What We Learned This Week: May 14-20

LESSON #1: YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE WHERE THE ALIEN FRANCHISE IS GOING— Five years ago, after Prometheus, audiences were scratching their heads about the beating-around-the-bush purpose of the film and where any Alien  prequels were going.  For a bit there, I didn’t even think Ridley Scott knew.  Alien: Covenant builds on the mythology and world-building of Prometheus in a strong…

What We Learned This Week: May 7-13

LESSON #1: DISNEY UNDERPAID WHEN THEY BOUGHT MARVEL— In 2009, The Walt Disney Company bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion dollars.  I’m sure that seems like an astronomical sum, but the Disney/Marvel films have been printing money, with “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” bringing home $425 million worldwide this weekend on its way to…

What We Learned This Week: April 30-May 6

LESSON #1: DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU MARKETING MAKES SUCCESSFUL MOVIES— With a June 2nd release on the horizon, little articles have begun to stack up talking about the marketing or lack thereof for Warner Bros.’s “Wonder Woman.”  Outrage is a strong word for those posts questioning the soft push of PR, but curiosity is definitely…

What We Learned This Week: April 23-29

LESSON #1: YOU NEED TO BE WATCHING THE ORIGINAL FILMS DISTRIBUTED BY NETFLIX— This column has thrown bouquets at Netflix for having the resources and courage to become a real player in the film industry.   Indiewire has a nice article trying to look at why Netflix’s great film acquisitions are still getting buried.  The website…

What We Learned This Week: April 16-22

LESSON #1: THE “FAST AND FURIOUS” FRANCHISE HAS BEEN FOR REAL FOR A LONG TIME— I was amazed this week how many casual movie fans (and uppity critics) were surprised by the record-breaking international success of “The Fate of the Furious.”  I wonder what rock they’ve been under because “Furious 7” was a $1.5 billion…

What We Learned This Week: April 9-15

LESSON #1: THE WORD “GENIUS” IS THROWN AROUND TOO MUCH— After hearing Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins label his much-maligned “Transformers: The Last Knight” director Michael Bay a “genius” and a “savant” recently, I’m prepared to add “genius” to a list of overused words of hyperbole that include “epic” and “great” when talking about all…

What We Learned This Week: April 2-8

LESSON #1: THE FIRST STEP TO FIXING A PROBLEM IS RECOGNIZING YOU HAVE ONE— True to the quoted mantra of this lesson, a major movie studio did something I don’t think I’ve ever seen in recent memory.  They cited and accepted blame on an actual fault that the rest of us in the general public have…

What We Learned This Week: March 26-April 1

LESSON #1: BRETT RATNER IS FULL OF SUGAR-HONEY-ICED-TEA— Formerly prolific film director Brett Ratner, who’s been cleaning it up as a producer of Ratpac Entertainment, stepped out late last week to pontificate to Entertainment Weekly that “the worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes” and added “I think it’s the destruction…

What We Learned This Week: March 12-18

This week, it’s time to collectively put a firehose of truth and pragmatism to the flaming mountains of fake outrage that has been brewing for weeks on several fronts.  The targets today are remakes, reboots, and reimaginings.  A whole lot of fuss was made this week by the arrival of Disney’s reimagining of “Beauty and…

What We Learned This Week: March 5-11

LESSON #1: THE SUCCESS RATE OF INDIE DIRECTORS STEPPING TO BLOCKBUSTERS IS IMPROVING— Other than Marc Webb stepping up from “(500) Days of Summer” to the ill-fated “Amazing Spider-Man” double bill and “Moon” director Duncan Jones bombing on “Warcraft,” the recent push of larger studios’ farming of indie directors to helm blockbusters have gone pretty successfully….

What We Learned This Week: February 26-March 4

LESSON #1: INDEPENDENT FILM IS ALIVE AND WELL: PART 1— In upset fashion at the 89th Academy Awards, “Moonlight” and its $1.5 million budget just became the most inexpensive Best Picture Academy Award winner in modern history (and likely all-time if you adjust for inflation).  Not only is the film a hopeful door opener for…