An Argument for Change

Recently, I saw ‘Aquaman‘ at a local theater. And before the 140+ minute feature even began I was forced to endure the perfunctory batch of commercials and trailers. In fact, they lasted so long I almost got up out of my chair at their end forgetting I hadn’t yet finished started watching the film I’d come to see.

And, as movie theaters make less money off of ticket sales (the studios get almost all the money directly) and more off the advertising and marketing dollars, I don’t believe this trend of extra paid-for marketing content is going away any time soon. However, I have an idea…

Trailers have become their own thing, with millions of YouTube views for every “next shiny thing”. So maybe we skip the whole inconvenience of watching movies in movie theaters and just binge on trailers there, instead. For $5 dollars you get to sit down with a bucket of $20 popcorn and a $15 beer and watch an hour (or two) of big spectacle trailers broken up occasionally with some hipster doofus commercials. I figure one visit about every third week to stay current should suffice.

And then, after deciding which of those films we’re actually willing to waste more time and money to see in their entirety, we then turn to Netflix or Amazon Prime or Hulu or whatever and watch them in the comfort of our own homes without any commercial (or annoying other patron) interruptions. Sounds like a win win to me. ;-)

A “Previously on…” Rant

My bitter rant topic of the week: those damn “Previously on…” segments that begin many television episodes. I understand why pinhead network executives may think that without these little fillers anyone not watching every single episode of a series might get occasionally confused during the upcoming episode. Tough sh*t!

I welcome a little surprise in my entertainment. So when I see nearly forgotten characters/events from earlier episodes/seasons appear in these prologue sketches, guess what? I now know those characters/events are returning sometime over the next 45 minutes. Yay, I can’t freakin’ wait!

I argue that a little confusion with casual fans is a small price to pay to maintain some genuine surprise for those of us willing to spend our precious time week to week dedicatingly watching this crap these finely crafted shows.

Now, just don’t get me started on that whole “Next week on…” BS! ;-)

in memoriam: James Gunn

After provoking a bunch of Twitter twits over politics and properly motivating them to go digging for dirt filmmaker James Gunn ended up getting fired from the Disney backed Marvel Cinematic Universe. Apparently, Gunn using poor judgement and a compulsion to shock posted some intentionally inappropriate “jokes” on Twitter…over a decade ago.

It’s not like Disney lacks the resources to do its own digging. It’s the internet people, this stuff lasts for like ever. And did they even see ‘Super’?! Clearly Gunn as provocateur has a tendency to push boundaries about what is and what isn’t appropriate. That’s one of the things that endeared us to his ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ in the first place.

And has anyone ever looked at Walt Disney’s personal biography notes? Mr. Disney testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee and ratted out a bunch of “Commie” labor union organizers in the name of patriotism petty corporate demagoguery. And what’s more American than using right-wing fear-mongering to promote intolerance, encourage rampant greed, and quell freedom of speech?

These posts, bad taste aside, occurred ten years ago. What might be completely intolerable for 2018 was seen as only tasteless back then. Many other superstars did/said things during their generation that would vilify them if done today. Look at John Wayne, Richard Pryor, Alfred Hitchcock, and on, and on…

#MeToo has made almost(!) everyone more conscientious about what they say and do. This is a good thing. Yet, these are recently learned lessons paying for multiple millenniums of misogyny, gender bias, and outright degradation towards women. If Gunn were to post this stuff now: yeah, fire his ass! But, context is everything. Back when these tweets were posted the world was different and he was different. We need to cut him some slack.