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Old 07-01-2012, 01:21 PM
 
Location: not where you are
6,261 posts, read 3,175,176 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanhawk View Post
You reminded me of another one. The Bridges of Madison County. I may sound like an old fuddy duddy, but I found this movie pretty appalling in it's romanticizing of adultery. Clint Eastwood never should have made this.

I pretty much felt the same about the book and movie, I only watched the first few minutes of the movie just because of the leading actors, but was even more turned of from it in those early moments than I was after reading the book.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:51 PM
 
Location: Southwest Arkansas
667 posts, read 288,146 times
Reputation: 710
Most slasher movies, how many ways can that theme be used?
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Old 07-01-2012, 09:26 PM
 
Location: Maine
8,416 posts, read 11,025,693 times
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Slasher films are popular because they are cheap to produce but make a lot of money. Hire a bunch of pretty people who can't act, throw in a lot of gratuitous sex and violence, and even a direct-to-video release will net you six figures.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:31 AM
 
Location: PA (work in NJ)
6,618 posts, read 8,542,592 times
Reputation: 13066
Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
We're not talking about offensive movies.
We're talking about offensive MESSAGES in movies.

The MESSAGE in American Pie actually was a good one. These boys went into it thinking of sex as a goal...the end all be all. But in the end, they learned that a. it wasn't and b. that the road in the relationships you take to get there is the real reward.

Frankly, I hate stupid raunchy slapstick humor (like Hangover, etc), but I thought American Pie was hysterical and I really enjoyed it. And I'm a woman.
Totally agree, but you got here first. I started this to talk about offensive themes or central messages of movies. Also agree that though American Pie, and Superbad for that matter, were "offensive" movies, their central messages were actually pretty good. Superbad was also raunchy, but the message was "you don't have to be something you're not, get completely drunk, or jump into sex just to get someone to like you--they'll like you more for who you are."
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:34 AM
 
Location: PA (work in NJ)
6,618 posts, read 8,542,592 times
Reputation: 13066
Quote:
Originally Posted by onceahogalwaysahog View Post
Most slasher movies, how many ways can that theme be used?
...but slasher movies don't really give any "message" unless it's "cute girls must show their boobs and scream."
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:02 AM
 
Location: PA (work in NJ)
6,618 posts, read 8,542,592 times
Reputation: 13066
Quote:
Originally Posted by supermanpansy View Post
I am over 35 and I am almost 38. You're right about one thing. You and I see things differently. I thought that movie represented that time period pretty well. I didn't resent the "slacker" side like you, because most kids right out of highschool or college are lost. I saw it more as young adults trying to find their way. That's what I liked about it the most. The days before the computer/ cell phones/ blackberries, etc. For me, the good days. And I don't even smoke anymore, but the days you could go to a Denny's and get a coffee for ninety cents and sit and smoke/drink coffee all night.

You and I did have different paths after highschool. There's no doubting that one. I wanted out of NY state and I didn't hesitate. And just so you know, I worked while in highschool and played sports. My first year out of highschool I took off for California and didn't look back for many years. So the movie doesn't accurately portray "my life", but I think it did a good job portraying different people's lives in that particular era. I could relate because when I moved to Cali I had to live with five people my first year and I know what struggling is like.

Winona's character was highly driven and what one would call a "go getter". I thought the part where she didn't know what the word "irony" meant was kind of cute. I didn't think too much of it. Ethan or Troy was very intelligent and was just where alot of 19 to early twenty somethings are/were- Lost. They don't know what they want yet, also very bright and all the while fighting the establishment. Then you had the guy battling being gay as well as a girl who is stuck in the past. I thought it was a good movie. I didn't hate Troy for being a slacker (didn't look up to him either), I just accepted the fact that he was typical of the youth at that time especially in regards to being lost/trying to find their way. Nothing more nothing less. Most people at that age don't really know what they want yet. One reason I always thought guidance counselors were useless. Although, I knew what I wanted, I had many friends who wandered for years trying to figure it all out. I didn't end up doing college til late in my twenties. Not everyone knows what they want and shoot for the stars (sort of speak) right after high school or college. It's a process for some. Some right away get a job and stay for years. Some go into the service (many of my friends did), but many don't have a clue of what they want to do or what they can do. I thought the movie depicted the struggles of youth pretty good. Only now job opportunities are much harder than they were back in the nineties. I could get three jobs in one day in the early nineties anywhere in California and have the night to decide what job I wanted. Things were different then. There wasn't an immediacy as we have/feel today. Today if someone wouldn't take a good job, for little or no real reason then I would call them crazy, lazy or a slacker. Back then, you could decline something good and something else good would come along. I had more employment opportunities in the nineties than I ever did these last ten to fifteen years. Put it this way, I could get jobs easier before I had a degree than I could after it.
Just for supermanpansy, I decided to watch Reality Bites again over the weekend. But it pissed me off even more than it did the last time.

Ethan Hawke's character was even worse than 'd remembered. He dropped out of college only 10 credits away from his degree, but he continued to be a smug, superior pseudo-intellectual. "There's no secret handshake (to being my friend) but there is an IQ prerequisite." I'd have b*tch-slapped him. He gets a job in a convenience store and steals a candy bar and gets fired.
He treats Winona Ryder like crap for most of the movie, despite the facts that: she's been his friend, she puts up with his crap, she and her roommate are giving him a place to live, and they have some unspoken attraction for each other. Whenever she reaches out to him to see if he really has feelings for her, he puts her down with some sarcastic comment and hurts her feelings. When they finally sleep together, he becomes a d*ck in the morning to blows her off like he does all the other women he sleeps with. We're supposed to "understand" him because his actions are based on fear of real love...blah, blah, blah. Dude, you're an adult. that means:
--Finish college. It's only one more semester, and not even a full-time 15-credit semester. Dropping out to make a statement does nothing but make you a d*uche.
--Get a freaking job. And when you get the job, don't steal from you employer, even though you have a strange idea that the man" owes you.
--You're 22, not 18. The girl you've secretly loved is showing she feels the same. Don't be a coward, admit your feelings. It might work out, it might not, but being an adult means trying.

I think this movie makes me angry because it was painted as a potrait of my generation, and at the time, I was way beyond these characters. Not in terms of finances: I had a low-paying job in my field, but also worked retail (at the Gap, like Janine Garafalo's character int he movie!), not in terms of living independently (I shared a house with roommates, and sometimes we'd also run out of coffee filters and try toilet paper or paper towels). But beyond them by the fact that I was not content to live like a kid anymore, and had no tolerance for guys I'd encounter who were like "Troy."
And the thing with Winona not knowing the definition of "irony" was still annoying. She was the valedictorian of her college (somehow), and though it wasn't made clear, her major had been something in the field of communications. Somehow in 4 years, she had to have a few classes in writing, and whether it was writing or filmmaking, she surely would have learned about satire. Ugh.

I did like Janene Garafalo's character, even now in my 40s. She graduated college, but was still working at the Gap, but earning enough for rent and bills. She went through a period of being a bit of a sl*t, but she wised up and decided to get HIV tested and change her behavior. She was not too "superior" to work at the Gap (unlike Winona who got fired, and when Janene offered her a job, said "I'm not working at the Gap, for Christ's sake.") Come to think of it, Winona deserved Troy...

Winona (Lelena) also annoyed me because she went to job interviews with messy hair and wrinkly clothes. Yes, I know this was the grunge era, but for a job interview or on the job, you might have to iron your clothes and run a brush through your hair. Some go-getter. Again, this was supposed to be what my generation was like. Then Ben Stiller, a few years older, liked her. He had a decent job and was also a nice guy who treated her really well, in contrast to Troy. He convinced a cable channel to produce Lelena's film/video she'd made, and she got all upset because they spun it like a flashy MTV reality show. She was too superior for that, but she could have gotten a good income, and broken into the field, where she could then do the kind of work she wanted to do once she got established. But no, she ran out of the opening crying (boobs flopping because she didn't have the sense to wear a bra to a dressy event.)

Steve Zahn was okay, he was more adult than the others, in deciding this is the time he needed to come out. Plus he evidently worked somewhere and dressed himself presentably.

Superman, from what you say above, you WERE much more like the characters in the movie, more like the sterotypical Generation X-er, so that's why you still like the movie and don't get offended by the themes that offend me. It has nothing to do with unemployment rates being high or low. There's a difference between not being sure what you want to do in life and stagnating in one's own tepid swill of superiority mixed with laziness. The movie showed more of the latter than the former.
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Old 07-03-2012, 03:42 PM
 
Location: 10110001010110100
5,128 posts, read 6,195,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
Agree about Crash.
Why do white southerners need positive PR?
Something about that movie, again, it wasn't anything over the top but was hyped to be so which made the movie lamer in my opinion. S. Bullock came bossy and not as a genuinely sincere, charming yet a go-getter Southern gal which the actual character in real life was, may be that? The fact that kid was black, was the PR angle, if he was white, they probably would have never even made the movie. Perhaps I am wrong but that is how I feel.

Quote:
Only ignorant people negatively stereotype them.
Funny, that is exactly what a person from a group that is being stereotyped always says but then I am an ignorant freak so you might have a point.

Quote:
A Day WO a Mexican...HA! I'd like to see the movie A Day WO an Interventional Cardiologist.
See how many people enjoy that day.
I would love to see "A Day w/o an Attorney", followed by "A Day w/o any war" and eventually "A Day w/o a corrupt government".

....I know I am dreaming.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:28 PM
 
27,663 posts, read 21,597,538 times
Reputation: 25326
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Wow, that's interesting about The Help. I was kind of feeling bad for not having read it or watched the movie yet. Now I see I don't need to waste my time.

So right about Pretty Woman! I always wondered what "Pretty Woman II" would be like. No matter how much Richard Gere is infatuated wth her, that will inevitably wear off and he'll realize "Wow, I married a w h ore. She's a nice wh or e, and of course a pretty wh o re, but she was a w h o re. What on earth was I thinking?"

How does marrying a hooker EVER work out well? I kind of don't think you get past that. And any time you have a fight or argument, he can always pull out that trump card: "Okay fine, I didn't take out the garbage, but weren't you a whor e?????"

I think when I saw the movie when I was younger, I clapped for Julia Roberts when her character showed-up those snooty saleswomen on Rodeo Drive. Yes it was wrong for them to be so mean and look down on her, but then again, she was a hooker. Now in my older wiser years, I kind of think, she needed to be looked down on. I wouldn't want hookers in my place of business either.
I am LMAO-ing over this. I am the only person I know who never saw Pretty Woman, but that's because I cannot watch Julia Roberts for more than 20 seconds. There's just something about her yulk-yulk laugh and clown face that disturbs me, and I literally cannot bear to watch her.

So, it's good to know I didn't miss much. But the part I bolded just made me laugh and laugh.
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:39 PM
 
27,663 posts, read 21,597,538 times
Reputation: 25326
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
...but slasher movies don't really give any "message" unless it's "cute girls must show their boobs and scream."
Or, "if you hear a noise from the basement, put on your fanciest lingerie, grab a flashlight and go down the stairs and take a look!"
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
22,735 posts, read 17,662,694 times
Reputation: 32132
Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
There are lots of well done and not so well done movies that have such a good "message" that we can overlook sub-par acting or dialogue, or issues with the storyline. I think we've had lots of threads on these feel-good movies.

But what about movies that have pi$$ed you off, with a central message, underlying message, or a theme you completely disagree with? Can that turn you off to an otherwise well-made movie with otherwise good actors?

My example is House of Sand and Fog.

Note: I did not read the book, so I have no idea if the movie accurately followed the book or not, so I can't blame the author.

The gist of the whole movie is this: (I'm not concerned about spoilers, since the movie has been out since 2003)
A young woman loses her home to a sheriff's sale due to nonpayment of taxes, and an immigrant man buys it at a low price for his family as their dream home. The woman feels her home was taken from her unfairly, and tries to get the man to give it back to her. She harasses him, to no avail. She hooks up with a police officer and he ends up breaking the law and threatening the man so he'll give the woman the house back. Eventually the woman tries to kill herself at the house, and the immigrant man and his family are actually kind to her and try to help. The woman's cop-boyfriend comes busting in, commits more crimes, and tries to force the man to sell her the house back. It all ends up with the immigrant family all dying tragically.

First, the lead actress is Jennifer Connelly, who I really liked in other movies. The lead actor is Ben Kingsley, who in my opinion is a superb actor. But my love for these two actors could not overcome my anger and disgust at the themes in the movie.

They try to portray Connelly's character as sympathetic, and I guess the viewer is supposed to not see either her or Kingsley as the good guy or the bad guy. When the movie first came out, it was presented in way that said the viewer would not take sides, or would go back and forth between thinking one person is right, then the other person is right. But all I saw was that Connelly's character WAS the "bad guy." Her husband left her, so she went into a depression, and stopped opening all her mail. Well, the tax bills were in the mail. She later tried to make a legal claim that the county had made an "error" that caused her to lose her home, but she was the one who ignored the bills and didn't pay. Yes, I understand that depression can be debilitating; I work in mental health. But the character never got to a point where she was incapable of understanding that "bills have to get paid or I'll have negative consequences." Plus, after she lost the house, she was quite energized and focused on harrassing Kingsley and his family; she didn't just fall deeper into a depression. She was also a former drug addict/ alcoholic, and she had overcome that. So you'd think she'd have learned about facing the consequences of one's choices in life, a big part of recovery for most people getting sober.

Then Kingsley, an immigrant from the mid-east who used to be in the Iranian military before the Islamic revolution, was presented as a not-so-innocent figure. But I saw him as really nothing but the "good guy." With the movie coming out in 2003, soon after 9/11, I guess we were all supposed to also see him as a sinister-possible-terrorist. But he was a humble, dignified, decent man who came to the US and worked crap jobs to scrimp and save enough to buy his family a dream home. He had lost everything when he left Iran, where he had been quite wealthy. He went to a sheriff's sale and lucked out, getting a nice house for a low price. It wasn't his fault Connelly didn't pay her damned tax bills.

Then Connelly sleeps with a cop, who then turns into a criminal with no regard for the law. I guess he was hypnotized by the wonderful sex or something. So then the viewer gets the message that police officers are bad, or just one step away from bad. I'm quite certain that most cops will not suddenly turn into violent criminals because of a good "lay."


So the movie's messages are:
  • Paying your bills is not your responsibility
  • You should not have to face consequences for ignoring your responsibilities
  • Having depression is an excuse to get out of life's responsibilities
  • If you do face natural consequences for not paying your bills, someone else must be at fault and punished
  • Middle eastern people must be bad people
  • A guy who worked his behind off to get his family out of a country in turmoil, and who then has to work menial jobs to save up money for a house is not deserving when he finds a good deal on a house
  • The more and more you act unstable, the more likely you are to get what you want
  • The more and more you act unstable, the better you'll be able to manipulate otherwise decent people to want to help you
  • A good piece of tail will turn a good cop bad overnight
  • you can be responsible for the deaths of an entire family, but you're excused because you've had some tough things happen to you
Anyone else have a movie tick them off like this? Which movie? Why?
I am so surprised you said this because this would have been my choice, too. I have argued with a friend over this "House of Sand and Fog" movie. Jennifer Connelly's character is definitely forced on you as sympathetic but everything bad that happens in the movie is due to her irresponsibility. As the movie went on I just kept getting angrier and angrier with her character and then angrier and angrier with the movie maker. My friend did not see it that way and that made me mad too, so we just stopped talking about it.

My second choice would be "Spanglish" where they try to make the maid into a saint.
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