An evening pause: I previously posted a biography of Robert Mitchum by this same filmographer. This one, about James Garner, is equally worth a viewing. And like the Mitchum biography, it shows how humble and ordinary a man Garner was.
Link here. The numbers and details are truly horrifying:
Even before this catastrophic Labor Day weekend is factored in (more on this below), the domestic 2017 box office is in hideous shape. This year is –6.3% behind 2016 and continues to fall behind 2015, 2013, and 2012.
If you figure in inflation, those numbers are even worse. For example, in 2012 the average ticket cost $7.96. Today it is almost a full dollar more at $8.89. Yeah, things are that bad and will look even worse on Tuesday.
With no apparent faith in their own product, this is the first Labor Day in 25 years where a new title has not been released on more than 1,000 screens. Over this weekend last year, the box office hauled in nearly $130 million. This year will do about a third of that. Summer attendance is at a 25-year low. The summer box office is down a whopping –16% compared to 2016.
Unfortunately, this is the times in which we live. The dominate intellectual culture today is intellectually dishonest. The public has been making choices it disagrees with, and it continues to show an utter unwillingness to honestly assess those choices and figure out why. Instead, that culture, almost entirely leftwing and liberal in make-up, has decided that such dissent can only be the work of evil racists, an absurd conclusion that only serves to alienate that bankrupt intellectual culture more from the general public that is rejecting it.
An evening pause: Hat tip again to Phil Berardelli, author of Phil’s Favorite 500: Loves of a Moviegoing Lifetime. As Phil wrote to me, this scene is “the sensational finale from Martin Brest’s NYU student film, Hot Tomorrows. Brest, who went on to direct Beverly Hills Cop, Midnight Run and Scent of a Woman, broke all the rules in scrounging every resource he could find to make this 73-minute tragi-comic riff on the subject of death.”
Makes for a perfect Halloween evening pause.
An aside: Long ago, when I was in the movie business, I worked with many of the people who helped Brest make this film, and can say without doubt that he scored the best crew one could imagine finding for a student production.
The article is focused on hacking, but it really illustrates the general difference between reality and the movies in almost all things. You simply have to ask the same questions about almost every other Hollywood generalization to find out how far from reality those generalizations are.
An evening pause: As today is the Ides of March, I am always reminded of Julius Caesar. With that thought in mind, here is a clip from the 1953 movie, Cleopatra, staring Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, and Richard Burton. The movie overall isn’t very good, though the first half with Rex Harrison playing Julius Caesar is worth watching, partly because of Harrison and partly because it is very clearly inspired by George Bernard Shaw’s play Caesar and Cleopatra.
That first half also includes the scene below, when Cleopatra enters Rome, bringing with her her son by Caesar. A more classic example of late Hollywood spectacle would be hard to find. It is silly, absurd, impossible, and yet totally engrossing. And it was done with no computer effects. When Hollywood PR used to say a movie had a “cast of thousands,” they really meant it.