HULK ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS – PART 2

HULK CURRENTLY FINISHING VERY INVOLVED ARTICLE ON ACTION SCENES, IT NOT AS LONG AS THE OTHERS BUT IT MORE INVOLVED AND LOTS MOVING PARTS SO HULK TAKING TIME TO REALLY GET IT RIGHT SO TO SPEAK.

BUT IN MEANTIME IT BEEN SO LONG SINCE HULK GOT SOMETHING UP SO HULK THOUGHT ANSWER ‘NOTHER ROUND OF QUESTIONS. AS ALWAYS, FEEL FREE ASK QUESTIONS IN COMMENTS BELOW, TWEET HULK AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/FILMCRITHULK (FOLLOW HULK IF NOT!), OR EMAIL FILMCRITHULK@GMAIL.COM

HULK THANK!

QUESTION #1

Reading your first mailbag- specifically, the question regarding the studio system and product placement and audiences- made me wonder. Do you think we’ll ever see something like PUTNEY SWOPE again? Or maybe a better question that ties two of your answers together- do you think we’ll ever see another revolutionary movement- as described in “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls”- again? It seems like there’s a lot of fertile territory for filmmakers to revolt against a lot of what you mentioned and the independent genre feels like it could use the jolt.

-John

LOVE PUTNEY SWOPE. GREAT MOVIE. HULK NOT SURE WE’LL EVER SEE SOMETHING SEND UP THE ADVERTISING QUITE THE SAME WAY. EVEN OUTSIDE OF THE WORLD OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT, TV AND MOVIES USED TO BE SEPARATE ENTITIES. NOW THEY NOT. IF UNIVERSAL MAKES MOVIE SKEWING ADVERTISING NBC FEELS THE HEAT (THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENS BTW WITH THE MOST TRIVIAL OF STUFF). IF ANY MOVIE EVER DOES, IT WILL LIKELY BE OUTSIDE THE HOLLYWOOD PARAMETERS COMPLETELY. EVEN MAD MEN, WHICH HAS LOTS BAD THINGS SAY ABOUT ADVERTISING, HAS DONE MORE TO MAKE IT SEEM SUPER-AWESOME IT THAN ANYTHING TOO (THOUGH THAT WHOLLY INTENTIONAL).

TECHNICALLY THERE WAS A SECOND REVOLUTIONARY MOVEMENT, THE INDEPENDENT FILM MOVEMENT OF THE 90’S AND BISKIND WROTE ABOUT THAT ONE TOO. HIS “DOWN AND DIRTY PICTURES” ABOUT THE RISE OF MIRAMAX = FANTASTIC. IT ALSO THE SOURCE OF SO MUCH WEINSTEIN INFAMY.

THE PROBLEM OF COURSE THAT THE INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING MODELS BECAME SUBLIMATED INTO THE LARGER CORPORATE SYSTEM (LIKE EVERYTHING ELSE), SO NOW INDEPENDENT FILMMAKING ESSENTIALLY JUST CORPORATE GENRE FILMMAKING. THERE NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FOX SEARCHLIGHT, SONY PICTURES CLASSICS, ETC. AND REGULAR STUDIOS EXCEPT FOR FACT THEY HAVE SMALLER BUDGETS AND FOCUS ON AWARD FODDER. AND YEAH TECHNICALLY THEY FOCUS MORE ON ACQUISITIONS THAN REGULAR STUDIOS BUT THE STUFF THEY JUST ACQUIRING USUALLY MOVIE-STAR LADEN CROWD PLEASERS WITH “INDIE VIBE.”

SO THE QUESTION, WHERE WILL THE NEW REVOLUTION COME FROM?

HULK NOT SURE. WE LIKE THINK THINGS MORE DEMOCRATIC NOWAWAYS IN AGE OF NEW MEDIA, BUT THE PROLIFERATION OF HIGH-GRADE EQUIPMENT AND NICHE-IFICATION WHICH ALLOWS FOR THE POSSIBILITY TO FIND AUDIENCE MORE EASILY, ALSO MEANS IT HARDER FOR NICHE CONTENT TO “HIT” THE MAINSTREAM IF THAT MAKE SENSE. IT SEEMS LIKE MOST OF THE GREAT, INTERESTING, OR SUBVERSIVE FILMMAKING COMING OUT OF GENRE ENTERTAINMENT THESE DAYS, SO THAT TRADITIONAL AUDIENCE NEEDS ARE MET IN AGREEMENT WITH THE MORE ADVENTUROUS STORYTELLING AND COMEDY (ONE CAN WATCH LET THE RIGHT ONE IN JUST AS A VAMPIRE MOVIE FOR EXAMPLE, EVEN IF IT WAY, WAY MORE THAN THAT). AND THE INTERNET SEEMS MORE A DELIVERY DEVICE FOR SHORT FORM/SKETCH CONTENT.

MAYBE THE PLACE FOR GREAT STORYTELLING NOW ON TV? OUTSIDE OF HANDFUL OF GREAT MOVIES HULK THINK “THE SUITCASE” EPISODE OF MAD MEN ONE THE MOST INTERESTING, COMPELLING “MEDIA HOURS” OF THE YEAR. IT JUST HAPPENED BE ON TV.

BUT REALLY HULK NOT SURE.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #2

You’ve talked a lot about screenwriting 101 and the need for the understanding of story structure and character building. What’s the lesson plan for screenwriting 102?

-Bevin

GET THERE SOON ENOUGH. BUT SCREENWRITING 102 MOSTLY CONCERNS INVERSION AND INNOVATION. HOW MAKE THE LEAP FROM WRITING STANDARD STORIES TO WRITING “ORIGINAL-FEELING” / UNIQUE STUFF. HOW DOES TARANTINO OR KAUFFMAN OR COENS OR MOFFAT OR WHEDON OR DO IT? IT TRICKY BUT… ACTUALLY THAT SOUND MORE LIKE THAT SCREENWRITING 103 /GRADUATE STUDY… 102 MIGHT BE JUST MORE OF SAME SHIT WITH A BIT MORE NUANCE…. MAYBE… HULK DUNNO.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #3

Your article regarding the ending of Lost was a great read and brought up a lot of insightful points that I hadn’t considered otherwise. Did you have any other problems with the story throughout the course of the show? Did any of the turns the story took frustrate you, and if so, why?

-Peter G

YEAH IN A GIVEN MOMENT HULK WOULD HAVE LOTS OF PROBLEMS, BUT GIVEN FLUID NATURE OF SHOW, THEY REALLY NOT PROBLEMS, BUT JUST CONCERNS. THAT CAUSE IN MOST CASES LOST EVENTUALLY DEALT WITH THEM WELL-ENOUGH AND TURNED INTO SOMETHING COMPELLING (THE SHOW GOT LOTS OF MILEAGE OUT OF VIEWER PATIENCE). SO THE PROBLEM WITH THE FINALE WAS THAT THERE NOTHING LEFT TO TEMPER OR RECTIFY ANY MIXED FEELINGS. CONCERNS BECOME ACTUAL PROBLEMS. RIGHT NOW, THERE NOTHING THAT CAN “FIX” THE FINALE…EXCEPT MAYBE LINDELOF’S TWEETS?

QUESTION #4

I am curious to know what Hulk thought of X-men: First Class.
I couldn’t find a topic, so I’m posting here.

-Jonah K.

SHORT VERSION: LOVED IT. FUN, ASSURED, BALANCED, AND A WHALE OF A PERFORMANCE FROM FASSBENDER. LOVED EVERY SINGLE DECISION REALLY. HULK ALSO HAVE CRUSH ON JENNIFER LAWERENCE BUT THAT NOT MAKE HULK UNIQUE IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER. AND HULK THOUGHT ABOUT DOING PIECE ON THE FILMS COMMENTARY OF RACISM COMPARED TO THE OTHERS BUT IT SORT OF WELL-COVERED GROUND.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #5

Hi Hulk

First off, I immensely appreciate your blog, which provides very deep and accessible criticism. Your texts are always a pleasure to read. My question concerns your quick remark on The Wire‘s last season as a bit “off”, with the serial killer and journalism plots not fitting with the rest of the series : I did not really understand what was wrong with it, since I really enjoyed this season as much as the others, except maybe for being less focused due to plot resolutions and piling on of separate stories. What set you off ?

Thanks, and have a great week !

-Louis

PERHAPS HULK SHOULD HAVE MADE MORE CLEAR. HULK THINK THE LAST SEASON OF THE WIRE FILLED WITH ALL SORTS OF GENIUS. AND HULK WILL GET TO WHY IN SECOND, BUT THE CRITICISM HULK WAS MAKING THAT THE LAST SEASON JUST MADE TWO “TONAL” ERRORS WITH THE MCNULTY FAKE SERIAL KILLER AND THE BLACK/WHITE GOOD GUYS/BAD GUYS IN THE BALTIMORE SUN WORKROOM. MEANING THAT THE TWO PLOTS DIDN’T FEEL LIKE TRADITIONAL WIRE NARRATIVES. MCNULTY FAKING THE SERIAL KILLER SEEMED LIKE THE MOST “UNREALISTIC” THING THE SHOW DID. WAS IT? HULK NOT SURE, BUT THE SHOW HAD BUILT UP 4 SEASONS ON THE PREDICATION OF FINDING DRAMA AND SOUL IN THE MOST “REALISTIC” NARRATIVES POSSIBLE. MEANWHILE, THE JOURNALISM PLOT LINE THROUGH SOME PEOPLE BECAUSE THE WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT SEEMED BY MADE UP OF EITHER DICKLESS YES MEN AND SCHEMING HACKS OR THE NOBLE SAINTS OF REPORTING. WHICH RATHER CONTRARY TO THE SEEMING GRAY SCALES OF INSTITUTIONS THE WIRE USUALLY PUTS IN FRONT OF US (*). AT THE CENTER OF WHICH IS A CHARACTER WHOLLY MAKINING UP STORIES AND COMING OFF LIKE THE SCUM OF THE UNIVERSE AND HE GETS A PULITZER. BOTH OF THESE TWO STORYLINES ARE THE BIG, BOLD MOVES ONE USUALLY DOES NOT SEE IN THE SHOW. AND THIS THE SIMPLE REASON MANY PEOPLE NOT LIKE IT IS MUCH. IT JUST DIDN’T FEEL RIGHT.

NOW, TO THE LARGER POINT: MOST PEOPLE NOT SO GOOD AT FEELING OUT META-NARRATIVE. BECAUSE IN THE SENSE OF META-NARRATIVE BOTH PLOT LINES RATHER BRILLIANT. THE FIFTH SEASON IS REALLY ABOUT THE REFLEXIVE SEARCH FOR TRUTH. BOTH FEATURE PROMINENT LIES AT THE CENTER OF CONFLICT. THIS DONE SO PURELY TO HIGHLIGHT THE WAYS THE SYSTEM IS SET UP NOT TO DISCOVER THE TRUTH. THE SYSTEM ON WHAT “NOT SHOWN” HERE = THE MAIN POINTS OF THE FIFTH SEASON.

HERE, IN ORDER OF THEMATIC IMPORTANCE: THE BALTIMORE SUN DOES NOT REPORT A SINGLE EVENT THAT TAKE PLACE ON THE WIRE (THAT IS UNTIL BUBS. AND IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS THEY’VE EVER DONE AND IT RESTORES HIS FAMILY’S FAITH IN HIM) IF THE WIRE = “THE REAL STORY” OF THE AMERICAN CITY, IT NOT BEING TOLD BECAUSE THEY’RE OFF CHASING “THE FAKE ONE” MEANING THE ONES THAT ARE MADE UP. THE STORIES HAD TO BE FAKE. AND THEY COULD NEVER GET CAUGHT BECAUSE IT THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE THE POINT. AMERICAN SOCIETY OBSESSESED WITH THE BIG, BOLD CSI TYPE STORIES OF MASS INTRIGUE. IN THAT PURSUIT THEY’RE MISSING STUFF SHOWN IN THE WIRE. THE FIFTH SEASON HAD LOTS OF AMAZING TIMES WHERE THEY HIGHLIGHT WHY THE PAPERS FAILED BUT NO ACTUALLY SHOW IT. FOR EXAMPLE HALFWAY THROUGH SEASON ONE OF THEIR SENIOR JOURNALISTS IS BOUGHT OUT. HE REPLACED WITH THE YOUNG WOMAN (GOD HULK FORGET HER NAME, ALMA?) WHO VERY WELL-INTENTIONED BUT JUST NO HAVE THE EXPERTISE OR EXPERIENCE. LATER ON SEASON, WHEN BELOVED CHARACTER DIES (AND FAMED WITHIN THE INNER CITY) AND THEY TRYING TO DECIDE IF THEY SHOULD REPORT HIS MURDER IN LITTLE BLURB OR REPORT A FIRE. SHE CHOOSES THE FIRE. MEANWHILE, THE VETERAN REPORTER KNOWS WHO THAT CHARACTER IS AND WHY HE SO IMPORTANT. WITH HIM, IT WOULD HAVE MADE THE PAPER. BUT BECAUSE THE SUN BOUGHT OUT THEIR EXPERIENCED REPORTER, THE PAPER MISSED A CRUCIAL STORY SIMPLY BECAUSE THE WELL-INTENTIONED YOUNG REPORTER COULDN’T POSSIBLY KNOW WHO THAT CHARACTER WAS. IT BRILLIANT.

AND QUITE SIMPLY, MCNULTY’S CAREER BEING UNDONE BY HIS OWN BULLSHIT = THE PERFECT WAY TO GO. ALSO, THE SUBTLE ARC OF KENARD? BRILLIANT. ALSO RANDY’S LAST NAME IS WAGSTAFF. RECOGNIZE IT? CHEESE WAGSTAFF. (METHOD MAN). YUP, HE’S RANDY’S DAD. DIDN’T NOTICE? THAT BECAUSE IT  NEVER SAID. IT IS THE ABSENT FATHER, SHOWN TO IT’S MOST DAMNING, BY NEVER SHOWING IT AT ALL.

*CHUCK KLOSTERMAN MAKES REALLY WEIRD ARGUMENT WHERE HE SAYS BECAUSE THE NEWSPAPER OFFICE FEEL DISINGENUOUS TO ONES HE WORKED IN, HE NOW CAN’T BELIEVE THAT THE OTHER INSTITUTIONS SHOWN WERE DONE SO WITH FAIR TREATMENT. HULK FIND IT BIZARRE SORT OF CONTRARIAN ARGUMENT, AS IF ARGUING THE SHOW NO HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE A STORY. BESIDES, HULK BEEN A TEACHER. HULK’S ENTIRE FAMILY TEACHERS SPECIALIZING IN PROBLEMATIC YOUTH. TRUST HULK. THE FOURTH SEASON PRETTY FUCKING ACCURATE.

QUESTION #6

I was wondering, what is your opinion (if any) on Jackson Murphy, the “kid film critic”? Do we need somebody like him for the sake of a different perspective on things? Or is it possible that, since he’s obviously too young to have seen most of the milestones of cinema history, giving somebody like him so much exposure can do more harm than good?

The reason I’m asking is I’ve seen this kid on Ebert Presents and have found him to be so incredibly annoying that I was surprised at myself. I think of him as a “film criticism” version of Rebecca Black. But more creepy.

-Lara

HULK NEVER HEARD OF HIM BEFORE THIS QUESTION SO HULK DID BIT OF RESEARCH.

SHORT VERSION: IT BAD. FOR ONE, FAME BAD FOR CHILDREN IN GENERAL. IT JUST IS. THERE NO GETTING AROUND IT AND HULK WOULD NEVER WANT PUT KID IN THAT KIND OF POSITION. AT SAME TIME ,THERE INHERENT NEED FOR CHILDREN TO BE ACTORS/DO OTHER HIGH PROFILE THINGS, SO IT JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT HAVE BE VERY CAREFUL WITH. JUST GENERALIZING BUT IT SEEM 1 IN 4 END UP BEING WELL-ADJUSTED.

AND FOR PETE’S SAKE, NO WE DON’T NEED A 10 YEAR OLD’S OPINION ON MOVIES IN THIS WAY. NOW, HULK LOVE TALKING TO KIDS ABOUT MOVIES TO SEE HOW THEY THINKING, BUT IT VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF THING. FOR EXAMPLE HULK LOVE’S DREW MCWEENY’S FILM NERD 2.0 SERIES WHERE HE WATCHES MOVIES W/ HIS KIDS AND EXAMINES THEIR REACTIONS. WHEN FILTERED THROUGH HIM (A VERY GOOD PROFESSIONAL FILM CRITIC) IT GIVES THEIR OPINIONS HAVE A VERY APPROPRIATE SENSE OF WEIGHT. THAT MAKE SENSE? THEY GIVEN THE CONTEXT OF KIDS, NOT THE CONTEXT OF PROFESSIONALISM.

WHILE HULK LAMENT THE FACT THAT THIS KID IN THE PUBLIC EYE AND TREATED LIKE HE ACTUALLY KNOW WHAT HE TALKING ABOUT, HULK LIKE THE IDEA THAT THE KID REALLY TRYING RIGHT NOW. HE HAVE LONG WAYS TO GO BUT HE ESSENTIALLY STARTING HIS “10,000 HOURS” (GLADWELL’S THEORY THAT IT TAKES 10,000 HOURS TO BECOME TRULY GOOD AT ANYTHING REGARDLESS OF NATURAL TALENT, CAUSE THERE’S ACTUALLY NO SUCH THING AS NATURAL TALENT) SO IN 6-10 YEARS HE COULD BE IN GOOD SHAPE?

OR DEAD OF COCAINE OVERDOSE.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #7

I ask this because you willy-nilly threw ‘The Philadelphia Story’ into an answer, and since ‘The Philadelphia Story’ is my favorite movie, I have a few questions for you surrounding: ‘The Philadelphia Story.’

1) Why is ‘The Philadelphia Story’ such a great movie? If you can’t answer this per the terms of the question, I’ll be satisfied with your opinion of ‘The Philadelphia Story.’

2) I think ‘The Philadelphia Story’ is a shining example of how great of an actor Cary Grant is (and specifically how ‘gracious’ of an actor he is. He’s a scene-stealer, but he knows how to get off of the floor and let someone else take over. Just look at how many co-stars he’s had (specifically his female co-stars, but Jimmy Stewart included) who’ve had some of their best roles standing next to him.) Anyway. This beside point. The real question is that Cary Grant is derided by know-nothings for being a one-note actor. He essentially play the role of ‘Cary Grant’ in his movies, they say. (And they may very well be right, and I forgive him because man, what a great character to be constantly playing.) And, unfortunately, I think this is the same fate that’s befalling cats like Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera. They essentially play themselves and yes, that can be tiring, but I believe history will reflect very well on them, without the context of sitting through every single movie they’ve made and rather just ‘remembering the good ones.’ So I ask your opinion of these ‘one-note’ actors, and whether they are ‘bad actors’ or just actors that we get tired of.

3) The other side to ‘the suits fuck everything up’ is that sometimes they’re able to actually make things better. A lot of those great Cary Grant movies. ‘Casablanca,’ is I believe to be a shining example. Thoughts? Maybe artists need someone to help them get their own vision across?

4) George Cukor has made a handful of truly great movies, but I don’t really see his name thrown out in that list of great directors. Any thoughts as to why?

Thank you and I love your blog.

-not eb

1 – THE PHILADELPHIA STORY A CLASSIC AND IT DESERVE TO BE ONE. THE REASON BECAUSE OF KATHERINE HEPBURN. NOW EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT IT FANTASTIC, BUT SHE THE LYNCH-PIN THAT ALLOWS IT ALL TO CONNECT AND WORK TOGETHER. WITHOUT HER PERFORMANCE THE HIGH-DEGREE-OF-DIFFICULTY NARRATIVE FALLS FLAT. SIMPLE AS THAT? MAYBE. IT HULK’S THEORY.

2 – ONE NOTE ACTORS ARE ACTUALLY MOST ACTORS TO BE HONEST. GENUINE CHAMELEONS WHO REALLY CHANGE WHAT THEY DO RATHER RARE (AND THEY MOSTLY ON STAGE), EVEN LOTS OF “CHARACTER ACTORS” JUST DO THE SAME ONE-NOTE THING THEY JUST GET LOTS DIFFERENT ROLES KINDS OF ROLES. HULK NOT TRYING TO BE DISMISSIVE OF THEIR ABILITIES WHATSOEVER. THEY GETTING INTO VERY DIFFERENT CHARACTERS AND HEADSPACES AND SITUATIONS, HULK MERELY COMMENTING ON THE AFFECTATION. IN TRUTH, HULK IN AWE OF ALL ACTORS AND YOU WOULD BE SAME IF EVER TRIED IT.

SO THE THING WITH ONE-NOTE ACTORS IT JUST DEPENDS WHAT YOU THINK OF THAT NOTE AND IF THERE OBJECTIVE QUALITIES TO THE NOTE. FOR EXAMPLE, AWKWARD (CERA) HAS LESS RANGE THAN CHARMING (CLOONEY). MEANING CLOONEY CAN BE A CHARMING MAN IN A ROMANTIC COMEDY, A COOL BANK HEIST, OR A MURROW DOCU-DRAMA. MEANWHILE, CERA CAN’T BE THE AWKWARD FUMBLING TEEN IN A SHOOT EM UP WITHOUT DRAWING TOO MUCH NOTICE FOR BEING THAT. BUT FOR THE RECORD HULK STILL LOVE CERA. HIS TIMING EXCELLENT. WE GET SICK OF COMEDIANS TOO EASILY.

3 – NOT SURE WHAT YOU MEAN HERE. THE GOLDEN AGE OF MOVIE MAKING VERY DIFFERENT FROM TODAY. STARS/DIRECTORS/WRITERS WERE CONTRACTED W/ SINGLE STUDIO. IT WAS AN ASSEMBLY LINE. STUDIO INVOLVEMENT WAS A MUST IN THAT SYSTEM. ALSO, THE SUITS IN THAT CASE WERE STILL AT LEAST “MOVIE PEOPLE.” THE REAL WORLD OF GIANT CORPORATE FINANCE DIDN’T CREEP UNTIL THE 80’S POST “STAR WARS” WHEN THEY REALIZED THERE WAS REAL INDUSTRY-TYPE-MONEY TO BE MADE. THE OLD GUARD (TURNER, ZANUCK, ETC) COULD BE JUST AS FLIPPANT AND EASILY BORED, BUT THEY WERE AT LEAST INDIVIDUALS WITH ACTUAL TASTE. THE CURRENT GENERATION ARE ECONOMISTS.

4 – HULK FEEL LIKE CUKOR GETS APPROPRIATE DUE (AT LEAST IN FILM-Y CIRCLES). HULK SUPPOSE THE LACK OF ATTENTION COMES FROM THE FACT HE NOT REALLY FORMALIST. HE GREAT WITH ACTORS AND REALLY GOT HANDS ON SOME GREAT SCREENPLAYS. BUT HE NOT EXACTLY IN THE FORD CLASS, WHO COULD ELEVATE ANY MATERIAL HE GOT.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #8

Hey Hulk,

Got a question for you. What’s an area of filmmaking you wish more viewers or critics knew about/paid attention to? It seems like most reactions to a movie boil down to talking about the actors, some dialogue, and directorial style. Do you wish people would focus more on, say, editing, or sound design, or costumes, etc.? Small follow-up: What resources would you recommend for those viewers looking to learn more?

Daniel C.

HULK IMAGINE IT PRETTY EVIDENT THAT IT HAVE HULK’S BIGGEST GRIPE HOW MOST CRITICS NO KNOW WHAT “SCREENWRITING” ACTUALLY MEAN. THEY ALWAYS MAKE IT SEEM DIALOGUE CENTRIC, BUT REALLY STORY ECONOMY WAY MORE IMPORTANT. SO BASICALLY, A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF STORY-MECHANICS WOULD DO LOT GOOD. THE PROBLEM WITH EVALUATING EDITING THAT THE BEST EDITING OFTEN INVISIBLE. USUALLY HULK HAVE TO WATCH THE BEST EDITING MOVIES A SECOND TIME AND REALLY BE ON LOOKOUT FOR IT. AND THEN IT NOT EVEN REALLY IMPORTANT TO PUBLIC DISCUSSION, JUST FILMMAKING CRAFT. AND HULK FEEL LIKE COSTUMES PRETTY MUCH GET THEIR DUE. THAT SOUND CRASS BUT BY THAT HULK MEAN THAT PEOPLE CAN LOOK AND UNDERSTAND THE EFFORT THAT WENT INTO IT. AND YES, WISH THERE MORE APPRECIATION FOR THE EFFECT OF SOUND, BUT THAT BECAUSE SOUND DESIGNERS/MIXERS  THE TOTAL UNSUNG HEROES OF FILMMAKING. IF EVER MADE A FILM YOU UNDERSTAND… ALSO IF YOU MAKING MOVIE SAVE MONEY FOR THE MIX. LOTS PEOPLE MAKE THAT MISTAKE.

AND HONESTLY IT SORT OF CHEAP, BUT HULK SAY NO READ FILM BOOKS. READ BOOK BOOKS. READ DAVID FOSTER WALLACE, GOGOL, THOMAS PYNCHON, CHEKOV, READ ACADEMIC ESSAYS ABOUT OTHER SHIT. AND THE BEST WAY TO LEARN TECHNICAL FILMMAKING SKILLS TO SAVE MONEY AND MAKE FILMS (START WITH SKETCHES). YOU LEARN WAY MORE THAT WAY. AS FAR AS UNDERSTANDING MOVIES GO, SEE MORE MOVIES AND WRITE FOR 10,000 HOURS.

OH AND THE GUY ABOVE, OWEN GLIEBERMAN? HE KIND OF TERRIBLE.  DON’T BE LIKE HIM.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #9

As photo-realistic and motion capture technology becomes more widespread do we need a new definition for movies that straddle the line between computer generated and live action? I’m thinking specifically of Avatar, but Tron: Legacy, 300, and Sin City could be considered as well since everything but the actors was green screened in later, although none but Avatar contained characters which existed solely in a computer. All of these movies, while technically live action, exist almost entirely in a computer generated world. As this becomes more common, which I assume it will, will it create a new film making sub-genre? Is Avatar (and the upcoming sequels) live action? Are they cartoons? Does this only matter come awards time?

…I guess SW: Episodes 1-3 fit this description too, but I try to pretend they didn’t happen.

-Doug R

YOU EXACTLY CORRECT. SOON ENOUGH THEY WILL BE EXACT SAME THING IN TERMS OF EXECUTION. SO HOW WILL THEY DIFFERENTIATE?

IT MAY TAKE ONE MO-CAP PERFORMANCE TO BE NOMINATED TO BREAK THE DISTINCTION. BUT THAT WILL NO HAPPEN UNTIL OLD ACADEMY MEMBERS DIE BECAUSE THEY NO UNDERSTAND WHAT MO-CAP EVEN IS. (SERIOUSLY, IF YOU EVER BEEN TO AN ACADEMY, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, OR VARIETY SCREENING THE AVERAGE AND MEDIAN AGE AT LEAST 72). BUT ONCE ONE NOMINATED IT WILL THEORETICALLY BRIDGE DISTINCTION? HULK NOT SURE. RIGHT NOW THOUGH, HALF OF MOVIE-GOERS SEEM TO UNDERSTAND BASIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN LIVE-ACTION, MO-CAP, AND ANIMATED JUST BASED ON WHAT IT SEEMS MOST LIKE.  SO REALLY WE NO KNOW YET. BUT RIGHT NOW IT SEEMS LIKE ANYTHING WITH ONE REAL ACTOR IN IT, STRIVING TOWARD PHOTO-REALISM, WE WILL CONSIDER IT LIVE ACTION.

❤ HULK

UNTIL NEXT TIME.

AS ALWAYS, FEEL FREE ASK QUESTIONS IN COMMENTS BELOW, TWEET HULK AT WWW.TWITTER.COM/FILMCRITHULK (FOLLOW HULK IF NOT!), OR EMAIL FILMCRITHULK@GMAIL.COM

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HULK ESSAY YOUR ASS: TANGIBLE DETAILS AND THE NATURE OF CRITICISM

WHAT IF HULK TELL YOU THAT THERE ONE SINGULAR THROUGH-LINE TO THE VERY NATURE OF CRITICISM?

HULK READ LOT OF MOVIE CRITICISM. AND HULK MEAN LOT. HULK POSSIBLY EVEN READ YOUR BOOK/COLUMN/SITE TODAY. AND OVER DOING THIS LAST TWENTY YEARS OR SO, HULK BEEN LOOKING FOR ONE SINGLE THROUGH-LINE HELP EXPLAIN WHY CRITICS SAY THE THING THEY DO. SPECIFICALLY, HULK INTERESTED WHAT CAUSE SOMEONE TO HAVE SEEMINGLY BIZARRE OPINION. IT NOT EASY THING DO. LOTS PEOPLE COMING FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES AND HAVE ALL SORTS VALUES. AND IT ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT WHEN TRYING DECIDE IF IT YOUR OWN BIAS GETTING IN WAY. YET HULK DESPERATE KNOW WHY PEOPLE RESPOND TO MOVIES WAY THEY DO. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY HOW THEY THEN PROCESS AND EXPLAIN THOSE RESPONSES. THE ANSWER NOT JUST RELATE MOVIE CRITICISM, BUT UNIVERSAL CRITICISM. HULK BELIEVE CENTER AROUND ONE THING:

TANGIBLE DETAILS.

OK. HULK KNOW YOU THINKING “TANGIBLE DETAILS? DUH, OF COURSE! WHAT YOU IDIOT? OF COURSE THE FREAKIN’ DETAILS MATTER!”

HULK KNOW. HULK KNOW. IT SOUND BROAD AS HECK, BUT HULK ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT VERY SPECIFIC WAY THE OBVIOUS, TANGIBLE DETAILS OF MOVIE DIRECTLY AFFECT HOW THE AT-LARGE CULTURE DIGEST IT. SO ALLOW HULK MOMENT ILLUSTRATE EXACTLY WHAT HULK MEAN… OKAY MORE THAN MOMENT. OVER 4000 WORDS AND LOTS OF TANGENTS. HULK SORRY, BUT VERY SIMPLE CONCEPT OFTEN THE HARDEST KIND TO JUSTIFY.

SO…

GIVEN: OUR ABILITY PROCESS THINGS INHERENTLY LINKED TO AMOUNT OF INFORMATION WE UNDERSTAND. MOST OF US QUASI-EXPERTS IN SOME WAY AT SOMETHING. OUR FAVORITE TV SHOW. BEER-BREWING. OUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM. WHATEVER, CHANCES ARE IT SOMETHING.

BUT THEN THERE LARGE NUMBER THINGS OUTSIDE THAT AREA WE QUASI-EXPERTS IN. AND MANY OF THESE THINGS STUFF WE ALL HAVE TALK ABOUT IN FORM OF PUBLIC SOCIALIZING. THE PROVERBIAL CAMPFIRE. STUFF LIKE ELECTIONS, THE SUPERBOWL, POPULAR TV SHOWS, BIG NEWS EVENTS, HIT MOVIES, RESTAURANT CHAINS. THE USUAL STUFF. AND OFTEN THESE UNIVERSAL SUBJECTS THROW US INTO CONVERSATIONS THAT WE MAY OR MAY NO HAVE STRONG KNOWLEDGE ABOUT.

"THE NYE METS ARE MY FAVORITE SQUADRON"

IN ONE WAY, IT OKAY IF NOT KNOW LOT ABOUT CERTAIN SUBJECT. THERE ACTUALLY SUBCONSCIOUS WAY IN WHICH MOST OF US ABLE PROCESS SIMPLE GOOD OR BADNESS OF JUST ABOUT ANYTHING: MOVIES WORK ON LARGELY VISCERAL LEVEL. FOOD CAN TASTE GOOD OR NO TASTE GOOD. SPORTS TEAMS HAVE WINS AND LOSSES. PRODUCTS CAN SIMPLY WORK OR NO WORK. THERE WAY WE UNDERSTAND SOME FORM RELATIVE VALUE OF ALL THESE THINGS.

BUT WHEN COME TIME ACTUALLY EXPLAIN THEM, NOT EVERYONE HAVE LANGUAGE/VERNACULAR TO BEST EXPRESS WHAT AT PLAY. SO ONLY WAY CAN EXPLAIN ANYTHING BY PRESENTING EVIDENCE. AND EVIDENCE 100% DEPENDENT ON THINGS WE NOTICE. AND THOSE THE TANGIBLE DETAILS.

… and FOR MOST PEOPLE, IT NOT ALWAYS THE RIGHT DETAILS PER SAY, BUT INSTEAD THE ONES THAT SIMPLY STICK OUT MOST.

THE FILM THAT MAKE HULK FIRST THINK IN THESE TERMS ACTUALLY SPIDER-MAN 3. MOST PEOPLE AGREE THAT SPIDER-MAN 3 PRETTY MUCH SUCK. OK? GOOD. MOVING ON. THE REAL REASON IT SUCK IT BECAUSE IT FORGET MOST BASIC ELEMENTS OF STORYTELLING 101. IT HAVE ZERO NARRATIVE STEAM AND ENERGY. IT CONFUSED ABOUT CHARACTER MOTIVATION. IT  SIDETRACK PLOT CONSTANTLY. THESE SIMPLE SCREENWRITING PROBLEMS. BUT WHAT THE ONE THING TONS PEOPLE POINT TO AS WHY IT SUCK?

EMO PETER PARKER.

NEVERMIND FACT MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW WHAT "EMO" ACTUALLY MEAN

HULK HATE SAY IT, BUT THE SAD TRUTH THAT THE “EMO PETER PARKER” SEQUENCE THE ONLY ONE IN FILM THAT ACTUALLY HAVE SENSE OF HUMOR AND PALPABLE ENERGY. SERIOUSLY, HULK ARGUE IT THE ONLY “GOOD” SEQUENCE IN FILM. WATCH IT AGAIN BELOW. HULK THINK MAGUIRE DELIVERING GREAT COMIC PERFORMANCE. ESPECIALLY SINCE THE REAL JOKE THAT THIS WHAT A “CONFIDENT” PETER PARKER ACTUALLY LOOK/ACT LIKE. HILARIOUS.

BUT GIVEN THAT REST OF FILM HAVE NO ENERGY + FUN SCENES WHATSOEVER, IT THEREFORE NOT FIT TONE OF MOVIE WHATSOEVER. IT SIMPLY WAY, WAY DIFFERENT. THEREFORE, IT TANGIBLE TO EVERYONE WHO SEE IT. IT BECOME DEFAULT THING PEOPLE POINT OUT WHEN TRYING EXPLAIN WHY THE MOVIE (WHICH THEY ABSORBED ON VISCERAL LEVEL) SUCKED. TRUST HULK, EVEN IF THE EMO PETER PARKER SEQUENCE NOT IN MOVIE, PEOPLE STILL BE TALKING ABOUT HOW MUCH SPIDER-MAN 3 COMPLETELY AND WHOLLY SUCKED. IT JUST THE THING THAT STOOD OUT TO EVERYONE.

OKAY, THAT NOT EVEN THE ONLY REASON. THE OTHER BIG THING PEOPLE POINTED TO THAT “IT HAVE TOO MANY VILLAINS!” NO. NOT AT ALL. IT JUST IT HAVE VILLAINS WHOSE PLOT-LINES GO NOWHERE AND HAVE NOTHING DO WITH EACH OTHER. THE DARK KNIGHT HAVE TWO VILLAINS AND WORK CAUSE THE VILLAINS STORIES INTERTWINED AT KEY POINTS AND CONSTANTLY DRIVE NARRATIVE FORWARD. HULK RECENTLY TALK ABOUT REASON FIRST KUNG FU PANDA WORK SO WELL THAT THE FIVE MAIN CHARACTERS MOTIVATIONS AND PLOT ALL TIE INTO EACH OTHER SEAMLESSLY. AGAIN, IT GO BACK TO STORYTELLING 101. BUT IN SPIDER-MAN 3 EVERY CHARACTER JUST SORT OF DOING OWN THING REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER ELSE GOING ON. AND RAIMI HAD NO INTEREST IN VENOM SO STUDIO FORCED IT ON HIM TO BOOT. AS RESULT, THE SCENE WHERE VENOM AND SANDMAN “TEAM UP” LAUGHABLE IN ITS LAZY CONSTRUCTION. IT COULD NO GIVE LESS OF SHIT. AGAIN, IT NOT THAT THERE ARE TWO VILLAINS. IT THAT THE TWO VILLAINS JUST NOT DONE WELL WHATSOEVER. THE “TOO MANY VILLAINS!” MANTRA SOMETHING NOTICEABLE TO MOVIE-GOING PUBLIC BECAUSE THE PRIOR SPIDER-MAN MOVIES SUCCEED GREAT WITH JUST ONE VILLAIN.

BEING “EXPERT” JUST MEAN YOU ABLE MAKE THE LESS TANGIBLE DETAILS, WELL, TANGIBLE. MANY MUCH-BETTER CRITICS AND HULK SPENT LIFE TRYING FIGURE OUT MOVIES. SO MAYBE HULK CAN TELL WHEN SUBTLE TONE SHIFT AFFECTING AUDIENCE ENJOYMENT. OR WHEN CHARACTER SUDDENLY ACTING OUT OF CHARACTER. OR WHEN DIRECTING DECISION BEING MAKE FOR WRONG REASON. OR IF WRITER’S CERTAIN PERSONALITY TIC COME SHINING THROUGH AND DISRUPT ON THEMATIC LEVEL. OR HOW SOME SORT PRODUCTION HISTORY COMING INTO PLAY. BEING AWARE THIS STUFF THE VERY GOAL BEING CRITIC.

MORE IMPORTANT THAN ALL OF THIS, HULK FINALLY LEARN THE ABILITY TELL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD-INSANE NIC CAGE AND BAD-INSANE NIC CAGE. +5 CRITIC EXP. POINTS!

“WAIT A MINUTE” YOU MAY SAY TO HULK. “ISN’T THERE AN OLD SAYING THAT “NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING” IN THIS BUSINESS?”

EXCUSE HULK, BUT THAT HORSESHIT. LOTS PEOPLE KNOW THINGS. IT JUST THERE MORE PEOPLE THAT NOT KNOW THINGS AND THEY HAVE TENDENCY FUCK THINGS UP. BUT WHEN CAPABLE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN PRODUCING, DIRECTING, ACTING, EDITING, AND THEN MARKETING… THE SKY THE LIMIT. LIKE WITH INCEPTION. THAT MOVIE IN ENTIRETY, EVEN THE CORPORATE NON-MOVIE STUFF, HANDLED PERFECTLY. SO TRUST HULK: SOME PEOPLE KNOW THINGS.

HULK ONCE BRING UP “TANGIBLE DETAILS” THEORY IN ONLINE FORUM TO EXCELLENT FILM CRITIC DEVIN FARACI. HE SEEMED AGREE WITH THEORY AND MUCH TO HULK’S SURPRISE, HE OFFER EXACT SAME ANECDOTE HULK OFTEN USE WHEN PROFESSING HULK’S OWN IGNORANCE ABOUT STUFF: NOT KNOWING SHIT ABOUT CARS.

REALLY, HULK KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CARS. HULK KNOW HULK’S CAR EITHER GO BROOM BROOM OR THE ENGINE LIGHT COME ON AND MAKE FUNNY NOISE. BUT OF COURSE THIS NO STOP HULK MAKING BROAD STATEMENTS LIKE, “THIS CAR HANDLE GOOD”, “THIS CAR SUCKS” , OR “THIS CAR LOOK COOL.” IT USUALLY BASED ON OBVIOUS THINGS LIKE APPEARANCE OR SIMPLE FEEL. MEANWHILE, A REAL GEARHEAD WOULD BE ABLE TO ARTICULATE THE PROBLEMS OR BENEFITS OF SAID CAR WITH, YOU KNOW, ACTUAL ACCURACY.

THIS IMPORTANT BECAUSE HULK NO WANT YOU THINK HULK BEING POMPOUS BOUT THIS STUFF. HULK NOT SAYING PEOPLE WHO TALK ABOUT MOVIES POORLY = COMPLETE IDIOTS WHO SHOULD NO BE ALLOWED. NOT IN SLIGHTEST. IT OFTEN JUST ARTICULATED LESS GOOD.

”]EVEN IF SOME PEOPLE MAY BE SAYING SOMETHING “IDIOTIC” IN TERMS OF CINEMATIC UNDERSTANDING, THAT NOT MAKE THEM IDIOTS. THEY MAKING SNAP DEDUCTIONS ABOUT SOMETHING OUTSIDE THEY FIELD. HULK TRYING SHOW WITH CAR EXAMPLE THAT SOMETHING WE ALLGUILTY OF. WHICH MEAN IT ALWAYS IMPORTANT THAT WE COLLECTIVELY UNDERSTAND WHEN WE GIVING OPINION THAT NO MAY BE WORTH MUCH. SELF-AWARENESS = CRITICAL.

BUT OF COURSE, NOT EVERYONE ACT ACCORDINGLY. AND EVEN MORE PEOPLE LACK SELF-AWARENESS. GOING BACK TO THAT ONLINE FORUM HULK MENTION EARLIER, THE REASON SUBJECT OF “TANGIBLE DETAILS” COME UP IN FIRST PLACE BECAUSE OF WHAT HULK FIND BE FUNNIEST TREND FOR FILM ARGUMENT AROUND… THE OLE’ “WHAT ACTORS LOOK LIKE” ARGUMENT.

FOR SOME REASON, THE INTERNET LOVE FANTASY CASTING. AND THIS ALWAYS REALLY FUNNY TO HULK CAUSE IT SEEM LIKE MOST FOLKS WHO ENJOY DO IT, PURELY BASING IT OFF PHYSICAL APPEARANCE AND NOTHING MORE. AS IF IT ONLY THING INVOLVED IN ACTING AND NOT ACTUAL, YOU KNOW, PERFORMANCE AND SKILL. THIS MOSTLY HAPPEN WITH COMIC READERS FOR SOME REASON (WHICH HULK COUNT AMONG THEIR MEMBERS… OBVIVOUSLY… THAT OBVIOUS, RIGHT?), BUT HULK HAVE SHOCKING NEWS FOR FELLOW READERS: PHYSICAL LOOK HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING DO WITH IT. SO STOP IT.

PUT IT THIS WAY, EVER WONDER WHY THERE NOT LOT PEOPLE OUT THERE COMPLAINING ABOUT GWENYTH PALTROW NOT BEING NATURAL REDHEAD IN PEPPER POTTS ROLE AFTER THE MOVIE COME OUT? IT BECAUSE SHE FUCKING FANTASTIC IN THOSE MOVIES. SHUT EVERYONE RIGHT UP. MEANWHILE HULK SEE ALL THE TIME LOTS COMIC READERS SAY THE REASON JESSICA ALBA NO GOOD IN FANTASTIC FOUR THE “SHE NOT LOOK RIGHT” OR “SHE A BRUNETTE. IT IDIOTIC!” WHY, YOU RIGHT! IT HAVE NOTHING DO WITH FACT SHE TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE ACTRESS.

THIS SORT OF “LOOK BASED EVALUATION” INSANITY HAPPEN ALL THE TIME. REMEMBER THE CRAIG NOT BOND PEOPLE WHO HAD GIANT CAMPAIGN GET DANIEL CRAIG UN-CAST AS BOND BECAUSE HE HAVE BLONDE HAIR. THE HUMANITY! EVER WONDER HOW SAD THAT CAMPAIGN GET? ONCE MOVIE COME OUT AND BECOME HUGE REBOOT SUCCESS EVERYONE LOVE THEY CLING TO FACT THAT HAPPY FEET OUTPERFORMED IT AS “EVIDENCE” THEY RIGHT…

HULK HATE BREAK TO YOU BUT CRAIG PRETTY INCREDIBLE BOND

THE BEST PART THAT THIS SOMETIMES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ACTORS. THE O.C.D. “LOOKS BASED” TANGIBLE DETAIL THING ONCE APPLIED TO MICHAEL BAY’S TRANSFORMERS MOVIE. IN CASE FORGET, THERE ONCE TONS OF PEOPLE ONCE SIGN BOYCOTT THEY NO SEE TRANSFORMERS MOVIE IF OPTIMUS PRIME HAD FLAMES. THIS HAPPENED. AND IT ACTUALLY KIND OF POPULAR DESPITE NO ONE FROM DREAMWORKS EVER TAKING IT SERIOUSLY. AND THIS MAY SOUND CRAZY, BUT WILLING WAGER MOST PEOPLE SIGNED IT ACTUALLY SAW MOVIE ANYWAY.

TAKE THAT!

BACK TO REA- LIFE ACTORS: THE ACTUAL QUALITY OF ACTING ONLY AFFECT THESE VIEWERS ON SUBCONSCIOUS LEVEL. IT NOT TANGIBLE DETAIL TO THEM. SO TO EXPLAIN WHY JESSICA ALBA RUB THEM WRONG WAY THEY CLING TO PHYSICAL DETAILS. IT HAPPEN ALL THE TIME. O.C.D. COMIC NERDS CLING TO PHYSICAL LOOKS TO EXPLAIN CASTING CAUSE THEY JUST SIMPLY NOT FAMILIAR WITH ACTING.

BUT THE IMPORTANT PART THAT IT NOT LIKE THEY INHUMAN EITHER. VAST MAJORITY CAN GET OVER PHYSICAL DETAILS HEN ACTOR ACTUALLY GOOD. LIKE THE AFOREMENTIONED PALTROW. AND REMEMBER WHEN HUGH JACKMAN “TOO TALL” FOR WOLVERINE? NOBODY GAVE SHIT WHEN HE AWESOME. IDRIS ELBA” TOO BLACK” BE NORDIC GOD? THAT RIDICULOUS CLAMOR DIE DOWN AS SOON AS THEY SEE HOW BADASS HE IN IT. NOPE, IT ONLY COME UP WHEN THESE VIEWERS TRY EXPLAIN BADNESS. HALLE BERRY “SUCKED” AS STORM CAUSE OF HER HAIRDO. RIGHT. IT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HER CHARACTER HAVING NO PLOT/MOTIVATION. THE “LOOKS” THING ABSOLUTELY MOST PERFECT EXAMPLE PEOPLE CLINGING TO THE TANGIBLE DETAILS ARGUMENT.

BUT THAT JUST EXTREME EXAMPLE, RIGHT? HA-HA-HA LET ALL LAUGH AT THOSE DUMB COMIC NERDS ALONE IN THEIR MOM’S BASEMENT EATING BOOGERS (HULK HATE THIS STEREOTYPE WITH PASSION OF THOUSAND SMASHES) WHO SO BENEATH THE UNDERSTANDING OF ESTEEMED CINEPHILES LIKE US!

OKAY. HULK RAISE YOU WITHTHE SUPPOSED BELLWETHER-AND-BASTION-OF-QUALITY… THAT RIGHT, EVERYONE’S FAVORITE FILM CRITICISM LIGHTING ROD, THE OSCARS!

OR AS IT KNOW IN HULK'S HOUSE "THAT THING BETTY MAKE HULK WATCH"

UGH. HULK SORT OF UPSET WITH HULK-SELF CAUSE HULK USE THINK OSCARS ACTUALLY MATTERED. OH THEY MATTER IN HOLLYWOOD BUSINESS SENSE. THEY OFTEN GIVE MORE VIEWERSHIP GOOD FILMS AND HELP SPUR CAREERS MANY TALENTED PEOPLE. IN THAT SENSE HULK APPRECIATE THE WORTH. BUT HULK USE THINK THERE THINGS LIKE INJUSTICES AND TRAVESTIES. LIKE WHAT ACTUALLY WON IMPORTANT FOR SANCTITY OF UNIVERSE OR EVEN SOME KIND OF INDICATOR OF RELATIVE QUALITY. IT NOT TRUE.

THERE OLD ADAGE ABOUT OSCARS AND THAT YOU “SWITCH THE WORD ‘BEST’ WITH ‘MOST.'” AFTER SEEING VOTING PROCESS UP CLOSE HULK TELL YOU IT ABSOLUTELY TRUE. MOST ACTING. ALWAYS THE BIG BOMBASTIC PERFORMANCES WIN. VOTERS LOVE TANGIBLE EVIDENCE LIKE ACTOR PUTTING ON WEIGHT OR “GOING UGLY.” EVEN EXTREME EXAMPLES OF METHOD ACTING WILL DO. OR PERHAPS MOST COSTUME DESIGN. PICK YOUR PERIOD PIECE DU JOUR! MOST SCEENWRITING. PICK MOVIE WITH MOST MEMORABLE DIALOGUE, IGNORING CHARACTER MOTIVATION AND STORYTELLING 101 STUFF. JUST THE STUFF AVERAGE MOVIE-GOER KNOWS THE WRITER DID. HECK, EVEN MOST PICTURE WORKS. LOOK HOW MANY FLAWLESS FILMS HAVE LOST TO THE MOST EPIC ONE (MOST OBVIOUS L.A. CONFIDENTIAL VS. TITANIC). AND TITANIC AT LEAST HAVE SOME KIND HISTORICAL RELEVANCY. THERE REASON SO MANY OTHER BEST PICTURE WINNERS NO GO ON BECOME HISTORICAL GREATS.

AND SOME DIDN'T AGE WELL 1 SECOND AFTER BEING ANNOUNCED

BUT THE BEST EXAMPLE OF “TANGIBLE DETAILS” THEORY ALWAYS THE BEST EDITING CATEGORY. EVERY YEAR IT GO TO “MOST EDITING” WHICH USUALLY SOME FILM WITH LOTS OF RAPID CUTS OR MULTIPLE STORYLINES. IT SAD REALLY. FIRST OFF, THE BEST EDITING COMPLETELY INVISIBLE. WHEN YOU NO NOTICE IT THEN IT ACTUALLY A PROBLEM UNLESS THERE SUPPOSED TO BE LITERAL THEMATIC DEDUCTION TO BE MAKE BY CUT (THINK THE BONE/SPACESHIP TRANSITION IN 2001). SO HOW HELL EVEN JUDGE EDITING? HULK THINK TOM TWYKER’S HEAVEN MIGHT BE BEST EDITED MOVIE EVER, BUT MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HULK EVEN TALKING ABOUT. YOU MAY THINK TWYKER’S RUN LOLA RUN MUCH BETTER EXAMPLE BUT THAT JUST A MOVIE WHERE THE EDITING/STYLE HYPER-TANGIBLE. MEANWHILE THOSE WHO SEEN HEAVEN SAY STUFF “IT SO SLOW AND BORING!” HULK PLEAD IF YOU EVER WATCH IT, PAY ATTENTION TO THE EDITING. IT KNOW EXACTLY HOW LONG HOLD A SILENCE. GREAT STUFF.

BUT THE EDITING ANALOGY TRUE EVEN WITH MAINSTREAM STUFF. HULK MENTIONED TITANIC EARLIER AND THINK IT ONE OF JAMES CAMERON’S SECRET WEAPONS. NO, HULK NOT TALKING ABOUT LENGTH OF MOVIE, BUT STYLE WITHIN SCENES. HULK GIVE CAMERON LOT OF CRAP FOR OTHER WELL-DESERVED REASONS, BUT HULK ACTUALLY THINK HIS INDIVIDUAL SCENES EDITED WONDERFULLY. HE THE ANTI-MICHAEL BAY IN THIS ARENA. HIS CUTS VERY DELIBERATE AND PACED. HE NEVER RELY ON TWO SHOTS WHEN ONE WILL DO. HIS CINEMATOGRAPHY ALWAYS HAVE GREAT SENSE GEOGRAPHY AND HIS EDITING CONFORM TO KEEP THAT IN MIND. HE NEVER RUIN IT BY CUTTING IN CLOSE TOO MUCH. BUT WHEN PUBLIC INSTEAD WHEN TALKING ABOUT WHY CAMERON’S ACTION SCENES GOOD MOST PEOPLE REFER TO THE “WHAT” HAPPEN, NOT THE SUBTLETIES OF HOW. IF ANYTHING THE “WHAT” OF CAMERON’S ACTION OFTEN 13-YEAR-OLD-ESQUE. “AND THE MECH WARRIOR THING CAN TAKE OUT THE BAYONET LIKE A KNIFE AND FIGHT THE THING!” AND SUCH. OR A DUMB CHARACTER BEING LIKE “I GOT A GUN TOO BITCH!” THAT STUFF INSIPID. HULK ARGUE WHAT THEY SUBCONSCIOUSLY RESPONDING TO REALLY WELL-EXECUTED ACTION MISE EN SCENE.

AND TRUTH = EVEN EXPERTS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO FREAKING IDEA WHO BEST EDITORS ARE. THERE BEEN SO MANY MOVIES SAVED IN EDITING ROOM BY PEOPLE WHO NOW JUST THANKLESS HEROES. READ PETER BISKIND’S “EASY RIDERS RAGING BULLS” WHICH FULL OF GREAT STUFF ABOUT THE EDITING DECISIONS BEHIND CLASSIC FILMS. THE MOST FAMOUS EXAMPLE WHEN MARCIA LUCAS CONVINCE GEORGE TO EDIT STAR WARS FOR PACE INSTEAD OF THE RHYTHMS OF THE ACTORS. IT CHANGE MOVIE FROM WHATEVER EVERYONE CALLED “A COMPLETE BORE” TO, WELL, ONE OF MOST ENTERTAINING MOVIES EVER. AND SHE CHANGED FUTURE OF EDITING IN PROCESS.

IMPORTANT NOTE AS TO THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS KIND OF CONVINCING POWER: GEORGE LUCAS DIVORCED HIS EDITOR/WIFE MARCIA IN 1983 AND PROMPTLY NEVER MADE ANYTHING GOOD AGAIN.

SHE LIKELY THE ONLY PERSON WHO COULD HAVE STOP THIS!

FINE, HULK WILL DO THING. STAR WARS TANGENT! HULK ARGUE IT MAY BE MOST COSTLY DIVORCE IN HISTORY OF POPULAR CINEMA. IN NEARLY ACCOUNT OF WHY GEORGE LUCAS NOW SUCK IT ALL STUFF LIKE: HOW HE SURROUND SELF WITH YES MEN, HOW HE GOT OLDER/ISOLATED/OUT OF TOUCH, HOW HE REALLY NOT GOOD AT DIRECTING IN FIRST PLACE, HOW HE COME MORE INTERESTED IN THE TECH NOT THE STORY… THE ONE THING NO ONE EVER, EVER, EVER SEEM MENTION THAT HE LOST MOST IMPORTANT CREATIVE PARTNER ON PLANET. WHO ELSE COULD HAVE TOLD MOST POWERFUL/INDEPENDENT PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD, “NO.” NO ONE. AND IF ANYONE WANT CLUE AS TO WHAT KIND PRESENCE SHE HAVE SHE THE REAL INFLUENCE FOR LEIA: SMART, SASSY, DEFIANT, FUN. THIS EXAMPLE OF ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE ANNOYING TANGIBLE DETAIL THINGS. ONLY IT NOT SUBCONSCIOUS TONE THING, BUT JUST RESEARCH BASED (AND GUESS HOW LITTLE RESEARCH GO ON BEFORE AN OPINION SHOUTED THESE DAYS). SO UNLESS READ UP ON HISTORY OF HER INVOLVEMENT OR UNDERSTAND A LOT ABOUT HOW CRUCIAL EDITING TO PROCESS TO THE FILMS THEN AVG. JOE STAR WARS FAN JUST WOULDN’T KNOW (AND NO HULK NOT GOING GET INTO SPECIFICS OF DIVORCE WHICH GEORGE TEND USE PAINT MARCIA IN BAD LIGHT, BUT IT MORE GRAY AREA THAN THAT). HULK ARGUE MOST STAR WARS NERDS KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MARCIA LUCAS AND SHE PROBABLY ONE OF 3 MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH CREATING WHAT WE KNOW TO BE STAR WARS. HULK IMAGINE EVEN LOT OF FILM NERDS DISMISS HER EDITING ACUMEN AND THINK SHE JUST “THAT LADY GEORGE LET HELP.” HULK CALL BULLSHIT. IT IDEA FOSTERED BECAUSE SHE RETIRED FROM FILM AFTER THE DIVORCE SO IT JUST SEEM LIKE THAT. BUT BY ALL ACCOUNT SHE REALLY TALENTED. NOT JUST FROM STAR WARS ORIGINAL TRILOGY EDITING EITHER. HOW ABOUT HER INVOLVEMENT WITH SCORSESE CLASSICS ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE AND FUCKING TAXI DRIVER? STARTING TO GET PICTURE NOW? END TANGENT!

OKAY. FORGET MOVIES. HOW BOUT THE MOST POPULAR FORM OF SOCIAL INTERACTION ON PLANET?

SPORTS!

YA HEAR THAT MOVIE NERDS? SPORTS!

FORTUNATELY, SPORTS HAVE STATISTICS WHICH HELP ILLUSTRATE CRITICAL ARGUMENTS, BUT MOST FANS NOT TAKE TIME DELVE INTO ACTUAL METRICS TO UNDERSTAND THE SUBTLETIES. THEY SIMPLY WATCH AND THINK “HE GOOD” OR “HE SUCKS” BASED ON OBVIOUS, TANGIBLE DETAILS. THAT WHY “BIG GAME” MOMENTS SO VALUABLE TO PLAYER’S ESTIMATED WORTH. IT JUST BECAUSE THEY THE MOMENTS WHERE THE MOST EYEBALLS SEEING WHAT REALLY JUST SMALL BITS EVIDENCE IN METRIC TERMS. BUT THOSE MOMENTS MAKE THINGS MEMORABLE AND SHAPE CONCLUSION, RATHER THAN THE 98% OF OTHER EVIDENCE WHICH MAY BE CONTRARY. MOST OBVIOUS AND WIDELY USED EXAMPLE = JETER’S “GUTSY” PLAY AT SHORTSTOP; AN OPINION BASED ON FEW AMAZING PLAYS IN BIG GAMES. BUT ALL ADVANCED SABREMETRICS SHOW HIS RANGE ACTUALLY TERRIBLE. STILL, THE PUBLIC REVERT TO THE TANGIBLE DETAILS.

NO WORRY, HULK WONT GO ON WITH SPORTS TALK EVEN THOUGH THERE THOUSANDS GREAT EXAMPLES (HULK ADORE SPORTS METRICS). THE POINT =  NO MATTER WHAT ARENA OF CRITICISM THE MORE KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE, SENSE OF HISTORY YOU HAVE THE BETTER YOU BE AT ACTUAL DIAGNOSIS AND EVALUATION.(1) WE ALL KNOW THIS TRUE OF CONCRETE + TANGIBLE THINGS LIKE BEING CAR MECHANIC OR DOCTOR. BUT FOR SOME REASON, WITH INTANGIBLE THINGS LIKE ART OR MOVIES AND OTHER THINGS IN SOCIAL EXPERIENCE, THE PUBLIC FORGET THIS OR EVEN OUTRIGHT DESPISE THE “EXPERTS.”

WHY?

SERIOUSLY, LET’S DO THIS. WHY DO SO MANY PUBLIC MOVIE GOERS RESENT CRITICS? WHY THEY THINK THEY “OUT OF TOUCH?” CRITICS SEE HUNDREDS MOVIES A YEAR. THEY MORE “IN TOUCH” WITH WHAT HAPPENING IN MOVIES THAN ANYONE ELSE ON PLANET. THEY SEE EVERYTHING! HULK NOT TRYING PRETEND THEY PERFECT HUMAN BEINGS. OF COURSE SOME CRITICS CAN BE PATRONIZING ASSHOLES. BUT THAT NOT HAVE ANYTHING DO WITH WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAYING ABOUT MOVIE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, BEING AN ASSHOLE NEVER THEIR MOTIVATION FOR WRITING SOMETHING ONE WAY OR OTHER. IT ONLY AFFECT STYLE. MEANING THE PROBLEM NOT ACTUALLY THEIR CRITICISM. WE ALL ADMIT ARMOND WHITE = RAGING ASSHOLE AND SEEMINGLY BACKWARD IN EVERY ESTIMATION, BUT WHEN LOOK CLOSE THE MAN HAVE METHOD TO HIS MADNESS.

HULK NOT JOKING

THAT WEIRD CONSUMERISM/INVERSE PRODUCTION VALUE TAKE = ACTUALLY HOW HE THINK. HE LOVE BRINGING IN RACIAL/SOCIO-ECONOMICAL NON-SEQUITUR INTO EQUATION. ABSURDISH? SURE. BUT IT NOT LIKE HE UNEDUCATED, HE SEEN EVERY FILM IMAGINABLE. AGAIN, IT JUST MEAN OUR PROBLEM NOT HIS CRITICISM, OR EVEN THAT HE TANGENTIAL WITH ARGUMENTS. IT JUST CAUSE HE AN ASSHOLE ABOUT IT. STILL, SO MANY PEOPLE CONFUSE THE TWO. THE BIGGEST ARGUMENT LOBBED AT CRITIC DISSENTERS THAT THEY JUST CONTRARIANS, OR HAVE AGENDA, OR JUST LIKE PISSING PEOPLE OF.

DOES ARMOND WHITE LIKE PISSING PEOPLE OF? YUP.

BUT HULK NO THINK THAT THE REASON HE GO ONE WAY OR ANOTHER ON MOVIE. IN FACT, HULK NEVER MET NOR READ A CRITIC WHO WRITE A PIECE ONE WAY OR OTHER FOR SOLE PURPOSE OF JUST TRYING GET RISE OUT OF PEOPLE. NOT FUCKING ONE. THERE CRITICS WHO MORE ANTAGONISTIC THAN OTHERS, BUT ANTAGONISM NEVER THE REASON FOR THAT OPINION IN FIRST PLACE. TRUST HULK. TO SIT DOWN AND ACTUALLY WRITE REVIEW THAT NOT ACTUALLY WHAT THINK… IT JUST IMPOSSIBLE. YET THE BELIEF THAT DISSENTING CRITICS NOTHING MORE THAN AGITATORS SO INCREDIBLY COMMON. HULK NO GET!

AND WHY EVEN GET ANGRY WITH CRITICS FOR DISSENTING OPINION?

IS IT CAUSE NO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY SAYING? NOT GET THE REFERENCE POINTS? CAN NO IMAGINE HOW SOMEONE ACTUALLY THINK LIKE THAT? HULK WANT KNOW WHY THAT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE THEM WORTHLESS? TO TURN TABLES WITH FAMILIAR ANECDOTE, HULK SOMETIMES RESENT CAR MECHANICS (LOWER-CASE-R-RESENT. NOT SERIOUSLY) CAUSE HULK NOT GET LANGUAGE OF CARS AND WHAT THEY EXPLAINING TO HULK. HULK FEEL LOST. BUT HULK NO THINK THE MECHANIC USELESS AND “OUT OF TOUCH” WITH CARS, DO HULK? NOT AT ALL. HULK CAN NO GET ANGRY AND ASSUME THEY IDIOT THEY NOT KNOW ANYTHING. THEY AUTOMATICALLY KNOW MORE THAN HULK (AND GETTING “TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF” ANOTHER SITUATION BASED ON ECONOMICS. THIS PURELY CONVERSATION ABOUT KNOW-HOW SO THAT NO RELATED). SO WHY WE DO SAME WITH PROFESSIONAL EVALUATORS OF ART?

YOU ASSHOLE. YOU JUST HAVE AGENDA AGAINST AMERICAN-MADE CARBURETORS! ... HULK NOT EVEN KNOW IF THAT MAKE SENSE AS JOKE

ULTIMATELY, HULK REALLY ONLY FEEL TRULY QUALIFIED TALK ABOUT 7-8 TOPICS WITH ANY SORT OF CONFIDENCE. SAID TOPICS IN ORDER = MOVIES/MEDIA/LIT, COOKING, THE EDUCATION SYSTEM, BASKETBALL, HISTORY, SOCIOLOGY, OCEANOGRAPHY (HULK HAD ENCOMPASSING EDUCATIONAL PATH, OKAY? DEAL WITH IT), AND ARMCHAIR PSYCHOLOGY. NOW THERE STILL TONS OTHER SUBJECTS HULK INTERESTED IN, BUT ANYTHING OUTSIDE THOSE  7-8 AND HULK SORT OF TALKING OUT HULK BUTT. EVEN 7-8 SEEM LIKE LOT. AND OF THOSE HULK OFTEN GET IN MOST TROUBLE WITH PSYCHOLOGY (HENCE THE “ARMCHAIR” ACKNOWLEDGMENT). THERE MANY TIMES HULK SAY SOMETHING HULK THINK TRUE OF PSYCHOLOGY AND THEN ACTUALLY QUALIFIED PERSON SAY “UH, ACTUALLY HULK, NO SMASH ME, BUT IT REALLY LIKE THIS.” AND THEN HULK EMBARRASSED AND STUFF AND SMASH SELF OUT OF SHAME.

HULK SUSPECT THE PROBLEM THAT EVERYONE SEE MOVIES. IT BIG SOCIAL COMMUNITY THING AND IMPORTANT ONE AT THAT. MEANWHILE, NOT EVERYONE SITTING AROUND TALKING ABOUT TRENDS IN OCEANOGRAPHY.(2) MEANWHILE ” EVERYONE” SAW AVATAR. PERHAPS IN MORE PROBLEMATIC FASHION, THEY GET SEE EXACT SAME MOVIE YOU DO. THIS MEAN FILM CRITICISM MORE DEPENDENT ON WHAT OTHER FILMS SEEN AND PROCESSED BEFORE IT AND HOW FAMILIAR CRITIC WITH FILMMAKERS. WHICH JUST MEAN ANY INTANGIBLE DETAILS IN MOVIE SEEM EVEN MORE IRRELEVANT TO CASUAL OUTSIDER. BUT OF COURSE SEEING TONS MOVIES = CRITICAL. IT ALLOW CONSTRUCT PERSPECTIVE. A SENSE OF FILMIC TRENDS. NARRATIVE. UNDERSTANDING. ALL THAT GOOD STUFF.

BUT EVEN IF THE “EXPERTS” = THE QUALIFIED ONES, EVERYONE STILL HAVE RIGHT THEIR OPINION ON MOVIES. IT ULTIMATELY JUST A CONVERSATION AFTER ALL. IT NOT LIKE OTHER ARENAS WITH TANGIBLE LIFE/DEATH THINGS WHERE ONLY QUALIFIED PEOPLE ALLOWED PARTICIPATE. YOU CAN NO PRACTICE ARMCHAIR HEART SURGERY. YOU CAN NO “SORT OF” BE DOCTOR…

THOUGH HULK KNOW A GUY

HONESTLY, HULK FEEL LIKE HULK JUST NOW STARTING GET COMFORTABLE WITH FILM CRITICISM. IT TOOK DECADES REALLY. IT HARD LEARN HOW DIGEST WHAT OFTEN EMOTIONAL REACTIONS. BUT EVEN CONCEPTUALLY, MANY YOUNG PEOPLE THINK JUST CAUSE STUDYING IT THAT MEAN THEY AT HEIGHT OF UNDERSTANDING. HULK WARNING ALL FILM STUDENTS OUT THERE. SORRY, IT TAKE LOT LONGER. TRUST HULK, WHO OFTEN LOOK BACK AT COLLEGE PAPERS AND GROAN. BUT EVERY YEAR HULK GET SHARPER IN ABILITY TO EXPLAIN IDEAS, THE VISCERAL REACTIONS, AND THE SUBCONSCIOUS FEELINGS THAT MOVIES ALWAYS ELICIT. THE EDUCATION NEVER STOP.

SO TAKE IT FROM HULK. WHEN DEALING WITH EVERYTHING OUTSIDE THOSE 7-8 TOPICS HULK KNOW ABOUT (OR WHATEVER CASE FOR YOU), IT AMAZING WHAT GOODWILL COME BY SIMPLY STARTING STATEMENT WITH “MAYBE HULK JUST TALKING OUT BUTT HERE, BUT [INSERT OPINION HERE]”

IN THE MEANTIME, SAME ADVICE ALWAYS:

SEE MORE MOVIES.

HAWKEYE CONVINCE HULK WATCH ROBIN HOOD... AGAIN

ENDNOTES:

(1) AND YES, THERE ALWAYS SOME ADDED AMOUNT POLITICAL OR PERSONAL MOTIVATION MIXED UP IN THIS. THEY EVEN MAY PROMOTE AGENDA (BUT THAT RARER THEN MOST THINK. UNLESS IT ACTUAL POLITICS IN WHICH CASE JUST GIVE UP). BUT HULK THINK THAT THE FOUNDATION. FOR EXAMPLE, IF SOMEONE DEVOTED CHRISTIAN WATCHING MOVIE THEN THINGS THAT BECOME MOST OBVIOUS TANGIBLE DETAILS TO THEM = THE THINGS THAT DEAL WITH OR FLY IN FACE OF THEIR BELIEFS. AND THAT WHY THEY RESPOND TO THEM. IT THE MOST OBVIOUS EXAMPLES OF WHAT “WRONG” WITH THE MOVIE, EVEN IF IT NOT THE LANGUAGE OF MOVIES BUT INSTEAD PERSONAL THEOLOGICAL LANGUAGE.

(2) THIS THE CHIEF PROBLEM WITH POLITICS. POLITICS OFTEN CONCERN SO MANY THINGS THAT SUPER-INTERESTING BUT ACTUALLY HAVE NOTHING DO WITH POLITICS. THEY SEPARATE ARENAS THAT REQUIRE EXPERTISE. BUT BECAUSE SO MUCH AT STAKE IN POLITICS (READ: POWER), EVERYTHING BECOME POLITICIZED IN EFFORT “SIMPLIFY” FOR MASSES. BUT INSTEAD STRIVE FOR CLARITY, THEY GO FOR SIMPLICITY AND THOSE PESKY SUPER-OBVIOUS TANGIBLE DETAILS. LIKE WITH GLOBAL WARMING EVERY COLLOQUIAL CONVERSATION SEEM RELY ON SINGULAR EXAMPLES AS “PROOF” ONE WAY OR OTHER. WHILE EXAMPLES MAY BE “TRUE” IN + OF THEMSELVES, THEY NOT INCLUDE THE COMPLICATED-YET-STILL-COMPLETELY-FIGURED-OUT SYSTEMIC REALITY OF HOW WEATHER ACTUALLY WORK. IT ASININE… AND HULK WOULD SAY “HULK NOT WANT GET POLITICAL FOR FOLLOWING” BUT SCREW IT CAUSE THE FOLLOWING ACTUALLY NOT POLITICAL STATEMENT WHATSOEVER. WHEN TREATED IN PROPER TERMS OF SYSTEMIC SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION, GLOBAL WARMING = SCIENTIFICALLY UNDENIABLE. ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF “EVIDENCE” TO CONTRARY = PURE JUNK SCIENCE. THEY WILL SHOW SINGULAR EXAMPLE OF HOW WARMING TREND NOT HAPPENING IN SPECIFIC SPOT AS “PROOF,” BUT IF LOOKED AT FURTHER EVEN IN MOST CASUAL WAY THEY THEN REALIZE THAT THIS NON-WARMING TREND OCCURRING BECAUSE OF GEOGRAPHICALLY ADJACENT SPIKE IN WARMING TREND. FOR EXAMPLE AN OCEAN TEMPERATURE COOLING IN THIS LITTLE PART OF SEA NOT BECAUSE GLOBAL WARMING A HOAX, BUT BECAUSE THE WARMING TEMPERATURE MELTING THE GLACIER RIGHT NEXT TO IT AND SPILLING COLD WATER INTO THIS LITTLE PART OF SEA. AND IT NOT “EVENING THINGS OUT” BUT CAUSING MASSIVE DEVASTATION TO BOTH THE WARMING LAND AND THE COOLING SEA. AND THEN BOTH REACTIONS JUST MAKE THE CYCLE GROW STRONGER. IT OMISSION OF RELEVANT INFORMATION AND ANY SCIENTIST WORTH DAMN IGNORE IT.*

*HULK REALIZE THIS CRAZY TANGENT BUT IT JUST SO DAMN PERTINENT AND HULK SICK TO DEATH OF HEARING THAT THIS A “SCIENTIFIC DEBATE.” NOPE. IT A MANUFACTURED ONE. DON’T BELIEVE HULK? HULK WAS APPROACHED 30 TIMES BY VARIOUS SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS MASKING OIL COMPANIES AND OFFERED CASH TO WRITE ANTI-GLOBAL WARMING PAPERS… STRAIGHT CASH… 30 FUCKING TIMES… AS COLLEGE STUDENT. GO WORK THAT ONE OUT FOR SELVES. THE POLITICIZATION OF A SCIENTIFIC ISSUE = JOKE.