Monday, January 2, 2017

movie recommendation

( this is article 2 of 2 today )
I understand none of you care for my movie reviews.  Which is why I’ve graciously presented it as a second, supplemental, article today.  Obviously, you are welcome.  At first this was just going to be a blurb, a “note” I included at the top of my daily article.  Then it kind of stuck in my mind and I had to expand upon that.  Yet, not being in any manner related to survivalism, it had to just be an add-on.  Never let it be said I’m not feeding your doomer inclinations.  Movies are funny things and always have been.  They either suck or you enjoy them tremendously.  There seems to be little middle ground.  And movies have ALWAYS been sucking compared to before.  Of course, they share that with music, but mostly because we associate that entertainment with periods of our life.  As a care-free teen you watched movies or listened to music and then repeating that years later did have some ability to conjure up feelings of care-free-ness.  It isn’t a hard and fast rule.  I watched Quest For Fire as a teen and thought it sucked, but watching it almost forty years later I appreciated the evolutionary biology aspect of it I had recently read up on ( and appreciated the nudity less, which was all that saved it in my original viewing ).  I watched the Gandhi movie as a teen and thought it sucked, and didn’t change my mind decades later.


Yet even for all the Lowest Common Denominator aspects of movies which probably closely parallel the decline of our economy/empire, I’m very tempted to say that even as bad as they could be forty years ago, and ever since then, they seem to really have taken a huge dive recently even by normal standards.  It is so rare to find a well made movie anymore coming out of Hollywood.  Some peripheral players have been getting good results.  Cable TV companies are doing good in places like Georgia.  But I think that is still basically just Hollywood with tax breaks.  It does seem that risk adverseness is worse than any other time and nothing but pap is being released.  I’ve read critics say the same thing about movies twenty years ago ( I loved Independence Day and saw it repeatedly, and to my mind it is no where near as bad as the Special-Effects-Only-With-No-Script-Or-Talent crap they release now ), so it could be that movies are far too personal of a thing to be widely characterized.  I just know that I’m enjoying less and less movies recently.  There are always exceptions.  I hated Bill Murray in almost anything he has ever done, that crap last year Rocking The Casbah one of the worst, yet I just watched St. Vincent on Netflix last night and he did a wonderful job ( a real tear jerker, that one ).  The guy that played the manager in The Office on US TV has always offended me in any movie, until he did the The Big Short ( I of course pick movies according to which actors are in there,  which Hollywood counts on ).


I used to go to both the video store ( or its equivalent ) and theatre constantly.  There were periods I did neither-I don’t believe I ever did in the mid ‘90’s as I was working graveyards and flat broke.  But mostly I’ve always been a big movie fan.  When theatres got rid of coconut oil and went to soy for their popcorn, I lost a very big reason for going there.  It wasn’t the money but the shattered expected experience.  I was factoring in the expected product disappointment already, so when you add crappy popcorn to crappy movies, you lost a lifetime customer.  But even renting videos has gotten to be a disappointment.  Even with their reduced prices, it seems quality has still gone downhill more.  I don’t care I just wasted $1.60 as much as I care I was disappointed, AGAIN, with a very poor movie.  It can’t just be me by this point, Hollywood has got to take some of the blame.  Why are you churning out worse crap than ever before? 


The other day I watched Battle For Sevastopol.  It was “free” on Amazon Prime.  I noticed that is was very well done in comparison to the other Russian Sniper movie, Enemy At The Gate.  There wasn’t too much wrong with the later, it was just that in comparison the former was much better done.  Oh, there are obvious issues.  The Germans were portrayed in a VERY bafoonish manner.  But this was a Russian film so you can kind of forgive them their bias ( there was also no criticism for the Soviet political system, which could be more realistic from a Russian point of view [ as in, the aristocracy was no better ] or just another nationalistic viewpoint, I have no idea which ).  But there was a lot of things you don’t see in Hollywood films, such as Elinore Roosevelt being a blatantly obvious communist sympathizer and the female lead being NOT a Super Warrior Girl Powers Activate Clone but a tough bitch that nevertheless is pretty humped up in the head.  After enjoying the film, I had a specific thought.  How close is Hollywood coming to losing their film monopoly?


While understanding that one movie a trend does NOT make, it does seem that while Hollywood is churning out nearly pure crap, foreign films are doing much better quality wise.  I think back on an interview with Francis Ford Coppola where he wonders if a little girl won’t make a film with newer cheaper equipment that will render Hollywood’s monopoly obsolete, and ponder if it isn’t foreign filmmakers that are going to fill that role rather than a cheaper movie camera ( not to discount those makers with the ability to cut costs-look at Rodriquez ).  Quality can definitely be affordable, given a different culture.



  1. I am really enjoying Amazon's "Man in a High Castle".

    Also if you can get a hold of a copy of "The Survivalist" (made in Ireland), it's worth watching.

    Idaho Homesteader

    1. On Amazon Prime:
      Good Doomer Movies: Shelter, Blackout.
      Terrible Doomer Movies: 5 Shells, One Hundred Mornings, My Refuge, Aftermath, Wasteland, Remnants, Farm, A Killing Strain, Anger Of The Dead, Maggie, Into The Forest.
      Lots more I'm afraid to try.
      I saw the first episode of Man/Castle, and have added it to the list to view ( right now we are watching Soprano's ). I have The Survivalist on my wish list but am leery of spending near $20 on it.

  2. "Why are you churning out worse crap than ever before?"

    They stopped making "movies" quite some time ago and started making videos. There's a diff, and the reason is the same as for the overall decline across the whole country. The quality of the people now is way less than before. Now, it's not about acting but rather editing. There is not one modern actor out there that can learn a line of text more than 10 words or so and the directors and producers know it, so they've adjusted their template accordingly.

    For reference take a look at Edward G Robinson's 3 minute monologue on insurance actuarial tables for suicides in 1944's stunning noir, "Double Indemnity". That thing was done full speed non stop from front to back with no editing necessary. Why? Because Robinson was an actor and you won't find much of that stuff going on any more in Hollywood or anywhere else. If people were paying you a mil to act like a dumbass over and over again in video's would you care about the quality of the end result? Doubtful. You'd be too busy living the good life to look back.

    Last flik I paid money to see in a micro-theater was U-571 and and the reason I'll never go back has nothing to do with the soy laden popcorn.

    1. Interesting perspective-I like it! Thanks for a new viewpoint I never would have thought of.

  3. gs is correct.
    I see the problem as one of Content vs Delivery System. When there were limits to what you could do with a camera, they HAD to tell an interesting story. Or no fish would bite.
    The same was true with respect to Books, before the printing press. When you had to MAKE your paper, before you MADE your ink, and then hand copy every page, you didn't write everything down. You tried your best to write down the things that were "important".
    It was only AFTER the Printing Press that people could afford writing nonsense.
    the same happens with any media, when the cost of paint is high, you get the masters, when the cost of paint goes down, you get modern "art".
    There is a reason that the "Golden Age" of moves featured Moses Parting the Sea, and the like, while now, everyone has a camera, and we get Tarantino, and Selfies...
    In terms of opportunity, we could not be living in better times, but we piss it away, because it is all we have ever known.
    Viva la Collapse!
    maybe sitting around the campfire, we will regain the ability to tell stories, again...

    1. You are of course correct, lowering the cost of entry welcomes the untalented hacks. They invented the word processor and we got James Patterson. However, if you accept that as the cost of doing business, there is the other side of the coin. Without the gatekeepers, a minority of hidden talent gets seen. True, you now have 10k idiots to 11 geniuses, but before you were offered only the ten, not the 10,011. I’m not saying the price was worth it, of course :)

    2. Despite price increases all things are still affordable, prep wise. Just don't count on that as Business As Usual.