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Subject: "What are your thoughts about Marty's comments about Marvel movies?" Previous topic | Next topic
obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
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Fri Oct-11-19 06:17 PM

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"What are your thoughts about Marty's comments about Marvel movies?"


  

          

Without reading the entire interview or watching the comment in 'real-time' and gathering context, on face value his comments are right but also reflect that he hasn't watched at least the better of the comic book movies.

Endgame does have more in common with Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge than Taxi Driver. But this doesn't mean that there aren't genuinely emotionally touching moments in Endgame and many high-level comic book movies.

The Marvel movies and the Nolan movies didn't have the best special effects and stunts - although they were good. But the performances made the circumstances of men, women, and celestial beings running around clobbering each other in tights emotionally believable. The movies don't work otherwise. Just look at the DC movies. The special effects and technical aspects of the movies are roughly similar but the basic storytelling mechanics aren't there and as a result they haven't been as well received.

Scorsese's never done an outright tentpole blockbuster. That's probably because he doesn't want to and that he hasn't been offered one. And so he may likely have the opinion that summer movies just aren't something he's interested to do.

The feedback from Sam Jax, Downey Jr., and James Gunn was pretty measured and reasoned which was good to see. I presume they were showing deference for Scorsese's age and accomplishments. I can't think that even Tarantino would get that level of respect he said the same.

https://pagesix.com/2019/10/04/martin-scorsese-says-marvel-movies-arent-cinema-theyre-theme-parks/

Martin Scorsese says Marvel movies ‘aren’t cinema,’ they’re ‘theme parks’

By Alex HeiglOctober 4, 2019 | 9:26pm

Marty’s not feeling very Marvel-ous.

In a new interview with Empire, Martin Scorsese addressed the zeitgeist-dominating influence of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. To put it mildly, he finds them … wanting.

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese told the magazine. “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

To be fair, Scorsese’s legacy of capital-c Cinema does seem fairly incompatible with the streamlined, quip-heavy, crowd-pleasing, popcorn fare that comprises the MCU. But “Joker” director Todd Phillips has namechecked grimy Scorsese faves like “Taxi Driver” and “King of Comedy” in his press tour — and even went so far as to bring in “King of Comedy” star Robert De Niro for a part in “Joker.” Maybe Scorsese’s just is a DC fan?
Marty’s latest is, of course, “The Irishman,” out on Netflix Nov. 27.

  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
i agree 100%.
Oct 12th 2019
1
He's old school. No one should care.
Oct 12th 2019
2
He's old a old fucking idiot
Oct 13th 2019
3
its hilarious how upset people got over it
Oct 13th 2019
4
i don't see anything wrong with the comment
Oct 13th 2019
5
Why was this clickbait bullshit even posted here?
Oct 13th 2019
6
To be fair, this was actually one of the more even handed descriptions
Oct 13th 2019
7
obviously it's a snobbish statement and a tired debate
Oct 14th 2019
8
RE: obviously it's a snobbish statement and a tired debate
Oct 14th 2019
10
      exactly
Oct 14th 2019
11
      "cbm are pushing out indie & mainstream films from theaters"....?
Oct 14th 2019
12
           RE: "cbm are pushing out indie & mainstream films from theaters"....?
Oct 14th 2019
13
seems like an old man yells at clouds moment, to me
Oct 14th 2019
9
I've never wondered what scorsese thinks of the MCU. never will.
Oct 15th 2019
14
Haters gonna hate.
Oct 16th 2019
15
and Ain'ters Gonna Ain't
Oct 16th 2019
16
All Cinema Doesn't Have To Be The Same.
Oct 18th 2019
17
he says he never saw them. debate over.
Oct 19th 2019
18
He's 100% right, but y'all middle aged nerds are too "emotionally attach...
Oct 20th 2019
19
he's not right, and you're missing the point
Oct 21st 2019
24
Coppola takes it even further
Oct 20th 2019
20
there's something strange or just sad about this
Oct 20th 2019
21
Coppola's comments seem perplexing given the context...
Oct 20th 2019
22
      RE: Coppola's comments seem perplexing given the context...
Oct 20th 2019
23
           Agreed
Oct 23rd 2019
30
Apparently Coppola's comments were taken from a poor translation
Oct 30th 2019
35
      Oh...
Oct 31st 2019
36
      not surprising
Oct 31st 2019
37
That and the Disney remakes are killing movies
Oct 21st 2019
25
C'mon, fam. They aren't killing anything
Oct 22nd 2019
26
      I said the people have spoken. And they're are giving us the same
Oct 22nd 2019
27
      that's a you problem
Oct 23rd 2019
28
      Green Book made 85 mil domestically!
Oct 23rd 2019
29
           I hope you're wrong
Oct 24th 2019
34
It's funny to me the guy who made Jack
Oct 23rd 2019
31
While I agree it’s silly to say that without having seen one...
Oct 23rd 2019
32
same
Oct 24th 2019
33
old and mad
Oct 31st 2019
38
And another thing...
Oct 31st 2019
39
he doesn't care how many people love the movies
Nov 04th 2019
40
He doubled down! *link*
Nov 05th 2019
41
blah blah blah
Nov 05th 2019
42
He sounds jealous that he had to fight for funding & Marvel prints money...
Nov 05th 2019
43
I get it, and think it's silly anybody got worked up over it
Nov 05th 2019
44
I don't think he was dismissing the Marvel phenomenon
Nov 05th 2019
45
Marvel movies aren't the reason major studios passed...
Nov 05th 2019
46

BrooklynWHAT
Member since Jun 15th 2007
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Sat Oct-12-19 04:30 PM

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1. "i agree 100%."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

and i'll be there whenever the next comic book movie joint drops too.

<--- Big Baller World Order

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
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Sat Oct-12-19 07:34 PM

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2. "He's old school. No one should care."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I could sit here and advocate for why I think they are cinema and/or why the definition of cinema doesn't matter anymore and/or that Marty probably loves the old goofy serialized flicks from the 20s and 30s...

... but it doesn't matter. Old dudes are gonna believe old dude stuff, and Marty's so good that he gets a pass.

For beer lovers: http://thebeertravelguide.com
For movie lovers: http://russellhainline.com

  

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handle
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Sun Oct-13-19 10:59 AM

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3. "He's old a old fucking idiot"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Fuck that dude - he's been making the same films over and over for the last 30 years.

Now, if he'd have jsut said "Not my cup of tea" it would be different.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6frLQWOSlQ

------------
My prayers have been answered!

Gone
My Discogs collection for The Roots:
http://www.discogs.com/user/tomhayes-roots/collection

  

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Mynoriti
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Sun Oct-13-19 12:47 PM

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4. "its hilarious how upset people got over it"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

People acted like he attacked them personally and reacted accordingly

If he sang praises for the mcu the same people whining wwould probably feel validated getting a blessing from one of the greats. But.now he's just some bitter old hack who only makes mob movies, and fuck him.

People don't have to agree with him but they don't have to be babies about it either

--------
http://ambitiondeficitdisorder.tumblr.com/

  

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hardware
Member since May 22nd 2007
42219 posts
Sun Oct-13-19 06:16 PM

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5. "i don't see anything wrong with the comment"
In response to Reply # 0


          

unless you think theme parks are bad

  

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Mgmt
Member since Feb 17th 2005
21273 posts
Sun Oct-13-19 06:56 PM

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6. "Why was this clickbait bullshit even posted here?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>Without reading the entire interview or watching the comment
>in 'real-time' and gathering context, on face value his
>comments are right but also reflect that he hasn't watched at
>least the better of the comic book movies.
>
>Endgame does have more in common with Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
>than Taxi Driver. But this doesn't mean that there aren't
>genuinely emotionally touching moments in Endgame and many
>high-level comic book movies.
>
>The Marvel movies and the Nolan movies didn't have the best
>special effects and stunts - although they were good. But the
>performances made the circumstances of men, women, and
>celestial beings running around clobbering each other in
>tights emotionally believable. The movies don't work
>otherwise. Just look at the DC movies. The special effects and
>technical aspects of the movies are roughly similar but the
>basic storytelling mechanics aren't there and as a result they
>haven't been as well received.
>
>Scorsese's never done an outright tentpole blockbuster. That's
>probably because he doesn't want to and that he hasn't been
>offered one. And so he may likely have the opinion that summer
>movies just aren't something he's interested to do.
>
>The feedback from Sam Jax, Downey Jr., and James Gunn was
>pretty measured and reasoned which was good to see. I presume
>they were showing deference for Scorsese's age and
>accomplishments. I can't think that even Tarantino would get
>that level of respect he said the same.
>
>https://pagesix.com/2019/10/04/martin-scorsese-says-marvel-movies-arent-cinema-theyre-theme-parks/
>
>Martin Scorsese says Marvel movies ‘aren’t cinema,’
>they’re ‘theme parks’
>
>By Alex HeiglOctober 4, 2019 | 9:26pm
>
>Marty’s not feeling very Marvel-ous.
>
>In a new interview with Empire, Martin Scorsese addressed the
>zeitgeist-dominating influence of the Marvel Cinematic
>Universe. To put it mildly, he finds them … wanting.
>
>“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not
>cinema,” Scorsese told the magazine. “Honestly, the
>closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with
>actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is
>theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to
>convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human
>being.”
>
>To be fair, Scorsese’s legacy of capital-c Cinema does seem
>fairly incompatible with the streamlined, quip-heavy,
>crowd-pleasing, popcorn fare that comprises the MCU. But
>“Joker” director Todd Phillips has namechecked grimy
>Scorsese faves like “Taxi Driver” and “King of Comedy”
>in his press tour — and even went so far as to bring in
>“King of Comedy” star Robert De Niro for a part in
>“Joker.” Maybe Scorsese’s just is a DC fan?
>Marty’s latest is, of course, “The Irishman,” out on
>Netflix Nov. 27.
>

  

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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
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Sun Oct-13-19 11:59 PM

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7. "To be fair, this was actually one of the more even handed descriptions"
In response to Reply # 6


  

          

Some of the articles leaned pretty heavily against Marty. At least this one gave context without being 'fanboyish'.

  

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BigWorm
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Mon Oct-14-19 06:33 AM

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8. "obviously it's a snobbish statement and a tired debate"
In response to Reply # 0


          

Mainstream art versus "High" art.

AKA a bullshit argument that's not even worth going into.

Having said that let's not forget that Marty also did The Departed (which IMO was just the weaker elements of Infernal Affairs + Mark Wahlberg saying fuck 100 times) and Hugo, and now he's trying to say that his shit is 100% cinema or high art, while the MCU movies--most of which he hasn't even seen--are not.

It's not much different than Jodi Foster's statement against superhero movies, or a lot of other celebrity's. They want to discredit the MCU because they see it as a billion dollar behemoth eating up all the small intellectual "arthouse" movies at the box office.

I like "cinema" and I like what he calls "theme parks". Tons of people all over the world are enjoying MCU movies, even though obviously that train will stop eventually. I'm still going to see The Irishman and whatever Marty does after that, but also fuck his uppity opinions.


  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39905 posts
Mon Oct-14-19 11:25 AM

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10. "RE: obviously it's a snobbish statement and a tired debate"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

there is a lot of room between superhero blockbusters and art films, a wide middleground that i would categorize most of scorsese's work under, and it is a valid point that comic book movies, love them or loathe them, are pushing out not just the ultra indie but that traditional mainstream release from theaters. i'm not offering a solution nor a condemnation; if the public wants to go to the multiplex to see a comic book movie but stay home for a drama, comedy, or even an action film without super powers, then there's no sense fighting reality. the rest comes down to taste.

  

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BigWorm
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Mon Oct-14-19 01:12 PM

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11. "exactly"
In response to Reply # 10


          

Wesley Snipe's character in Mo Better Blues said it best:

"That's right, the people don't come because you grandiose motherfuckers don't play shit that they like. If you played the shit that they like, then people would come, simple as that."

IT, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Hobbs and Shaw...all non-comic book movies that were box office hits.

Even if superhero movies didn't exist at all it's not like mainstream audience would be running top speed to go see Roma or The Silence on opening night. Thor Ragnarok did not steal the spotlight from the newest Duplass Brothers movie.

People want to see superhero movies right now. I wonder if back in the day people were bitching the same way about westerns.

  

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kevlar skully
Member since Mar 13th 2007
6049 posts
Mon Oct-14-19 01:39 PM

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12. ""cbm are pushing out indie & mainstream films from theaters"....?"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          



how are you defining "traditional mainstream releases" and how are comic book movies pushing them AND indie films out of theaters?

besides, "comic book movies" is a misnomer when that can be anything from Scott Pilgrim to Ghost World and you're clearly talking about movies based on mainstream superhero comics that are made by four- now three studios (Marvel Studios, Warner Bros, Sony and formally Fox)

I could see if people were bitching about Disney in general buying up so many studios and jerking theaters around and which films they can screen; they'd have a point, then.

But Marvel Studios releasing three films a year isn't stopping a filmmaker like Jordan Peele from making very successful original films. The Avengers aren't pushing anyone else out of theaters. Everybody eats, b.

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39905 posts
Mon Oct-14-19 02:07 PM

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13. "RE: "cbm are pushing out indie & mainstream films from theaters"....?"
In response to Reply # 12


  

          

indie wasn't so much the point as mainstream or at least what was considered it pre-MCU. that could be big studio or indie, but i was thinking middle to large (for the time) budgets and A-list stars. you look at these now and they see smaller theatrical releases, often timed to award season lest they be declared DOA, or debut on streaming or HBO. you could attribute this as much to the convenience and ubiquity of streaming and agony of a trip to the multiplex as simply preference for what i'm terming comic book movies.


>how are you defining "traditional mainstream releases"

just look at top grossers of the decade in the last century and first decade of this one. hit dramas, comedies, and sci-fi. (horror still does reasonably well, and action can be argued.) some of these coexisted peacefully with warner DC, spiderman, and x-men movies, but it's like MCU was too good. (who doesn't love a fun amusement park ride? i mean, really.)


>and how
>are comic book movies pushing them AND indie films out of
>theaters?

again, indie wasn't really *my* argument, but i think people generally take less chances with their expensive and often aggravating visit to the cinema. that's why every major studio wants a hit franchise.


>besides, "comic book movies" is a misnomer when that can be
>anything from Scott Pilgrim to Ghost World and you're clearly
>talking about movies based on mainstream superhero comics that
>are made by four- now three studios (Marvel Studios, Warner
>Bros, Sony and formally Fox)

yes. i just finished watching the final season of legion; it's hard to call that a "superhero" show, just like joker isn't a superhero movie. for want of a better term, i used comic book because i think a lot of the audience is aware of that being the basis for what they are seeing. it's more of an aesthetic, but it doesn't apply across the board. anyway, it's not meant as a putdown on my part.


>But Marvel Studios releasing three films a year isn't stopping
>a filmmaker like Jordan Peele from making very successful
>original films. The Avengers aren't pushing anyone else out of
>theaters. Everybody eats, b.

i didn't imply that no one else was eating. i'm merely saying that there is merit to the argument that the unprecedented success of superhero movies (and their ilk) and the resulting changes in the industry have sucked up a lot of the oxygen that a movie that used to be typical mainstream fare would have benefited from. that's largely because these movies are being so well made now and the audience is responding accordingly. it's understandable to see the old guard lash out and throw tantrums and not purely for selfish reasons. as i wrote before, streaming/VOD is so easy and affordable nowadays that some people are skipping these or these sorts of movies at the box office but eagerly viewing them at home. it's just a matter of those movies being transposed from what would have been a decent theatrical run, pre-MCU runaway success, to the home market, perhaps preceded by a few months of timed releases before oscar season for prestige pics. there are exceptions for great stuff, although sometimes these are slow burners that don't or wouldn't have caught on in time at the box office anyway.

  

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kevlar skully
Member since Mar 13th 2007
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Mon Oct-14-19 10:26 AM

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9. "seems like an old man yells at clouds moment, to me "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

We all love goodfellas but it may as well be Ja Rule giving his opinion on 9/11... who really cares? Just watch the movies you like.

No one is being “invaded” by Marvel Studios.

  

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Rjcc
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Tue Oct-15-19 02:56 PM

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14. "I've never wondered what scorsese thinks of the MCU. never will."
In response to Reply # 0


          


www.engadgethd.com - the other stuff i'm looking at

  

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Beamer6178
Member since Jan 09th 2006
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Wed Oct-16-19 11:54 AM

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15. "Haters gonna hate."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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BigWorm
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16. "and Ain'ters Gonna Ain't "
In response to Reply # 15


          

  

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WarriorPoet415
Member since Sep 30th 2003
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Fri Oct-18-19 02:25 PM

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17. "All Cinema Doesn't Have To Be The Same."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I understand what he's saying, but all movies don't have the same reach or depth, nor do they have to.

All movies don't even have the same audience that they want to reach.

There's plenty of well done cinema that is timeless and beloved that isn't Scorcese level artistry.

Respect to the man, but there's room in movies for everyone, no matter what they are conveying.
______________________________________________________________________________

"To Each His Reach"

but.....

Fuck aliens.

  

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spirit
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Sat Oct-19-19 07:56 PM

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18. "he says he never saw them. debate over. "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

You can form somewhat of an opinion based on trailers and reviews, but if you are commenting on a filmography with twenty plus movies in it without ever actually watching one whole film, I’m not really giving that opinion much weight. He’sa Great Director, obviously, but this is just a genre thing. Sorta like saying you don’t like Westerns without ever watching one


Peace,

Spirit (Alan)
http://wutangbook.com

  

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Hellyeah
Member since Jul 05th 2008
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Sun Oct-20-19 01:55 PM

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19. "He's 100% right, but y'all middle aged nerds are too "emotionally attach..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

to those cartoon characters to realize it.

Those fast food movies are so good that y'all even shrugged off the disney/fox merger and the awful implications it will have on the future of cinema because "muh fantastic 4 and x men in the mcu"

  

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BigWorm
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Mon Oct-21-19 07:10 AM

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24. "he's not right, and you're missing the point"
In response to Reply # 19


          

Sure, people are "emotionally attached" to what you are calling "cartoon characters" i.e. superheroes.

Sure, Disney is a behemoth that's eating up the box office and the industry in general in a very problematic way, whereas the fan focus seems to be just "YAY X-Men is finally going to be part of the MCU!"

The problems with Scorsese (and Coppola's) statement A) he made a blanket statement on movies he mostly hasn't seen. Kind of like "I hated Silverado therefore westerns are all trash." Fault them if you like (and I can also find fault) but did Black Panther have something to say? Captain America: Civil War? Avengers: Infinity War even? I could point out the themes of each one that go beyond just "Good guys fight bad guys BANG! POW! green screen CGI THE END." But ultimately if you think they are all entirely shallow, no one's going to convince you otherwise.

B) it's snobbish. If MCU movies aren't cinema, then only a small percentage of movies even count as cinema. Most sci-fi movies. Most action movies. Almost all animated movies. The Star Wars franchise? Not cinema. Most musicals? Theme parks. It's whittling down cinema to movies like The Godfather, The Wolf of Wall Street and Roma. While Scorsese and Coppola didn't explicitly say that, what's the difference between the MCU movies and other box office "entertainment" films? Why would they not qualify as cinema? They totally fit the definition that Scorsese gives of cinema, but he writes them off as "theme parks."

Say that you hate them. Say that you're sick of superhero flicks, or you think that they're juvenile, garbage, one-note, whatever. Or maybe you're in general not interested in them. Pick out the glaring flaws in each MCU flick and I might not even be able to disagree with you. But disqualifying as cinema is totally snobbish and an insult to everyone who enjoys them. Just because you value Kundun over Guardians of Galaxy doesn't mean that Guardians doesn't count as cinema. IMO.

  

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go mack
Member since May 02nd 2008
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Sun Oct-20-19 02:09 PM

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20. "Coppola takes it even further"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/francis-ford-coppola-marvel-movies-despicable-martin-scorsese-161857629.html

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
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Sun Oct-20-19 02:47 PM

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21. "there's something strange or just sad about this"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

you'll see what i mean in the middle of this page if you haven't already watched and remember the directors' roundtable itself:
https://www.ign.com/articles/2018/08/03/avengers-infinity-war-15-things-we-learned-from-the-marvel-studios-directors-roundtable

i wonder what coogler thinks...

  

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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
7501 posts
Sun Oct-20-19 10:05 PM

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22. "Coppola's comments seem perplexing given the context..."
In response to Reply # 21


  

          

Both Scorsese and Coppola came up in a true Golden Age of cinema and the culture of periods like that are seductive. The traits of that age created 2001 and Star Wars and Jaws (all 'blockbusters' in style.) which still hold up after all these years.

For as remarkable as the Marvel movies are (and I like many of them), I don't think they are accomplishments in terms of 'Art' as the Kubrick, Speilberg, and Lucas movies. Maybe Coppola and Marty compare the Marvel movies to those 70's movies. Francis and Scorses may just have higher standards.

But I can't fault Scorsese or Coppola for their stance. I might feel upset when I'm a senior-aged man about a medium that ran counter to its culture when I came of age.

I felt like hip-hop lost its way when Puffy took hold in the mid-'90s and never regained its footing. That's a very curmudgeon-ly attitude to have especially given how Bad Boy's presence and success paved the way for hip-hop to grow. Coppola's and Scorsese's attitudes are similar.

Now to the context you referred to.

Coppola's comments seem perplexing given the context of the notes he gave to Coogler. Maybe Coppola's rant was just expressing support for his friend?

His dissing of Marvel movies makes his tutoring of Coogler condescending and hollow.

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
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23. "RE: Coppola's comments seem perplexing given the context..."
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

>Coppola's comments seem perplexing given the context of the
>notes he gave to Coogler. Maybe Coppola's rant was just
>expressing support for his friend?
>
>His dissing of Marvel movies makes his tutoring of Coogler
>condescending and hollow.

that was my point. i can understand how he would come to the defense of marty:

https://www.google.com/search?q=coppola+scorsese+lucas&client=firefox-b-1-d&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii6Lbev6zlAhXJhOAKHebxA_EQ_AUIESgB&biw=1366&bih=604

...but did he completely forget about black panther from LAST YEAR, or was it worth dogging coogler like that just to stand by his man from way back? is this something old people do when they've lost the plot and just rage instead of acting like 3-dimensional beings? this isn't even about MCU vs. '70s cool cinema to me, this is about character. i think that generation of filmmakers produced some iconoclasts (AND DON'T THEY KNOW IT!), and MCU is very much in the disney overlord mold even if that takes the form of feige by and large, but some of these '70s guys could learn a thing or two about how to do more together from the new blood. there were always historical and fantasy epics, but now there is something that couldn't be done very well until MCU, the superhero spectacle. i've already expressed my thoughts on the general topic earlier but want to make sure i'm not revering these '70s (70s) guys above all else; there's room for everyone to do great things, whatever the shape, and it *seemed* like coppola got that last year.

  

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obsidianchrysalis
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30. "Agreed"
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

I guess the confidence it took to have their uncompromising perspective on film which allowed them to create something legitimately new can't allow them the flexibility to see that there is something new about these Marvel movies besides the spectacle of them.

  

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obsidianchrysalis
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35. "Apparently Coppola's comments were taken from a poor translation"
In response to Reply # 20


  

          

His actual substance is more muted and is pointed at studio's timidity towards releasing films without certain commercial appeal.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

https://deadline.com/2019/10/francis-coppola-superhero-comments-walked-back-robert-evans-martin-scorsese-1202770932/

Turns Out The Most Despicable Thing About Francis Coppola’s Superhero Movie Comments Was The Faulty Translation

By Mike Fleming Jr

Mike Fleming Jr
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Film

The one-two punch from Martin Scorsese and Francis Coppola about how superhero movies aren’t cinema did not reflect what Coppola meant to say when he was quoted in Lyon, France, while being awarded the country’s Prix Lumière honor for career achievement. That is how Coppola now feels about it, after watching his comments fuel so many stories that put directors of those films in the position of having to justify their work.

While Coppola on Monday was busy battening down the hatches as wildfires ravaged Sonoma County near his Napa Valley vineyards, the filmmaker found a moment to convey his displeasure to Deadline over how his answer to a question about Scorsese’s superhero film misgivings was misinterpreted as a condemnation of those films. In truth, Coppola — who in his time has risked his personal fortune on passion film projects more often than any of his peers — was commenting on the danger of the growing numbers of tentpole film franchises where the clear priority is commerce and not art. And yes, Coppola is fully mindful that he has gone the sequels route on The Godfather, the first of which is widely considered the best reprise ever, and the last one that Coppola told me earlier this year he intended to re-cut and hopefully re-release as he did this year with Apocalypse Now and The Cotton Club.

I had time to ask two questions of Coppola in a moment of chaos, one to clarify his comment on the “despicable” term he meant for films made as commerce over art, and another on the late Bob Evans, with whom he had numerous famous creative battles on The Godfather and The Cotton Club, which he described in vivid detail in that Deadline interview. Under the fresh Coppola comments below are the actual verbatim translations of what the filmmaker said in France.

DEADLINE: Francis, what are your feelings about superhero films?

COPPOLA: Personally I don’t like the idea of franchises, the notion that you can keep repeating what is essentially the same movie for financial gain — in other words, what is a formulaic approach.

I feel that approach is taken to reduce the economic risk of movies, and I feel the “risk factor” is an element that makes movies sometimes be great. Also, the formulaic film draws most available resources to them, leaving little for more daring productions, reducing diversity.

In some ways I think the cinema is like food; certainly you can add things to make it tempting, tasty and enjoyable but it must also be nutritious to qualify as real food.

DEADLINE: What memories can you share about Bob Evans, with whom you had a complex relationship?

COPPOLA: Robert Evans was certainly one-of-a-kind, with an instinct of what a good movie should be. In the end, I feel lucky I got to know him, and yes, I felt some love for him. That’s probably what made our many differing opinions so passionate.

Here is what Coppola actually said in France.

QUESTION: Francis, do you agree with your friend Martin Scorsese that Marvel films are not true cinema?

COPPOLA: You know I’m sure you’re extracting from whatever Martin said. The gist of his statement. If you asked him is there is cinematic talent, cinematic expression, is there great even work in certain Marvel films, he would say yes. But what his point his, is that the concept of the Marvel film which has eaten up all the oxygen, which is to say the resources is not really is more of a theme park ride than what we would call cinema. Yes, I agree with him. (Pause for translation) But also television commercials is cinema – but is it a beautiful form of cinema? No.

QUESTION: How come there is no new new Hollywood so to speak today, considering the state of things of political turmoil you are describing?

COPPOLA: Well you know because of the lack of risk in the production. Marty Scorsese says that the Marvel picture is not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration. Arguably, I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again, which is the Marvel movies. A thing that has no risk to it, I’ve said before, making a film without risk is like making a baby without sex. Part of it is risk, and that’s what make it so interesting, that’s why we learn so much when it’s made.

Also, there is a philosophy that a person of riches can be just or unjust. It’s very important when you talk about it. To gain riches unjustly, just uses up, it doesn’t contribute. Wealth is only what is just, what brings more to the society. Cinema is the same way. Real cinema brings something, a wonderful gift to society. It doesn’t just take money and make people rich. That’s despicable. (Pause for translation) So Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema, he didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just said it is.”

  

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CaptNish
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36. "Oh..."
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

> COPPOLA: Personally I don’t like the idea of franchises, the notion that you can keep repeating what is essentially the same movie for financial gain — in other words, what is a formulaic approach.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Godfather_Part_III

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
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Thu Oct-31-19 09:24 AM

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37. "not surprising"
In response to Reply # 35


  

          

i should have realized that was a translation. if you think journalism has slipped in english, consider the language barrier, then consider the potential for clickbait for a bad but incendiary translation.


>I feel that approach is taken to reduce the economic risk of
>movies, and I feel the “risk factor” is an element that
>makes movies sometimes be great.

i said something similar here earlier this year (not an original thought). this puts his view in proper context finally.


>Also, the formulaic film
>draws most available resources to them, leaving little for
>more daring productions, reducing diversity.

uh huh. *clinks glass*


>COPPOLA: Well you know because of the lack of risk in the
>production. Marty Scorsese says that the Marvel picture is not
>cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from
>cinema, we expect to gain some enlightenment, some knowledge,
>some inspiration. Arguably, I don’t know that anyone gets
>anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,
>which is the Marvel movies.

here's where we part ways. yes, there is a formula to the MCU, but personally i like/love some much more than others, and i can easily distinguish and enjoy the styles of the different directors/writers. i would not go as far to say it's the same movie being made over and over. is the latest installment the same as a studio putting its resources and belief into a totally new project? no. he and scorsese correctly diagnose the kind of movies that aren't being given their due anymore, which is, again, a somewhat separate subject from their "worth" or worthiness as determined by previous box office returns. studios used to take more risks, that much is true.

  

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aesop socks
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25. "That and the Disney remakes are killing movies"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I think horror films will be the only genre that has survived this wave. I went to the theater once this summer. Unfortunately the people have spoken. Fewer risks, It’s pretty much guaranteed success.

  

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BigWorm
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26. "C'mon, fam. They aren't killing anything"
In response to Reply # 25


          

Let's not lose sight of the fact that people actually want to watch these MCU movies and Disney remakes.

It's not like Infinity War was holding back Good Time or First Man from breaking records at the box office.

No one's like well there's no MCU movie out right now so let me go see Green Book.

It's always been like this. Superhero movies are just the next trend.

Give it another ten years and we might be back to, I don't know, buddy cop action movies.

  

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aesop socks
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27. "I said the people have spoken. And they're are giving us the same "
In response to Reply # 26


  

          

Over and over. Since folks keep coming back for more of the same. Fast 9, Disney, Marvel. Yeah a FEW others sneak in. I can’t name a good actor that’s younger than 35. I can’t name any good director that are on the scene. It’s all about the franchise

  

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Rjcc
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28. "that's a you problem"
In response to Reply # 27


          


www.engadgethd.com - the other stuff i'm looking at

  

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Frank Longo
Member since Nov 18th 2003
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Wed Oct-23-19 11:32 AM

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29. "Green Book made 85 mil domestically!"
In response to Reply # 26
Wed Oct-23-19 11:32 AM by Frank Longo

  

          

And there wasn't a Marvel movie out during its run, so one *could* argue... lol.

Look, it's unquestionable that the theatrical release format is dying. We're in the death rattle right now. And the above poster is right that, save for horror, there's nothing reliable out there other than the big budget franchise fare. Which means studios, scared of the death of this revenue stream, are only really looking to greenlight with any consistency possible franchises, remakes, and horror movies. That's definitively true, I'll tell you that from the front lines, lol.

Now, if you're a filmmaker, and you see a fairly homogenized corporate product (which, while I love the Marvel movies, that's absolutely what they are), and it's taking all the funding dollars because the film world you know is dying/dead and they're all that's left? I can't blame them for thinking "fuck Marvel movies." Not in the slightest. Are they mad at the wrong thing? Sure. But people have also argued that blockbusters would hasten the death of non-blockbusters at the theaters for decades now. It's not an especially new argument.

The reality TV boom saw this same convo, btw. All the traditional TV creators were saying "fuck reality TV, it's trash, and it's killing the artform." Everyone else said, "hey, consumers decided, they want this now." Same argument. Of course, that tapered off, because people decided they wanted non-reality TV again. Maybe that'll happen again with theatrical release cinema. I doubt it, but it could.

And you're superhero movies could taper off, just like Westerns did, gangster movies did, etc. Maybe it's just "the era of superhero movies," and it'll end eventually. I don't think the economics of the dying business model give me much optimism about that... but it's a possibility.

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BigWorm
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34. "I hope you're wrong"
In response to Reply # 29


          

>Look, it's unquestionable that the theatrical release format
>is dying. We're in the death rattle right now. And the above
>poster is right that, save for horror, there's nothing
>reliable out there other than the big budget franchise fare.
>Which means studios, scared of the death of this revenue
>stream, are only really looking to greenlight with any
>consistency possible franchises, remakes, and horror movies.
>That's definitively true, I'll tell you that from the front
>lines, lol.
>
Man, I tell you what would suck: if thirty years from now, I sit with my grandkids and tell them about the days of movie theaters. It's been such a great experience throughout my life, I feel bad for future generations that might not have that to look forward to.

But eh, as long as we have these "theme park" movies making billions of dollars at the box office, we're good for now at least. Scorsese and Coppola can both go back to their mansions and cry about it.

  

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Ryan M
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31. "It's funny to me the guy who made Jack"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

Is telling other people their movies suck.

------------------------------
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seandammit
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32. "While I agree it’s silly to say that without having seen one..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

...and he probably could be more tactful...

I’ve been saying the EXACT same thing (well...roller coasters instead of theme parks) for the last 7 years.

\_(ツ)_/¯

www.twitter.com/seandammit

  

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BigWorm
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33. "same"
In response to Reply # 32


          

Exactly that, rollercoasters.

I don't mind him comparing the MCU movies to theme parks. I just take issue with saying that it isn't also cinema.

  

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Beamer6178
Member since Jan 09th 2006
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Thu Oct-31-19 03:51 PM

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38. "old and mad"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

While not the most intricate of plotlines, the MCU has in large part been character development arcs with power. The reason why they've connected with so many IS the characters, their journey, their flaws and defects. DC gets its ass kicked because it has consistently not made you give a shit.

Yes, based on the genre, it is inherently not ALL character driven. But much of it is. That these old crows can't appreciate that aspect is THEIR shortcomings, not the movies'.

  

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Beamer6178
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39. "And another thing..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I wonder where this same energy is for how white male dominated movie making STILL IS.

They wanna find something to criticize about the film industry there's plenty to take aim at. But shit that makes people happy? FT

  

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BigWorm
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40. "he doesn't care how many people love the movies"
In response to Reply # 39


          

IMO he's really only looking at it from the industry side, not the entertainment side.

A lot of Hollywood folks are shitting on the MCU movies while mostly having not seen them.

I have plenty of friends who either don't like or don't care about MCU movies--or superhero movies in general. And that's fine.

But these Hollywood folks are just salty because the MCU is eating up up the box office. They're only viewing them as kind of like Disney's formulaic business investments, and not works of *fine* art.

I'd say that's just a them problem, but I'd probably be like fuck those movies too if I were in the industry and couldn't get my movie greenlit because Thor's not in it lol.

  

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CaptNish
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41. "He doubled down! *link*"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/opinion/martin-scorsese-marvel.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share

I do get what he’s saying, to a point, even if I firmly disagree.

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BigWorm
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42. "blah blah blah"
In response to Reply # 41
Tue Nov-05-19 07:04 AM by BigWorm

          

Again, he's generalizing about movies he mostly hasn't seen. And salty because these movies he hasn't seen aren't devouring the box office.

And I think it's BS that he's saying that the only reason the franchise movies are making billions of dollars is that Hollywood isn't offering any alternative.

  

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lightworks
Member since Feb 17th 2006
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43. "He sounds jealous that he had to fight for funding & Marvel prints money..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

  

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Nodima
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44. "I get it, and think it's silly anybody got worked up over it"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

or the follow up.

I teared up when Spider-Man disappeared because I've known that character since I was 5. I teared up when Downey Jr.'s Iron Man died because it reminded me of how long these movies have been a part of my life, and thus how much closer I am to death.

But I can also watch Mean Streets and laugh and cry and react in shock and disgust all in the span of two hours at characters I otherwise have no relationship with.

Is calling the Marvel movies non-cinematic snobby as fuck? Of course it is. But it isn't necessarily unfair, if you want to bend the rules of the word to suit your argument. Though even then, if you consider cinema a motion picture, is a movie almost entirely built on green screens and CGI something OTHER than motion pictures, like motion graphics?

~~~~~~~~~
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obsidianchrysalis
Member since Jan 29th 2003
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Tue Nov-05-19 08:36 PM

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45. "I don't think he was dismissing the Marvel phenomenon"
In response to Reply # 44


  

          

as much as he was identifying an aspect of the storytelling.

He mentioned that he felt that the movies had no emotional stakes and to a degree I agree with him.

In Endgame there were real stakes because Thanos snapped the universe out of existance in Infinity War which set up the possibility that any of the crew could die for good (which did happen).

But outside of that movie, did we really think any of the heroes would die during a fight? I know that's not really the point of the MCU. They're superheros and hence can't die, but they or the arc of their story can change and that is the fulcrum of the stories of the MCU.

He was also commenting on the movies he saw as a child, which are completely different in intent and scale as 'comic book movies'.

And also, from his POV as a filmmaker, the impact of these movies on the business of theater exhibiting is immense. I still think there will be spots for 'arty' movies, but to say things are the same as they were and will return there just isn't grounded in reality. Marty is probably more scared at the potential of the future than vengeful at the MCU for taking away his spot.

  

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mrhood75
Member since Dec 06th 2004
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Tue Nov-05-19 09:29 PM

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46. "Marvel movies aren't the reason major studios passed..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

...on "The Irishman." They're also not the reason multiplexes in Ft. Wayne aren't going to screen it. It's an expensive, three and a half hour mob film starring three guys on the other side of 75.

And that's not to dismiss it, because I'm certainly going to see it when it hits the theaters in the Bay Area. But I know I'm not going to be able to catch it in the multiplex a few miles down the road. I'm going to see it in a theater in Downtown Berkeley near the university. The same type of theater I've been seeing every single Scorcese film since the mid '90s.

His whole argument seems to be built on pining for a time that never existed. Or if it did, it was literally half a century ago. And even then I really doubt that movie theaters in late '60s were a magical place where you could see both Dr. Doolittle and a French New Wave film.

And the "There's no stakes!" argument also rings hollow. There have been popcorn movies for close to a century where you know the good guy is going to win and evil is going to vanquished. Acting literally brand new about it now is extremely silly.

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