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Ridiculously Serious: Part 1

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I once wrote an article on Hollywood and the push towards super serious ultra-real or ultra-dark films. In that article I posited that the reason the last Hollywood produced Godzilla film failed to be a good film was that it tried to be both too ridiculous and too serious. You can serve one of these masters in any given film, depending entirely on the universe you have built, the characters in it and the story you are telling. And every now and then these very factors can allow you to serve both masters.

Now I have come to this new found train of thought through my own time spent listening to many other cinephiles discuss films. Being someone who loves all manner of film, from dramas, to romance, to action, to sci-fi, thrillers, comedies and even the odd musical…  I am bewildered that I once held the belief you could not have a film that was both ridiculous and self-serious.

I say this because in retrospect, I have seen my fair share of ridiculous and self-serious films that I actually enjoyed. Good examples of this I believe are the films that are most notably ridiculed by critics and self-proclaimed lovers of “good films”. I guess that sounds like a defensive start and that is because it is. Films like John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2, the James Bond franchise, Resident Evil, Underworld, Fast and Furious or even Transformers… these are films set in universes that are quite unreal. They are not comic book universes and yet are as ridiculous in their plots, settings, characters and conflicts as their comic book film counterparts. And yet they are also not purely dramas, thrillers, action or even purely sci-fi films. They tend to be an amalgamation of these different genres and thus they tend to carry with them the tropes featured therein.

Characters in these films take their conflicts as seriously as characters in a film like Hotel Rwanda. Yet characters in these films often also find themselves performing feats you might only expect to see in comic book based films. This is where I began to understand my enjoyment of these sorts of films and where I also began to understand why it is hard for traditionalists and lovers of more traditional films and film making techniques to appreciate such films.

When a person like me walks into a John Wick film, I am going in fully aware that this is a film set in a pretty ridiculous universe where characters perform incredible stunts and have incredible skills, where the body counts are high and the legal ramifications are low. It isn’t unlike the unrealistic nature of a romantic comedy for instance. But I go in because that is what I am fully intending to enjoy. These films more and more are being helmed by directors who refuse to stagnate in technique. Directors who are true artists despite the feelings of traditionalists and critics. They are people who dare to color outside the lines as it were, be it a Paul Greengrass administering a shaky cam and close up handheld filming technique in order to give the audience a sense of the brutality in a fight between Jason Bourne and any one of his foes or a Michael Bay hero establishment shot. Be it a Zack Snyder film featuring color correction techniques that lend to giving the audience a sense of the mood throughout a film.

This is not unlike Hans Zimmer administering a deafening score for Interstellar while having a far more adventurous one in a Pirates of the Caribbean film. The point is that the artists who dare to make these sort of films tend to understand how while traditional film making techniques are not terrible (see Saving Private Ryan), they can also lend to a very bland and simply unmoving picture (see Bridge of Spies). 2 films directed by Steven Spielberg, one an incredible thing to behold, the other, a picture that just doesn’t connect. Now yes, the story being told can also make a difference but the point remains, traditional film making techniques aren’t what decide if a film is great or not. We have seen many traditionally made films that just fall completely flat in the past and we will no doubt, see more.

More on this in Part 2.

To be continued…

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Run The Jewels Fight Aliens In Call Ticketron Video

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El-P and Killer Mike are ready for an alien invasion in their lastest video.

The clip opens with a comical RTJ3 news report teasing “strange weather patterns” throughout the city. From there, it cuts to Killer Mike and El-P walking backstage at the Garden to rapturous applause. When they walk back out for an encore, they discover that the audience has vanished. Meanwhile, a series of threats – falling meteors, mutant spiders, UFOs – loom outside.

“Call Ticketron” highlights the rap duo’s third LP, 2016’s Run the Jewels 3. The group, which recently concluded a massive 2017 tour, will kick off a leg of Australian dates in January followed by a supporting slot on Lorde’s North American spring tour.

Last week, Run the Jewels earned their first Grammy nomination (for Best Rap Song) with “Chase Me,” a collaboration with Danger Mouse and Big Boi from the Baby Driver soundtrack.

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Netflix Releases The Soundtrack For Bright

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Netflix’s upcoming film Bright, starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, the movie’s highly-anticipated soundtrack has been released.

Back in November, Netflix’s released the tracklist for David Ayers epic LA film about human and orc cops that have to must work together to protect a thought-to-be-forgotten relic, which in the wrong hands could destroy everything. Bright is like Training Day meets Lord of the Rings.

The new trailer showcases some of the unique blends. The trailer features the collaboration between Migos and producer, Marshmello on “Danger” . As well as the Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors and Bebe Rexha collab, “Home” in the movie’s trailer.

Bright will be available on Netflix on Dec. 22.

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Deadpool Will Continue To Be Rated R

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The merch with the mouth will continue to be the same character. Disney CEO Bob Iger has addressed the future of Deadpool, confirming Fox’s film franchise will remain R-rated following Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

“It [Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool,” Iger said in a call with investors following the news that Disney will purchase 21st Century Fox  “As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine,” he added.

Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld also chimed in on the decision.

[Disney CEO] Bob Iger didn’t deliver this unprecedented level of historic success for Disney by accident. This man gets it. He understands the culture and more importantly, he understands the concerns of the fans. Addressing the Deadpool issue right out of the gate gets high marks and in all honesty, why would they mess with the success that Ryan Reynolds has achieved as Deadpool?

VIA: THR

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