 - Dances with Wolves: $22 million
Average Budget of a Best Picture Winner 1991-1998: $53.93 million
Right now you are probably saying, "Yeah, but Titanic skews all of the data just to make your point."
This is a fair criticsm. So let's take Titanic out of the equation.
Average Budget of a Best Picture Winner 1991-1998 (excluding Titanic): $33.05 million
This means that there is only a $3.17 million discrepancy. That is until you invite inflation to the party.
Average Budget of a Best Picture Winner 1991-1998 (Excluding Titanic but including inflation): $52.5 million. This nets to a $22.62 million discrepancy.
The truth is that there are two kinds of movies these days: $200 million budget films with a built-in audience and $15 million budget films that premiere at Sundance or Cannes that studios can scoop up to distribute during Oscar season.
I remember when Disney bought Marvel Studios for $4 billion in 2009. Having been working in Los Angeles for just a year, I did not have the foresight to really know the true nature of the deal. Someone who had worked in Hollywood for over thirty years said to me, "Disney is not in the movie business. They are in the theme park business." Disney bought Lucasfilm for $4 billion just three years later.
INT. DISNEY MERCHANDISE STORE - 2015
Mickey ears floods the shelves in the following varieties: Spiderman, Iron Man, Darth Vader, R2-D2, etc. A Yoda backpack hangs from an adjacent shelf while several patrons build their own light sabers.
CUT TO BLACK.
So what the hell is going on here? We laughed at Dr. Evil in 1999 when he held the world hostage for a mere $1 miiiiiiiiillion dollars. I cannot blame movie studios for not risking their bottom line on five $40 million films rather than investing $200 million on a sure thing. After all, we now know that a million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars.
This is the world as a present day moviegoer. We spend January-March staying at home because we are smart enough to know these months are the dumping ground for film releases. If the distributors do not believe in these films, why should we? Queue up House of Cards on Netflix please! During the five-month span between April and August, we pay to see sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots. Finally, we end the year watching films that Hollywood deems to be the best of the year.
Please. Hollywood already made their billions off of the bread and butter Summer blockbusters. The Oscar race has become nothing more than another marketing ploy to get people out to the theaters in hopes of making these independent lower risk films profitable. The Academy even went so far as to expand the Best Picture category to include more nominees so more of these films could get the Oscar rub at the box office. Otherwise, Guardians of the Galaxy, Interstellar, or The Lego Movie would have deserved a Best Picture nod this year in my opinion.
The problem, however, is that just because Hollywood proclaims these films to be Best Picture quality, it does not make it necessarily so. I am referring to REWATCHABILITY. Yes, I am aware that this is not a real word, but take a look at a dictionary these days and you will that there are several non-words that are now officially a part of the English language for better or for worse.
Roger Ebert once said, "Every great film should seem new every time you see it." The problem with the past decade is that so many of these "Best Pictures" are not effective enough to warrant a second viewing.
The following data is extremely subjective. I imagined films I would rewatch and movie I felt others who aren't avid film watchers may rewatch as well. Some movies will be watched more than others, but I argue that the following films will likely be watched more than once. It may not be scientifically accurate, but I argue I am much closer to being right than I am to being wrong...
Rewatchable Best Picture Nominees 1990-2000:
Ghost, Goodfellas, Silence of the Lambs, JFK, Beauty and the Beast, A Few Good Men, Scent of a Woman, Schindler's List, The Fugitive, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, Apollo 13, Braveheart, Jerry Maguire, Fargo, Titanic, As Good As It Gets, Good Will Hunting, LA Confidential, Saving Private Ryan, American Beauty, The Sixth Sense, The Insider, Gladiator, Traffic.
26 out of 55 Nominated Films: 47.27%
Rewatchable Best Picture Nominees 2005-2015:
The Departed, No Country For Old Men, Michael Clayton, There Will Be Bloodm Inglourious Basterds, Up, Inception, Toy Story 3, The Social Network, The Fighter, The Descendants, Hugo, Midnight In Paris, Moneyball, The Help, Django Unchained, Lincoln, Life of Pi, 12 Years A Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Whiplash, Birdman.
22 out of 74 Nominated Films: 29.7%
You may disagree with me, but this how I view the rewatchability of the past ten years of Best Picture nominees. Saw it. Liked it. Don't need to watch it again. Is it because these films are not granted the proper budgets like Best Picture nominees in the 90s? One can make this argument as the days of the $30-$50 million are dead.
2015 will break the record for release of film sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes whether we like it or not. 2016 will break 2015's record. 2017 will break 2016's record. The horizon does not show change. This is our new reality.
Enjoy the Academy Awards. I will. I always have. I think the general public should see most, if not all, of this year's nominated films. I just do not expect too many people to add these films to their Blu-ray collections nor do I expect any of them to appear on a film studies syllabus in the near future.
Just remember that we will likely look at the "Best Pictures of of the Year" in the past decade as the most forgettable in history.
We can all agree that the comment section on YouTube is an abysmal display of humanity at its worst. So why not take two British actors and have them recite a vicious feud between a Belieber and a One Direction fan so that we can all end our week on a giant hysterical note?
And with that, we have the "Gangnam Style" of 2013, folks. Try to get this comic earworm out of your head (and let's see how many Halloween cosutmes will be inspired by this viral insanity next month):
Syfy's Sharknado is a gift we all can enjoy, a movie that brings us all together and allows us share our every thought -- via Twitter, of course. Who's the man with the very cool name who has chomped away at writing this buzzworthy movie and its inevitable sequel? Thunder Levin. And he graciciously took some time to answer some questions about the movie that has taken a bite out of social media and created the perfect pop culture storm.
HIH: David Letterman, Ryan Seacrest, and the whole Twitterverse tweeted about the movie you wrote. Does it feel like a big hug from the world?
TL: It’s really been such a whirlwind, it’s hard to describe. I’ve been in this business over 20 years now, and of course you spend your whole career hoping for, and working towards, having this kind of an impact on the audience. But the extent to which it’s blown up has been completely surreal. I’ve mostly seen myself as a fairly serious action and science-fiction director, so for the most humorous, over-the-top thing I’ve ever written (and not directed) to be the one that blows up is incredibly ironic. But I’ve been having so much fun seeing people get a kick out of it, whether they be celebrities or not, that there’s definitely a warm fuzzy feeling involved.
HIH: What do you think of the term "so bad, it's good"? Do you embrace it?
TL: I don’t have a problem with it in this particular context because we all knew what we were doing here. Obviously if this had been some serious piece of drama we’d been trying to do and people were saying “it’s so bad, it’s good” I might feel differently. But the fact that people seem to be having so much fun with it is enormously gratifying. My main goal was for it to be fun.
HIH:Andy Cohen made it known on Watch What Happens Live that he was a super fan of your movie, with star Cassie Scerbo as the guest bartender on the show. Any plans to please gay audiences by adding a gay character in the sequel?
TL: I hadn’t heard about that. I don’t see why not. We all taste the same to sharks.
HIH:Ian Ziering is currently guesting as a Chippendale. Was his shirtlessness written in by you, or was it just an added bonus for viewers?
TL: His character, Fin, was always a surfer, so that implies bare-chestedness. But Ian was cast well after I was finished with the script, so the Chippendales thing was a total coincidence as far as I know.
HIH: How many times have you watched Sharknado, and is there any kind of drinking game that could go along with it?
TL: I assumed it already was a drinking game! Any time a shark eats someone you take a drink. Any time someone kills a shark you take a drink. Any time Nova (Cassie Scerbo) says “I hate sharks," you take a drink. Actually, it’s probably best to just start drinking at the beginning and not stop until before the last scene. You pretty much want to be stone-cold sober for the chainsaw scene.
HIH: The sequel is in the works (we saw at Comic-Con). Is there any added pressure to add more blood?
TL: Maybe we’ll go the other way, make it a Jane Austen drama. With sharks. And tornadoes.
HIH: Now that you're part of pop culture history, and you've raised the bar for future disaster/creature features, how do you feel about the inevitable copycats?
TL: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? So I’d be flattered by anything like that, just as I hope that Steven Spielberg and Irwin Allen and Roland Emmerich would be flattered by Sharknado. It’s not like we invented a new genre. We just took what was already out there to the logical extreme. And yes, I used the word “logic” and “Sharknado” in the same answer. Sorry about that.
Shaknado hits the big screen at Regal Cinemas nationwide on August 2!
HIH's Hiko Mitsuzuka and Garytt Poirier (and behind-the-scenes producer Joe Arnhold) tackle Entertainment Weekly's All-Time Greatest lists and Showtime's Ray Donovan, prepare for Comic-Con, and chat with Ringo Le, director of the indie rom-com Big Gay Love, which is currently making a splash at Outfest here in Los Angeles.
After yesterday's historic decision by the Supreme Court in California to shut down DOMA and Prop 8, many same-sex couples (and LGBT singles) celebrated and basked in the glow of marriage equality. Matt Emert, a Los Angeles-based copywriter who directed and produced an It Gets Better video for global toy company Mattel earlier this year, had a few personal things to share with us in response to the recent developments in what is being called a new civil rights movement...
Since I was a kid, I have always known that I wanted to get married. I’m very relationship-oriented, a hopeless romantic who, up until now, has experienced more of the “hopeless” than the “romantic” in my love life.
As much fun as I make of people who go overboard on weddings and spend way too much money on them, I’ve secretly wanted one too. It doesn’t have to be huge and expensive, but I do want a ceremony in front of friends and family to celebrate the union between myself and the person I love. As cheesy as it sounds, I even have a few portions of my ideal wedding figured out – I’d have a group of groomsmen (guy friends) and groomswomen (girl friends) by my side, both of my parents walking me down the aisle, and gold rings exchanged between me and my fiancé. Of course, these are just dreams of mine, but they are dreams I was afraid of sharing ever since I came out in 2002 because I felt like people would laugh at them. Or people would ask silly questions like, “who’s the bride and who’s the groom?” Or worse yet, people would remind me that marriage wasn’t an option for me because it wasn’t legal. For years I didn’t feel comfortable talking about my desire to get married, even with my closest friends. And I rarely used the word “husband” in reference to my future partner - it just felt awkward.
Then came 2008 – an extremely bittersweet year. First the Supreme Court of California awarded same-sex couples the freedom to marry. Then that freedom was taken away at the ballot box. The idea that the people in my own state, the supposedly liberal state of California, the land of “fruits and nuts,” would vote AGAINST marriage equality was heartbreaking. In 2010, I assumed pro-marriage equality constituents would put a new proposition on the ballot so Prop 8 could be overturned. They didn’t. Then the court case began, and I knew that whatever decision was given by the District Court and Court of Appeals, the case would continue to be appealed up to the Supreme Court. It just felt like an interminable battle.
Today is June 27, 2013. It’s been nearly five years since Prop 8 passed. Back in 2008, I yearned for this discriminatory proposition to be overturned as quickly as possible. At that time, I couldn’t fathom that it would take this long to do so. But now I recognize the fact that we needed this amount of time to pass. We now have a president who publicly supports marriage equality as well as our former Secretary of State, our California Governor, our California Attorney General, 12 states, and 55% of the American public. This truly was the right time.
Starting today, I can tell people I want to get married without worrying about receiving odd glances from those who don’t understand how that can work for me. Starting today I can tell people I want to settle down with a “husband,” not a “partner.” And starting today, the dream I’ve had for so long about having a wedding to celebrate marrying the MAN I love (when I find him, of course) can come true.
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