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A Lost Love


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I rented a movie a couple of days ago. I don't watch TV, so this is my little decadence away from my writing. I'm a connoisseur of badly written, badly directed, B movies. Specifically horror movies.

I prepared my minds ?state? appropriately and put in the DVD. I sat there for almost 40 minutes before I couldn?t stand it any longer.

I was left thinking? ?OH MY GOD! The dialogue is AWEFUL!?

I never would have thought it before. Or, if I did, then I wouldn?t have expected more, chuckled, and gladly moved past it hoping to glean one perfect scene. They all have one. There is always one well written scene that either has a statement or even more securely hidden? good acting. They are fleeting moments. It?s like trying to find Waldo.

So? I couldn?t endure it any longer and actually stopped watching. I stopped half way through the movie and gave up. I never thought of my self as that kind of person before. I have read shit, written shit, watched the most obvious garbage ever put into media and always survived until the end.

I have to wonder. When did my threshold drop? When did I become intolerant?

I wonder? have I become so damn jaded that I?m not willing to endure the big picture? What I have decided is this. Time is precious and I won?t wade through the bullshit to find the gems. I haven?t become lazy. I am more appreciative of a well written story and the effort behind it.

I suppose what sparked this line of thought was watching Adam & Steve. It?s a play on life?s dramas that directly jokes about how trivial they really are. We sit about wondering if our self made world could be better or happier, when we ignore or discard the joy or happiness we already have.

It may not have had the budget and grandeur of ?Brokeback Mountain? but it had heart, and I think is a better movie for it.

Both movies left me thinking and had a very similar theme. But honestly? while each had an excellent plot, I find myself wanting to watch ?Adam & Steve? again to see what I missed.

I suppose I?m posting because I?m curious how ?writing? has affected other people?s perceptions of the world and people around them. Do you find that you respect the moment more now? Is this strange introspective view something that just comes with age, or is it a writing thing?

Anyway? I?m done blathering? I?m curious to hear your opinions!

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Hi Dark Shadow,

You say you don't watch TV. I think there-in lay the clue for your critical intolerance.

Modern TV dramas, shows and soap operas have reached a point of such mediocrity that even a bad movie looks good.

As you don't watch TV your standards have not fallen to the level of those who do.

I can see that though many who do watch TV and withstand the onslaught of appalling productions, some of them have switched off. Others are able to accept the second-rate as watchable shmulz and just vegetate in front of it for the sake of relaxation.

Personally I can do without this form of vegetation, so I don't watch TV either.

Now the real problem here is that the lower TV standards have crept into the production values of movie-making. What is worse is that the "alternative" and independent movie-makers see these poorer production values (everything from script and acting through to the technical values) as somehow an artistic statement against appropriate production values that have been developed over the last 100 years of film-making.

This does not mean that experimentation should not be explored. It is just that the experiments are all being done in the toilet or without recourse to skill and craftsmanship.

I'll stop there for the moment as this is a favourite subject of mine that I can rant on for days over and I too am interested to see the reactions and thoughts of others.

Don't despair Dark Shadow, excellence is still out there, but its definition may well be changing.

:icon6:

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I rented a movie a couple of days ago. I don't watch TV, so this is my little decadence away from my writing. I'm a connoisseur of badly written, badly directed, B movies. Anyway? I'm done blathering? I'm curious to hear your opinions!

First, TV is mind rot. Many people watch TV and their intelligence level slowly drops. This makes them tolerate the simply intolerable. I've dropped from seeing 30 to 40 movies a year to maybe 10. And then I end up regretting half of those.

Some people get wiser as they age, sometimes that can mean refusing to tolerate the once tolerable.

Or some old people get crotchetty.

Pick whichever one you'd like.

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Some people get wiser as they age, sometimes that can mean refusing to tolerate the once tolerable.

Or some old people get crotchetty.

Well... being 34, I hope that I'm not becoming crotchetty already. As for becoming wiser, I'd like to say 'sure' that must be it, but I doubt that as well.

What I fear, is that I am becoming one of those people that can do little more than complain about a thing. It is something I will work on in the future. I don't know when I drifted away from the golden rule 'If you have nothing nice to say, shut the hell up'.

Hi Dark Shadow,

You say you don't watch TV. I think there-in lay the clue for your critical intolerance.

Modern TV dramas, shows and soap operas have reached a point of such mediocrity that even a bad movie looks good.

As you don't watch TV your standards have not fallen to the level of those who do.

I can see that though many who do watch TV and withstand the onslaught of appalling productions, some of them have switched off. Others are able to accept the second-rate as watchable shmulz and just vegetate in front of it for the sake of relaxation.

Personally I can do without this form of vegetation, so I don't watch TV either.

Now the real problem here is that the lower TV standards have crept into the production values of movie-making. What is worse is that the "alternative" and independent movie-makers see these poorer production values (everything from script and acting through to the technical values) as somehow an artistic statement against appropriate production values that have been developed over the last 100 years of film-making.

This does not mean that experimentation should not be explored. It is just that the experiments are all being done in the toilet or without recourse to skill and craftsmanship.

I'll stop there for the moment as this is a favourite subject of mine that I can rant on for days over and I too am interested to see the reactions and thoughts of others.

Don't despair Dark Shadow, excellence is still out there, but its definition may well be changing.

:icon6:

There are many great movies out there, but it does seem to me that the number of new 'great' movies is dwindling. I have a pretty broad spectrum as to what will entertain me, so it's not the fact that any given topic is not to my tastes. For instance 'The Hulk'. Had I wanted to read a comic book, I would have. That the movie was shot in such a fashion and made to 'resemble' one totally ruined it. (for me anyway) If it did well at the box office, I don't know how. I thought that this was the worst piece of crap I had seen in ages. It was a wonderful story destroyed by a too distracting cinematography. These of course are only my opinions. I am sure there are thousands if not millions that would disagree with me. Then again, I think American Beauty, Fried Green Tomatos, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and The Color Purple are some of the best movies of all time. (There are many more that I would put in that list, but that would take forever) It could very well be I just have strange tastes in cinema.

It seems silly to me that there now exists a 'director's cut'. If that is how they wanted the movie, then that is how it should have been presented in the first place. I don't know when marketing and previewing panels of people began to dictate the content of movies, but I wish they would stop. I understand not wanting to go bankrupt because you have completely botched it, but I think we're losing art and creativity here for the sake of the dollar.

I love the additional footage and cut scenes section of DVD's almost as much as the movie itself. It is interesting to hear 'why' a particular scene or shot was neutered. Many times I'll sit there and think! What!? I can't believe that cut that. Then... I turn on the commentary and hear why, and it is almost always atrributed to one of two things. The director didn't like the flow, or, a panel of people didn't 'respond' to it how they would have liked. The worst is when a few person's views have somehow made an impact on what is produced. In my mind we're not supposed to like 'every second' of a movie. It is kind of what engages me and makes me merge into a movie. I love those lost minutes when I can't see or hear anything but the pictures blazing across the screen.

Now... before the Ang Lee gustapo come for me, let me say that I love that he ventures out in new ways. His particular adaptation of 'The Hulk' I did not care for.

So... I've rambled enough. Take care and I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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I suppose I?m posting because I?m curious how ?writing? has affected other people?s perceptions of the world and people around them. Do you find that you respect the moment more now? Is this strange introspective view something that just comes with age, or is it a writing thing?

Hey, you oughta see me: I work in LA in the movie business, strictly as an overpaid technical behind-the-scenes guy, and I often have to watch the same bad scene, with horrible dialogue, 20 or 30 times -- from various angles -- while we put the pieces together. Sometimes, it's like being hit on the hammer fifty times a day. Often, the mistakes are far more entertaining than the real dialogue.

My favorite experiences have been when the director comes in, and -- if I'm lucky -- I get to (tactfully) ask them, "hey -- what happened here? Why did the character do that? That doesn't seem to make sense."

I've done this with some very famous, infamous, and non-famous directors and producers over the last 20 years. They usually say one of three things:

1) Oh, we had a scene that explained that, but we had to cut it out because the movie was too long.

2) That always bothered me, too, but the studio/producer/writer/star insisted that it stay in.

3) Hey, I never noticed that problem before! Oh, well, it's too late to change it now.

There's also:

4) Shut up and keep working.

What's interesting is, when a movie is totally F'd up during production, you'd be amazed at the number of people on the set who immediately see and understand the problem. I've had cinematographers, grips, and technicians tell me, "jesus, that scene doesn't work at all," and 9 times out of 10, they're right. They actually get the writing and the context. You work in the business long enough, you figure it out. The trick is figuring out how to fix it, and that's a total crap shoot.

To me, it's a miracle that there are as many good films & TV shows out there as there are. 97% of everything I work on is total dung. The only two TV shows I watch at all are Lost and Heroes, both of which are exceptionally good (especially for TV). And the only other show is The Sopranos, which is so good, it's almost a little movie every week (when it's on).

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Yay! Pecman a kindred spirit. I do similar work at the tech end of movies and have experienced what you describe. It is indeed a wonder we get anything watchable and then one of the good ones comes through and makes it all worthwhile. Well sometimes. :icon6: maybe...

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