FF+ Outside the Wire/The White Tiger

In this episode of FF+, Aaron and Caless share reactions to two upcoming Netflix films.

New For You 

Outside the Wire – 01:05

The White Tiger – 16:46

 

Follow & Subscribe

Caless

Aaron

Patrick

Feelin’ Film

Join the Facebook Discussion Group

Powered by RedCircle


Music: City Sunshine – Kevin MacLeod

Support us on Patreon & get awesome rewards:

or you can support us through Paypal as well. Select the link below and make your one-time or recurring contribution.

Rate/Review us on iTunes and on your podcast app of choice! It helps bring us exposure so that we can get more people involved in the conversation. Thank you!

What We Learned This Week: November 30-December 6

LESSON #1: #TRANSISBEAUTIFUL IS ALIVE AND WELL— First and foremost, bravo to Elliot Page and his future in Hollywood. May his story inspire others and fulfill those who live under undue fears. Page stands tall as a worthy figure to celebrate and deservedly so. I was happy to update the history of my Every Movie Has a Lesson website content to make the proper name and pronoun changes. There will be no deadnaming there or here. Educate yourself and add that responsibility to your own social media and conversation practices.

LESSON #2: THE THEATER-TO-HOME WINDOW IS JUST ABOUT DEAD— I have long cited in this column the shrinking amount of time between a movie’s theatrical release and its availability on home media. Back in the day, it used to be six months to a year. Somewhere in the advent of streaming platforms and VOD, it shrunk to 90 days and sometimes less. In huge industry news, Warner Bros. just made their own window zero days. For all of their planned upcoming 2021 film releases (not just Wonder Woman 1984 to end 2020), the studio will make them available in theaters and on their coveted HBO Max streaming platform on the same day. That’s a monumental shift in business, something definitely spurred by the present COVID-related circumstances where theaters are strapped, empty, dying, and immediately pissed by this move. Just like Disney+’s goal a year ago when it debuted, watch this bring a huge surge of new subscriber business to HBO Max when you’re promising chances to see the likes of Dune, The Batman, and more from the comfort of their own home. 

LESSON #3: THIS IS A PIVOT AND PIVOTS ARE NOT PERMANENT— Call this big business move what it really is: a pivot, and one certainly necessary considering societal circumstances. Mark me in the group that wonders why it took this long for some large entity with their own streaming service to pull this trigger. Disney dipped its toe with Hamilton, Mulan, and Soul, but to say ALL for an entire year like WB is commitment to the pivot. Expect more moves to follow. Watch Universal put their stuff on their Peacock subsidiary. Maybe WB lets HBO Max absorb their DC Network and put everything under one service. Maybe Disney does more. Maybe Disney uses their controlling ownership of Hulu Plus to be the “adult” place for all the non-family-friendly content and the entire Fox library they bought. In any case, pivots are reversible. When theaters are viable again, business can pivot back to include them better. They are still the #1 place to make billions. When people can return to them, business will return to them too. They’ll be back. They just won’t be, and can’t afford to be, the same.

LESSON #4: MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR AUGUST 2022— I’ve called it all year and I’m going to keep calling it now. If this pandemic keeps going longer, people stay away, and studios pivot to streaming, the large theater distributors are going to die off. As I’ve noted often in this column, they already are shutting down or circling bankruptcy. Theaters as we know them are not going to come back the same. What will they look like? Well, I think you need to mark your calendars for August 2022. With the old Paramount Decrees rescinded as of August 2020, studios can open and run their own theaters after a two-year sunset period. That’s August 2022. The WBs and Disneys of the block can pivot to streaming, sit back, and watch the AMCs, Cinemarks, and Regals bleed to death. They can buy them at their lowest point and rebrand them as their own with no old rules. They will look triumphant in 2022 when it’s the studios that “bring theaters back” with their own labels.  Best of all for them, they buy out or shove away the middle-man profit sharing they’ve tried to squash for decades. Every dollar goes back to them. This column may not be here in August 2022, but, mark my words. If the landscape is able to re-open, this scenario is happening.

LESSON #5: INVEST A LITTLE MORE INTO YOUR HOME SETUP— In the recommendation closing slot this week, I’m going to turn to the home and not the watch lists. With all of this time spent now at home, improving your home theater setup is something you probably should have been doing since March. Add all the new streaming opportunities coming and now is the time to upgrade, even if you just missed the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. You don’t have to go full Magnolia quality, but there are many little DIY and piecemeal things you can do on the cheap.  I currently have a 1080p projector that cost about $800 at the time. It gives me over 100 inches of screen size and has lasted longer than any physical monitor I’ve ever had. Projection is an awesome effect, and I’ll never buy another actual TV again. Even those new 4K-capable projectors in the $1200-1500 range will give you just as great of visuals as a TV of the same price and likely double the screen size. I know the prices of high quality TVs haven’t been better, but spring for the projector. You won’t regret it. After that, choose an accent wall and use flat paints with less sheen instead of buying a projector screen. A good affordable soundbar with HDMI input can blow plenty of sound versus the old expensive multi-channel towers, receivers, and setups. Use Monoprice to buy longer wholesale cables and learn how to hide the sea of wires. The DIY furniture setups ideas are endless. From palettes to pillows, you can make a little paradise den and not break the bank.


DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based and Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic writing on his website Every Movie Has a Lesson. His movie review work is also published on 25YL (25 Years Later), Horror Obsessive, and also on Medium.com for the MovieTime Guru publication.  As an educator by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. He is a proud director and one of the founders of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle and a member of the nationally-recognized Online Film Critics Society.  As a contributor here on Feelin’ Film now for over two years, he’s going to expand those lessons to current movie news and trends while chipping in with guest spots and co-hosting duties, including the previous “Connecting with Classics” podcasts.  Find “Every Movie Has a Lesson” on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium to follow his work. (#148)

What We Learned This Week: November 9-15

LESSON #1: PEER PRESSURE CAN BE EFFECTIVE— With George Lucas long-retired and until James Cameron finally releases that next Avatar epic, the reigning King of Cinematic Hubris remains Christopher Nolan. His ardent activism for physical film will always be commendable, but he is not the “savior” the trades (and himself) tout him to be. Not if he can’t even properly tune his own films and has to hear about it from his peers and contemporaries. More than fans, fellow filmmakers have contacted Nolan about his messy sound mix from Tenet. To me, that’s when you know it’s bad, if you have buddies calling you it. Peer pressure is an effective motivator. Let’s see how it shifts the chip on the king’s shoulder below his self-made crown.

LESSON #2: WISE PEOPLE IN THIS BUSINESS CUT LONG-TERM DEALS— Back in the day, everyone from actors to filmmakers were on studio-exclusive contracts. If Paramount wanted to use a talent controlled by Warner Bros., they had to pay handsomely and vice versa. For the studios, it was winning bidding wars to secure top talent for multiple projects. For the actors, it was securing guaranteed work in an era before they made ungodly money. Somewhere along the way, the movies turned into looser free agency like you see today in baseball where everyone is a mercenary chasing paychecks. 

To see David Fincher sign a four-year deal with Netflix feels old school and a win-win, joining Patty Jenkins on the squad. Netflix nabs a big name for their digital marquees. The Mank filmmaker gets a shingle that pushes for Oscars, far more creative freedom on set, and more guaranteed upfront money than he would chasing box office receipts, especially during a pandemic choking the industry. Don’t believe me or Fincher? Just ask Martin Scorsese. No one else, and I mean no one, in town was going to give him $200+ million to make the geriatric steak buffet that was The Irishman. That epic may not have netted Oscars, but it brought in new subscribers and that’s Netflix’s bottom line.

Netflix is not alone in getting out their checkbook to sign top-shelf creators. Apple TV+ has first-look deals with Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Alfonso Cuaron. Even if most of those are for TV projects, those are names worth marketing and bragging about for the up-and-coming streaming platform. Is this the death of cinema? No. This is job preservation and squeezing for artistic carte blanche that you normally can’t get.

LESSON #3: DON’T BEAT LIVE HORSES ANYMORE THAN DEAD HORSES— Speaking of David Fincher, he has a long-standing reputation of over-filming many scenes in his directorial career. He’ll go after 50 or more takes in some scenes, the polar opposite of Clint Eastwood being good after one or two. It’s a personal philosophy Fincher has gone on record to explain. Word from the set of Mank, by way of Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman, was that the director went for as many as 200 takes on a scene, something that supposedly “cracked” the latter Oscar winner. There is meticulousness and fastidiousness, and then there is exhausting punishment. Dude, I love you, David Fincher. It’s been too long since Gone Girl,but have some workplace efficiency and empathetic professionalism. 

LESSON #4: NOW IS THE TIME TO SEE CITIZEN KANE— Speaking of Mank which is releasing into limited theaters today before debuting on Netflix on December 4th, this week’s final lesson in the usual go-home recommendation slot promotes just a single movie and quite possibly the greatest movie of all-time. To fully absorb and appreciate Fincher’s new movie, you must see Citizen Kane before it, period. If you’ve been putting it off because of its stature or the silly fact it’s old or in black-and-white, swallow hard, pick a day, and get through it. If you call yourself any level of film buff, connossieur, or fan, Orson Welles’ 1941 tour-de-force is required viewing as a cornerstone of visual filmmaking and storytelling techniques that would become the exemplars for decades. Citizen Kane is available now (thank you, JustWatch app) as part of HBO Max or can be rented for $3-4 on most streaming storefronts. If you want to do one better, straight up buy it or borrow any disc version of it from your local library. Seek out the late Roger Ebert’s audio commentary track. That will educate you more on film greatness in two hours than any self-made YouTube ranter or snarky podcast. Rented or bought, the movie is worth every penny and you will thank me for it.


DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based and Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic writing on his website Every Movie Has a Lesson. His movie review work is also published on 25YL (25 Years Later), Horror Obsessive, and also on Medium.com for the MovieTime Guru publication.  As an educator by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. He is a proud director and one of the founders of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle and a member of the nationally-recognized Online Film Critics Society.  As a contributor here on Feelin’ Film now for over two years, he’s going to expand those lessons to current movie news and trends while chipping in with guest spots and co-hosting duties, including the previous “Connecting with Classics” podcasts.  Find “Every Movie Has a Lesson” on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium to follow his work. (#145)

What We Learned This Week: November 2-8

LESSON #1: WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO— By this point of any movie year with the calendar crossing into November, we would have film festival buzz from around the world announcing new films emerging for Oscars. We would have one or two big-studio early Oscar contenders like Joker, A Star is Born, The Departed, or Argo that dropped in October to beat the pack in a weak month of mostly horror offerings. The first weekend in November has delivered Marvel and James Bond movies over the years. We would be weeks away from a Disney/Pixar Thanksgiving tentpole with December not far behind for both prestige and blockbusters. 

But this is 2020. None of that feels present or possible. A parade of top-flight movies like No Time to Die and others continue to flee to 2021. Wonder Woman 1984 appears to be the only one left and one has to think it’s a matter of time before it blinks too. Folks, that’s the reality and it’s a meager one. We (and investors) are going to have to continue to be sustained by digital and VOD events and small indies, even if they are lesser than what we hoped. We’re at a “something is better than nothing” point with 2020.

LESSON #2: HOW MANY HAVE YOU SEEN?— If the box office year ended today, the box office champion of 2020 would be Bad Boys for Life with a $204 million domestic total. Inflation set aside, that would be the lowest annual champ since 1995 when Batman Forever was king with $184 million. By a large margin, 2020 is the lowest earning industry year since 1981. Removing the 2019 carryovers, the rest of the 2020 top 10 would include Sonic the Hedgehog, Birds of Prey, Dolitte, The Invisible Man, The Call of the Wild, Tenet, The Gentleman, Fantasy Island, The New Mutants, and Like a Boss. How many have you seen? If you dive to the digital charts, the most-watched movie is Hamilton, followed by Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, My Spy, Extraction, Phineas & Ferb the Movie, and Mulan. How many of those have you seen? If those fingers from the second list outnumber the first, that will tell you how bad of a year it’s been.

LESSON #3: THERE IS NO BAILOUT COMING— On the heels of theater chains circling the drain (AMC) or completely going under (Regal), some folks are hoping for government rescue. Keep dreaming. If regular citizens can’t get better than a one-time check that barely equates a month’s livelihood, frivolous non-essential businesses like movies aren’t a priority. Unlike massive economy drivers and bigger special interests like the auto industry, the film industry is fluff. There’s no money in it for the government to bail theaters out, no matter who wins this as-yet-undeclared Presidential election. Rescue is going to have to come from someplace else.

LESSON #4: MOVIE PRESIDENTS > REAL-LIFE PRESIDENTS— I don’t know about you, but when I watch a good fictional movie President of the United States, I daydream what it would be like to have that character actually be the Commander-in-Chief in normal life. I see Michael Douglas in The American President, Bill Pullman in Independence Day, Kevin Kline in Dave, Harrison Ford in Air Force One, Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact, and many others and get lost in those dreamy thoughts compared to the times of today. I want that kind of real President, unfleshed out policy backgrounds be damned (because we know movies don’t actually cover all that). Even with that specificity of imaginative wonder, good characters like those are part of the escapism of movies. Coming out of this election year, go ahead and indulge in a President that will throw a man off his plane. Who’s your favorite movie President?

LESSON #5: FIND MOVIES THAT BRING JOY— The first three lessons of this column have been rough. The COVID-19 virus is experiencing a second surge. The Presidential Election has set off its hostile tizzies on both sides. Man, we just need a lift. We need movies that punch with joy. In the recommendation slot of WWLTW, I present this video submission from the Film Positivity channel on YouTube (give them a like and a subscribe). Their ten choices of Cinematic Joy are excellent. What would be yours?

 

 


DON SHANAHAN is a Chicago-based and Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic writing on his website Every Movie Has a Lesson. His movie review work is also published on 25YL (25 Years Later) and also on Medium.com for the MovieTime Guru publication.  As an educator by day, Don writes his movie reviews with life lessons in mind, from the serious to the farcical. He is a proud director and one of the founders of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle and a member of the nationally-recognized Online Film Critics Society.  As a contributor here on Feelin’ Film now for over two years, he’s going to expand those lessons to current movie news and trends while chipping in with guest spots and co-hosting duties, including the previous “Connecting with Classics” podcasts.  Find “Every Movie Has a Lesson” on Facebook, Twitter, and Medium to follow his work. (#144)

FF+ The Devil All the Time, All In: The Fight for Democracy and Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous

This week on FF+, Aaron and Patrick share their thoughts on a psychological thriller with an ensemble cast, a documentary that traces the history of voter suppression in America, and an animated series that takes place in the “Jurassic World” universe.

New For You 

The Devil All the Time – 03:37

All In: The Fight for Democracy – 15:17

Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous – 30:20

 

Follow & Subscribe

Aaron

Patrick

Feelin’ Film

Join the Facebook Discussion Group

Powered by RedCircle

Download This Episode


Music: City Sunshine – Kevin MacLeod

Support us on Patreon & get awesome rewards:

or you can support us through Paypal as well. Select the link below and make your one-time or recurring contribution.

Rate/Review us on iTunes and on your podcast app of choice! It helps bring us exposure so that we can get more people involved in the conversation. Thank you!

FF+ The Social Dilemma and Enola Holmes

This week on FF+, Caless Davis joins Aaron for reactions to two new upcoming films – one of which is the adaptation of a young adult mystery novel and the other an essential and timely documentary about the dangers of social media.

New For You 

Enola Holmes – 01:10

The Social Dilemma – 14:16

 

Follow & Subscribe

Caless

Aaron

Patrick

Feelin’ Film

Join the Facebook Discussion Group

Powered by RedCircle

Download This Episode


Music: City Sunshine – Kevin MacLeod

Support us on Patreon & get awesome rewards:

or you can support us through Paypal as well. Select the link below and make your one-time or recurring contribution.

Rate/Review us on iTunes and on your podcast app of choice! It helps bring us exposure so that we can get more people involved in the conversation. Thank you!

FF+ Project Power and Boys State

For this week’s FF+, Seattle film critic Calvin Kemph of The Twin Geeks joins the show to discuss two new releases.

New For You 

Project Power – 02:45

Boys State – 13:48

 

Follow & Subscribe

Calvin Kemph

Aaron

Patrick

Feelin’ Film

Join the Facebook Discussion Group

Powered by RedCircle

Download This Episode


Music: City Sunshine – Kevin MacLeod

Support us on Patreon & get awesome rewards:

or you can support us through Paypal as well. Select the link below and make your one-time or recurring contribution.

Rate/Review us on iTunes and on your podcast app of choice! It helps bring us exposure so that we can get more people involved in the conversation. Thank you!