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

HULK ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS – PART 1

HELLO ALL!

TIME FOR THE FIRST ROUND OF HULK MAILBAG QUESTIONS. THIS LOT OF FUN! A COUPLE OF THEM TAKEN FROM HULK’S “ABOUT” PAGE THAT PEOPLE BEEN LEAVING QUESTIONS ON. HULK FEEL THIS BETTER FORMAT. HULK STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER SO FEEL FREE ASK MORE IN COMMENTS BELOW. THEY BE ANSWERED IN NEXT ROUND.

QUESTION #1:

It’s 1,000,000 years in the future and some alien race has made it to earth.  All trace of humanity has been erased from the planet earth except for, miraculously, one piece of pop culture and the means for which to view/read/listen to it.

If you had a say in what it is, what would it be?  I don’t care how you go with this, it could be something that you feel does a great job at conveying the human condition, it could be something completely mystifying that only serves to confuse or misinform the aliens.  It’s up to you.

So, FilmCriticHulk, what say you?

-Ben W.

GREAT QUESTION. IT VASTLY SUPERIOR TO THE FAMILIAR ONE WITH THE “DESERT ISLAND” PARAMETERS. ANYCRAP, HULK BELIEVE THE ANSWER = THE WIRE.

WHILE CAPTURING PERFECT TRUTH OF “REALITY” AN IMPOSSIBILITY FOR FILM/TV, THERE SOME THINGS THAT COME CLOSE… OR AT LEAST STRIVE TO COME CLOSE. THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR QUESTION THAT IT IMPLY GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. AFTER ALL, HULK FEEL OUR LEGACY ACTUALLY MATTERS. SO HULK WOULD WANT  TO CONVEY TO ALIENS SOMETHING THAT BOTH “TRUE” IN A REALISM SENSE, BUT ALSO “TRUE” IN WHAT COULD TEACH THEM THE MOST ABOUT HOW WE LIVED AND ULTIMATELY HOW WE CREATED A SYSTEM DOOMED TO FAIL. AND NOTHING HIGHLIGHT OUR CULTURAL FAILURES LIKE THE WIRE. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE GREAT THING THAT IT WOULD ALSO SHOW OUR CAPACITY FOR INNATE GOODNESS. AND THAT WE WERE FUNNY. AND KIND. AND SOMETIMES IRREVERENT. IT WOULD SHOW THAT WE DRANK TOO MUCH. AND MOST OF ALL. THAT WE HAD A PSUEDO-VOLTAIRIAN UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD IN WHICH WE TRIED TO CONTROL THE IMMEDIATE THINGS AROUND US, AND SIMPLY DID NOT REALIZE HOW MUCH WE LIVED IN A SYSTEMIC WORLD OF FORCES MUCH BIGGER THAN OUR OWN NATURE. WE BUILT A SOCIETY UPON INSTITUTIONS AND THEN LET THEM GO ASTRAY, EITHER OUT OF PERSONAL GREED OR TURNING OUR BACKS ON OUR COMMUNITY IDEALS. AND WHEN IT MATTERED MOST, WE BARELY LISTENED.

THE WIRE WOULD LET THEM KNOW THAT WE WERE, OFTEN AT THE SAME TIME, OUR BEST AND OUR WORST SELVES.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #2:

Broad question, but what’s the best book regarding film (whether it be filmmaking, film theory, film criticism, etc) you’ve ever read?

Always enjoy reading your stuff. Thanks for doing what you do!

-Mark P.

ANOTHER GREAT QUESTION. HERE A BUNCH BY GENRE: 1) FILM HISTORY – “EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS” GREAT NO-BULLSHIT OVERVIEW OF AMERICA’S FILMMAKING APEX IN THE 70’S. REALLY ENJOYABLE READ. AND THE GOSSIPY SHIT TEND TO BE WORTH IT. 2) BEST ESSAY – DAVID FOSTER WALLACE’S ESSAY ON DAVID LYNCH AND THE MAKING OF “LOST HIGHWAY” IN HIS BOOK “A SUPPOSEDLY FUN THING I’LL NEVER DO AGAIN.” IF YOU’VE NEVER READ WALLACE. START WITH THAT BOOK AND THEN “CONSIDER THE LOBSTER” THEN MOVE TO HIS FICTION. HULK WILLING BET MOST PEOPLE HERE READ HIS STUFF, BUT YOU BE SURPRISED HOW MANY UNFAMILIAR, SO IT ALWAYS WORTH MENTIONING. 3) BEST SUPER COMPLICATED FILM THEORY BOOK: ANDREI TARKOVSKY’S “SCULPTING IN TIME” HULK ARGUE THIS THE PINNACLE OF ALL HIS WORK AND HULK A HUGE TARKOVSKY FAN (LESS SOLARIS, MORE THE MIRROR, THE SACRIFICE, ET ALL). 4) BEST BOOK ON INDIVIDUAL FILMMAKER: “KIESLOWSKI ON KIESLOWSKI” HULK ARGUE HE DEFINITELY ONE OF BEST FILMMAKERS OF ALL TIME. GREAT BOOK. AND LASTLY 5) BEST SCREENPLAYS: NO BUY BOOKS ABOUT SCREENWRITING. THEY MOSTLY GARBAGE. FIRST GET RID OF BAD HABITS. FOR HOW TO RESOURCES BUY ACTUAL SCREENPLAYS CAUSE THEY WAY MORE INFORMATIVE (NOT NECESSARILY ORIGINAL DRAFTS, MOST GOOD SCREENPLAYS HAVE BOOK VERSIONS). FOR THE MOST INFORMATIVE ONES, HULK SUGGEST THE WORKS OF PRESTON STURGES (SPECIFICALLY SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS), PADDY CHEYAFSKY (NETWORK, THE HOSPITAL, ALTERED STATES… EVEN MARTY), AND FOR MODERN GUY PAUL ATTANASIO (QUIZ SHOW) EASILY ONE OF THE BEST IN TERMS OF SHOWING HOW USE ECONOMY/ACTION LINES.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #3:

Will hulk be doing a review of the Fooly Cooly (FLCL) I would love to read your take on the TV show? as I can not figure out what makes the show work so well.

-Tommy A.

HULK PROBABLY NOT BEST PERSON ASK ABOUT ANIME. HULK JUST NOT SEEN ENOUGH. AND WHAT HULK SEEN, HULK NOT CRAZY ABOUT. ANIME INTERESTING THING IN THAT HULK FEEL LIKE IT MORE NICHE THAN OTHER NICHE GENRES… OR MAYBE THAT JUST BECAUSE IT ONE OF FEW NICHE GENRES HULK NOT REALLY EXPERIENCED… STILL, HULK WAGER EVERY PERSON HAVE THAT FRIEND WHO TRIED GET THEM WATCH COWBOY BEBOP… DIDN’T REALLY TAKE.

ANYWHO, SINCE HULK NEVER SEEN IT, THE REASON THE SHOW WORK SO WELL BECAUSE IT AN ANIME AND THEREFORE IT PROBABLY HAS ROBOTS, A CORPORATION, AND CONFUSED FEELINGS ABOUT PUBERTY. THAT WHY.

… OKAY SORRY HULK JUST JOKING. TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION FOR REAL HULK WILL LOOK INTO AND TRY AND FIGURE IT OUT. HULK LOVE AN INVESTIGATION AND THIS SEEM LIKE GOOD ONE.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #4:

Sucker Punch. What did you think of it? Doesn’t have to be a full review. Gut reactions are fine.

-Michael S.

BASICALLY, IT DIDN’T WORK.  ON A PURE LOGISTICAL LEVEL THE REASON IT NO WORK BECAUSE HULK SURMISE THAT ZACK SNYDER NOT FULLY HONEST WITH HIMSELF ABOUT HIS OWN INTENTIONS. FOR STARTERS, THE IDEA CAME FROM HIS BABYDOLL DRAWING THAT HE BEEN DOODLING FOR YEARS. SO SNYDER LIKE THE BABYDOLL IMAGE. HE ATTRACTED TO IT. HE THINK IT KICK ASS. THIS ALL VERY CLEAR. AND HE WANTED TO EXPLORE THAT CONCEPT USING A MOVIE. THE PROBLEM COME FROM FACT THAT ZACK SNYDER ACTUALLY PRETTY SMART. HIS WIFE ALSO PRETTY SMART. HE KNOWS THAT BABYDOLL AN INFANTILIZING IMAGE. HE KNOWS INFANTILIZATION A PROBLEM AND “NOT RIGHT.” AND SO BECAUSE HE, YOU KNOW, NOT SEXIST AND STUFF, HAD TO TRY AND APPROPRIATE IT INTO SOMETHING THAT MADE STATEMENT ABOUT THIS COMPLEX. HE BUILT ELABORATE NARRATIVE ABOUT MEN ABUSING WOMEN AND DRESSING THEM AND MAKING THEIR FIGHT THEIR OWN BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. THIS NOT TO SAY IT NOT TRUE, IT JUST THAT HULK NOT SURE WHY IT IN THIS PARTICULAR MOVIE. WHY NOT? WELL, LETS JUMP TO RELEVANT TANGENT: LOTS OF FOLKS MAKE THE COMPARISON THAT SUCKER PUNCH THEMATICALLY DUPLICITOUS. IT EXPLOITING YET HIGHLIGHTING THE EXPLOITING. TO BE HONEST HULK THINK DUPLICITY ACTUALLY FINE, IF AND ONLY IF, THE DUPLICITY AN UPFRONT AND HONEST ONE. LIKE IT THE REASON EXPLOITATION LIKE I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE WORK TONALLY.  IT EXPLOITATION YET FOR ITS TIME*, IT A REAL PIECE OF FEMINISM (3RD WAVE) BECAUSE HER RAGE, HER VENGEANCE, HER REACTION = ALL HONEST. AND HONESTY MATTERS MORE THAN ANYTHING.

MEANWHILE, THE REASON SUCKER PUNCH NO SUCCEED BECAUSE ZACK SNYDER REALLY WANTED TO MAKE THE MOVIE WHERE BABY DOLL AN ACTION HERO SLAYING SAMURAI ROBOTS, AND THEN BUILT THE REST OF THE MOVIE TO TRY AND INTELLECTUALLY JUSTIFY IT.

… DIDN’T WORK.

*HULK HATE THE EXPRESSION “FOR ITS TIME” CAUSE IT A CRUTCH. PLENTY OF PEOPLE HATED I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE AND FOUND IT SEXIST AND EXPLOITATIVE, E BUT WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF POPULAR DIGESTION “AT THE TIME,” IT WORKED IN TERMS OF 3RD WAVE FEMINISM. SO OKAY.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #5

Do you wear a Stetson now? Because stetsons are cool

http://twitter.com/#!/FuschiaBegonia

HULK GOT THIS QUESTION CAUSE HULK SAID ON TWITTER THAT HULK WEAR A FEZ NOW. FEZZES ARE COOL.

… OKAY HULK CURRENTLY BALLS DEEP INTO THE MOFFAT ERA… IT GLORIOUS. ALMOST ALL CAUGHT UP!

❤ HULK

QUESTION #6:

What did Hulk think of RedLetterMedia’s classic, and eviscerating, series of 90 minute reviews on the new Star Wars trilogy?

-Nerdlinger

HULK LOVED IT. SURE, THE SERIAL KILLER JOKE GETS OLD VERY, VERY, VERY QUICK (BUT HULK IMAGINE SAME TRUE OF HOW HULK WRITE). BUT HE DISPLAY TRULY EXCELLENT SENSE OF STORYTELLING 101! HULK’S FAVORITE THING! IT DO REALLY GOOD JOB EXPLAINING BASICS OF CHARACTER APPROACH, SPECIFICALLY WHEN ASK PEOPLE DESCRIBE THE CHARACTERS WITHOUT USING NAME, JOB, OR CLOTHING. THE ORIGINAL CHARACTERS ALL CLASSIC ARCHTYPES, NOTHING SPECIAL. BUT THE PREQUEL CHARACTERS NO EVEN ARCHETYPES! THEY BIG NOTHINGS. HONESTLY, STORYTELLING 101 SHOULD BE THE HEART OF POPULAR CINEMA-GOING. RIGHT? HULK ARGUE IT THE REASON EVERYONE DIGGING ON CAPTAIN AMERICA. HULK THINK THIS RE-EMPAHSIS OF CLASSIC STORYTELLING SHOULD BE “THE NEW THING.” A CINEMATIC NEO-CLASSICIST MOVEMENT IF YOU WILL.

THEN AGAIN, THERE WAY COULD ARGUE THERE A NEO-CLASSICIST MOVEMENT EVERY FEW YEARS IN HOLLYWOOD WITH MORE FOCUS ON TRADITIONAL STORYTELLING WITHIN THAT GENRE. WHETHER IT A RE-BIRTH OF THE TRADITIONAL ROM-COM (POST-FOUR WEDDINGS). THE FANTASY ADVENTURE (LOTR, HARRY POTTER). HULK EVEN ARGUE THAT WHY COMIC BOOK MOVIES ROSE TO PROMINENCE. LOOK AT THE STATE OF THE 90’S BLOCKBUSTER WHICH NOTHING MORE THAN BLOATED RECKLESSNESS. THE FIRST COMIC BOOK MOVIES CAME OUT AND THEY HAD BASIC ARCHETYPES! CHARACTERS DEVELOPING AND GOING ON JOURNEYS AND SHIT! GOOD! EVIL! ALL THAT STUFF. PEOPLE RESPONDED BECAUSE WE HAD STOPPED MAKING POPULAR NARRATIVES LIKE THAT. OF COURSE, NOW, WE COME DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO BURNING OUT ON THAT GENRE SO WHO KNOWS WHAT NEXT NEO-CLASSICIST THING BE.

QUESTION #7

I can’t really think of a more obvious question than this:

Why do non-creative, corporate types interfere with the creative vision of artistic filmmakers when history has proven that said interference usually results in compromised product that suffers both artistically and financially? For example, every comic book geek groaned the moment the Fantastic Four showed up in their iconic vehicle, not b/c of the effects work, but for the gratuitous placement of a Dodge logo on the seats. Clearly this was not an artistic decision, and while im sure it generated some ancillary revenue, what was the real price paid in terms of fan respect and word of mouth? It happens time and again but the costly lessons which I imagine are critical to their job security never seem to take root in the movie business.

Why?

Jeff S.

IN ALL HONESTY, FAN RESPECT AND WORD OF MOUTH NOT MEAN MUCH ECONOMICALLY. REALLY. THEY DON’T. THEY NICE IDEA AND CERTAINLY CAN’T HURT, BUT A WHOLE BUNCH OTHER THINGS MEAN LOT MORE. AND IT ACTUALLY NOT RELEVANT TO THEIR JOB SECURITY. HERE FIVE PART ANSWER THAT WILL SORT OF GO BEYOND YOUR QUESTION AND WORTHY OF ITS OWN COLUMN. SO HERE A BRIEF SUMMARY OVERVIEW.

1. THE REALITY – HOLLYWOOD IS A BUSINESS. THE MOVIES ARE, AT BEST, JUST PRODUCT AND AT WORST, INCIDENTAL. AS MUCH AS IT PAIN HULK SAY THAT IT INESCAPABLY TRUE. MOVIES ARE ULTIMATELY OKAYED BY BIGGEST CORPORATIONS ON PLANET. CORPORATIONS HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO STOCK HOLDERS. AS RESULT A SAFE BET BETTER THAT A HIGH RISK ONE. THEY WILL SUFFER CREATIVITY ONLY TO THE POINT OF EXACTING COMMERCE FROM IT.

2. THE AUDIENCE – “IT BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD OUT THERE” AN EXECUTIVE ONCE TOLD HULK. ONE COULD ARGUE WE ONLY NEED GIVE BETTER CINEMA ALTERNATIVES, BUT THAT USUALLY NOT PAN OUT IN PRACTICE AND IT SORT OF REFLEXIVE ARUGMENT ANYWAY. THE AUDIENCE SUPPOSEDLY DEMAND QUALITY (AND HULK AGREE TO THAT POINT) BUT IN CONCRETE TERMS THE TREE OF LIFE MADE 11 MILLION DOMESTIC AND 34 MILLION WORLD-WIDE (ON A BUDGET OF 34) WHILE MEET THE SPARTANS MADE 38 MILLION AND 84 WORLD WIDE (ON A BUDGET OF 20-ISH). IN CONCRETE TERMS IT NOT LOOK GOOD. ONE COULD ARGUE THAT TREE OF LIFE WILL MAKE ANCILLARY INCOME DOWN THE LINE WITH DVD SALES AND HAVE “A LEGACY” AND SPARTANS WILL BE FORGOTTEN. IN SOME WAYS GREAT MOVIES ALWAYS MAKE THEIR MONEY BACK EVENTUALLY. GREAT CULT MOVIES WILL FIND THEIR AUDIENCE SO THEY NOT TOTAL DISASTER.  SOME WILL EARN STUDIOS MONEY FOR GENERATIONS. AFTER ALL, PEOPLE STILL RENTING THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. BUT ON AVERAGE, CULTURAL PENETRATION DOWN THE LINE ECONOMICALLY WORTH NOTHING COMPARED TO UPFRONT BOX-OFFICE. EVEN WITH TV ANCILLARIES,  MALICK’S MOVIES AND, SAY, FOR EXAMPLE SIDEWAYS DO TERRIBLE ON TELEVISION. AND SUPER-DUMB, TERRIBLE MOVIES DO VERY, VERY WELL. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE TV AUDIENCE OFTEN DUMBER THAN THE MOVIE-GOING AUDIENCE. IT TRUE. “IT BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD OUT THERE.”

SO THE CINEMA GOING AUDIENCE THAT CARE ABOUT INTEGRITY AND RESPECT AND ALL THAT WORTH AN AMOUNT, BUT IT A SMALLER AMOUNT THAN THE CRAP.

GIVEN POINTS #1 AND #2, HERE A HYPOTHETICAL: IF ALL YOUR SAVINGS WERE TAKEN FROM YOU AND THE THIEF SAID, “YOU CAN DOUBLE YOUR MONEY IF YOU PICK THE MORE SUCCESSFUL FILM AND IF YOU DON’T GUESS RIGHT YOU YOU LOSE IT ALL. HERE YOUR OPTIONS:  THE NEW UNTITLED TERRENCE MALICK MOVIE OR ADAM SANDLER’S UPCOMING ABORTION JACK AND JILL.” THE ANSWER, SADLY, OBVIOUS.  WHEN YOU HAVE SUBSTANTIAL RISK IN THE MONEY IT CHANGE THINGS. AND THE PEOPLE HAVING STUDIO GIGS AT SUBSTANTIAL RISK. AND AS CINEMA LOVERS WE WANT THE BEST QUALITY PRODUCT FOR OUR TASTES, BUT THOSE MOVIE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SAFE BETS.

3. THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE – HULK HAS GOTTEN OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS “THE HOLLYWOOD MACHINE” UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. NOT JUST FROM A CREATIVE PERSON’S PERSPECTIVE (FROM WHICH APPEARS TO BE THE DEVIL FOR HOST OF DISPARAGING REASONS) BUT HULK ALSO WITNESSED FROM THE MACHINE’S PERSPECTIVE AS WELL. AND… WELL… THE ANSWER SORT OF MUNDANE. HULK REFERENCED THE WIRE ABOVE AND IT RELEVANT BECAUSE IT GREAT WAY TOO LOOK AT THE LARGER HOLLYWOOD SYSTEM. MOST PEOPLE WELL-INTENTIONED BUT THEY ONLY CONTROLLING SMALL AREA OF INFLUENCE SO IT THE SYSTEM THAT CREATING MOST OF THE PROBLEMS. IN FACT, MOST OF THE INDIVIDUALS ARE ACTUALLY AMAZING/SMART PEOPLE WHO COULD EASILY BE DOING CREATIVE THINGS (AND OFTEN HAVE). THEY JUST ENDED UP ON A DIFFERENT SIDE OF FENCE. AND THEY GIVE HONEST-TO-GOD GREAT NOTES. THERE ARE, ALSO, IDIOTS (ACTUALLY MORE DOUCHEBAGS THEN IDIOTS, BUT YOU GET POINT).

HULK BELIEVE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM LIES IN NUMBERS. STUDIO RANKS SORT OF DEVELOPING INTO MASS OLIGARCHY AND IT MAKE IT MORE OF PROBLEM OF TOO MANY COOKS IN KITCHEN. DEALING WITH ONE OR TWO EXECS? EASY PEASY. MORE THAN THAT? UGH. PATTON OSWALT HAS GREAT ANECDOTE ABOUT THIS JR. EXECUTIVE NOT UNDERSTANDING A VERY SIMPLE JOKE AND SINCE ALL THE OTHER EXECUTIVES HAD TO HUMOR HIM, THEY HAD TO SIT THERE FOR A FUCKING HOUR AND SUSS IT OUT. THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT COME WITH OLIGARCHY AND BLOAT. AND WITH THE BLOAT COMES EVERY YOUNG STUDIO EXEC BASICALLY GOING AROUND TRYING TO JUSTIFY THEIR JOBS. WHICH LEAD TO NEEDLESS ADDITIONS. IT OLD ADAGE THAT THE BEST PRODUCERS/EXECS ARE THE ONES WHO HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE AND GET OUT THE WAY. BUT THE UPCOMING EXEC NOT POWERFUL ENOUGH TO DO NOTHING AND GET OUT OF THE WAY. MORE THAN THAT, IF THEY GET IN HOT WATER THEY CAN SAY THINGS LIKE “IT A POPULAR COMIC BOOK!” AND “THE PLACEMENT SAVED US SO MUCH ON THE BUDGET!” WHICH WORK CAUSE THEIR BOSSES EVEN MORE BUSINESS PEOPLE THAN THEY ARE. IT NOT THEIR FAULT. IT JUST THE SYSTEM.

BUT GIVEN POINTS #1 AND #2 EVEN THE BEST PRODUCERS TAKE HITS. UNIVERSAL RECENTLY TOOK HUGE NUMBER CHANCES ON GREAT AND/OR “DIFFERENT” FILMS LIKE: SCOTT PILGRIM, GREEN ZONE, KICK-ASS, MACGRUBER, DRAG ME TO HELL, FUNNY PEOPLE, AND DUPLICITY. IT NOT LIKE THESE MOVIES SOLD POORLY, THEY GIVE THEM BIG SELLS AND THEY JUST BIT THE DUST. HULK BELIEVE IF YOU MAKE QUALITY PRODUCT THE AUDIENCE FIND EVENTUALLY AND THAT THE CASE WITH LOTS OF THOSE MOVIES, BUT REALLY THEY MISSED THE BOAT. IT ANOTHER INESCAPABLE TRUTH: THE AUDIENCE NOT HELPING.

4. AS FOR AS FOR PRODUCT PLACEMENT – IT SUCKS. IT DOES. BUT THE STUDIO ARGUE IT NO MATTER CAUSE NOBODY NOT LIKE A MOVIE SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE PRODUCT PLACEMENT. TO DEGREE, THEY ACTUALLY RIGHT. MOST JUST NO CARE. FANTASTIC FOUR BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT IT A TERRIBLE, TONE DEAF MOVIE. MOST PEOPLE DIDN’T CARE ABOUT THE DODGE LOGO. REMEMBER, THERE ALSO GOD-AWFUL MOMENT IRONMAN WHERE RIGHT AFTER HE HAVE THAT GREAT LINE WHERE HE SAY “I WANT AN AMERICAN CHEESEBURGER” THEY SHOW HIM EATING FUCKING BURGER KING. BUT EVERYONE STILL LOVE THAT MOVIE CAUSE IT GET STORYTELLING AND DO THE IMPORTANT THINGS RIGHT.

IF WANT DIRECT ANYTHING, THEN PRODUCT PLACEMENT JUST A REALITY THESE DAYS. THE STUDIO WILL FIGHT YOU TO USE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE IT HELP REMOVE THEIR RISK AND LOWER COST. IT JUST TOO PRUDENT (REALLY, THE AMOUNT OF BUDGETS PAID OFF BY PRODUCT PLACEMENT MIND-BOGGLING. IT NOT A MIDDLING COST). AT THIS POINT IT MANDATED IN CONTRACTS. THE ONLY WAY AROUND IT TO BE A “NAME” LIKE SPIELBERG OR NOLAN WHO CAN OPEN A PICTURE WHERE YOU GUARANTEED TO MAKE IT UP. BUT EVEN THEN IT A BATTLE.

PLUS, THEY SEE THE REALITY WHERE WE DO NOT: AS SOON AS THE YOUNGER GENERATION GROWS UP (HINT: ONLY 6-8 YEARS AWAY) PRODUCT PLACEMENT WILL NOT BE STRANGE TO THEM AT ALL. THEY WILL EXPECT THINGS TO BE ADVERTISED TO THEM IN ALL MEDIA FORMS. IT UNDENIABLE. TO US THOUGH? IT ALIEN TO THE WAY WE WATCH MOVIES. IN ARTISTIC TERMS IT COMPLETE BULLSHIT FOR SURE. DAVID LYNCH USED TO USE PRODUCTS CAUSE HE LOVED USING POP CULTURE BRANDS FOR ARTISTIC MEANS (“I LIKE HEINEKEN!” OR “PABST BLUE RIBBON!”). BUT NOW HE CAN’T CAUSE PEOPLE ASSUME IT PRODUCT PLACEMENT. WHICH THE OPPOSITE OF ART.

5. THERE ANY WAY TO FIX THE SYSTEM? – NOT REALLY. ALL THIS STUFF CORPORATELY MANDATED. AND THE FUN WAYS TO HINT AND JOKE AROUND WITH PRODUCT PLACEMENT ALREADY USED UP. AND FIGHTING THE SYSTEM AT LARGE? IMPOSSIBLE. FILMMAKING COST TOO MUCH MONEY. AND THERE NO WAY TO TRULY MAKE AND MARKET INDEPENDENT MOVIES ANYMORE… SO… QUITE FRANKLY HULK NOT SURE. PERHAPS FIGHTING THE BEAN COUNTERS CREATE THE NOTION OF SUBVERSION. HULK THINK IT IMPORTANT TO ALWAYS REMEMBER THE PERIOD OF THE 60/70’S THAT SAW CREATIVE TYPES TAKE OVER THE STUDIO SYSTEM WHEN THEY WERE ON HUGE UPSWING OF POPULARITY. THEY WENT ON TO CREATE A FEW MORE GOOD MOVIES, GREEN LIT A WHOLE BUNCH OF SHIT (WE JUST REMEMBER THE GOOD ONES), AND THE WHOLE THING COLLAPSED VERY, VERY QUICKLY. THE CREATIVE TYPES HAD NO IDEA HOW MANAGE MONEY.

HULK NOT SURE HULK ANSWERED QUESTION RIGHT.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #8:

Hulk, I have a question that I hope you can answer for me. Why does the camera add ten pounds to the actors? I used to think it was just figure-obsessed actresses finding fault with the reality of their appearance as opposed to their mental picture of it (says the lady who hates every photo ever taken of her), but I heard someone talking about how different lenses can actually cause this. Do you know why? Or even why they continue to be used if the picture is distorted that much? And why do we never seem to notice with male actors? This is confusing me and I feel like I should know more about it.

-Bevin

AWESOME QUESTION.

HULK HERE TO TELL YOU THAT IT ABSOLUTELY TRUE: THE CAMERA DOES ADD WEIGHT (MOST OF THE TIME) DEPENDING ON THE LENS.

TO SORT OF EXPLAIN: THIS REALLY NO HAVE DO WITH CAMERA LENS BEING DIFFERENT, BUT THE LENS OF OUR EYE BEING DIFFERENT. THE EYE SEE SO MUCH OF PERIPHERY AND YET HAS AMAZING ABILITY TO FOCUS ON CENTRAL AREA IN FRONT OF IT. THAT MAKE THE EYE A COMPLETELY UNIQUE LENS. MORE THAN THAT IT, IT HAVE ABILITY TO LOOK AT REAL LIFE 3D SPACE AND APPROXIMATE SIZE CORRECTLY (OR AT LEAST WHAT WE DEEM “CORRECT”). MEANWHILE, MOVIE SCREENS NO WORK THAT WAY. FOR ONE THEY BIG RECTANGULAR 2:35 : 1. THE ONLY SCREEN THAT “OBSERVE” LIKE OUR EYEBALLS = THE OMNI THEATER IN BOSTON. HERE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25729481@N03/2784467950/ BUT KEEP IN MIND THERE SO MUCH ON THE PERIPHERY TO SEE SO IT “IMMERSIVE” JUST LIKE REAL LIFE VISION.

HERE THE PROBLEM: WE NO WANT MOVIES BE LIKE REAL LIFE VISION. ANY ATTEMPTS TO DO SO NOT WORK CORRECTLY ON SCREEN. WE MUST BE ABLE TO CONTAIN THE WHOLE FRAME IN ORDER PROCESS THE ACTION AND SPACE. WHICH MEANS THAT IN ORDER FOR THE SPACE TO LOOK “REAL” ON SCREEN, THE LENSES OF THE CAMERAS MUST SLIGHTLY AFFECT THE PERCEIVED MASS OF THE CENTER POINTS (READ: THE ACTORS OR OBJECTS) IN ORDER TO GET THE SURROUNDING SPACE TO LOOK CORRECT. OTHER WISE EVERYTHING ELSE ON SCREEN LOOK LIKE WALL EYE VISION. http://www.espn.go.com/photo/2006/0410/nhl_g_kings_275.jpg.  WHICH OBVIOUSLY NOT LOOK RIGHT CAUSE OUR EYES ALREADY FOCUSING ON PERIPHERY. SO WE HAVE USE LENSES THAT CREATE MORE FOCUSED CENTRAL OBJECT.

NOW, EVEN WITH THE “SCREEN APPROPRIATE” LENSES, THERE STILL ONES THAT MORE SLIMMING THAN OTHERS. THE GREAT DIRECTOR ROBERT BRESSON TRIED TO ONLY USE THE 50MM LENS CAUSE HE THOUGHT IT CAME CLOSEST TO APPROXIMATING THE ‘CENTER” POINT OF THE HUMAN EYE, AND AS RESULT IT KIND OF SLIMMING.

BUT YES: THE CAMERA USUALLY ADDS TEN POUNDS. IF IT DID NOT, THE REST OF MOVIES WOULD NO “LOOK RIGHT.” AND YES AGAIN, IT ULTIMATELY SPURS ON COMPLEXES IN ACTRESSES EVERYWHERE. HULK MET A GOOD DEAL OF POPULAR ACTRESSES IN REAL LIFE. THE SO-CALLED-LARGER ONES LOOK PERFECTLY NORMAL IF NOT AMAZING. THE NORMAL ONES LOOK VERY SKINNY. THE SKINNY ONES = CRAZY SKINNY. AND THE SAME TRUE OF MALE ACTORS. YOU BE SURPRISED TO SEE HOW SKINNY THEY ARE IN REAL LIFE.

ANYWHO THERE MORE OPTICAL DETAILS THAT GO INTO IT, BUT THIS ANSWER WORK?

This answer works, thank you very much… Does this apply to still-shot cameras as well, or is it only motion picture ones? It seems like it must, given what you said here, but I’m curious.

-Bevin

IT DEPEND, MOST HIGH LEVEL STILL-SHOT CAMERAS USE A ZOOM LENS THAT RANGE FROM ABOUT 28MM-135MM. LOWER QUALITY CAN HOVER BETWEEN 30-55MM. MEANING THAT IT CAN RUN THE GAMUT BUT DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH ONE “ZOOMING” IT EFFECT HOW SOMEONE LOOK IN THE PICTURE. THAT LARGELY WHY THERE “FLATTERING PICTURES” AND “NOT FLATTERING WHATSOEVER PICTURES.” THINGS TO REMEMBER 1) A ZOOM LENS NOT A “TRUE” LENS, MEANING IT MORE SIMULATING THE EFFECTS OF USING THAT SIZE A LENS AND NOT GIVING THE SAME IMAGE QUALITY. THAT WHY CAMERA CREWS USE LIKE 20 DIFFERENT LENSES AND NOT JUST ONE ZOOM LENS. THEY JUST NOT AS GOOD. AND 2) IT NOT LIKE THERE SOME IDEAL LENS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE IN ORDER MAKE LOOK GOOD. IT DEPEND ON HOW FAR AWAY PERSON IS, THE SURROUNDING SPACE, THE SHAPE OF PERSON/PERSON’S FACE, THE LIGHTING, EVERYTHING. YOU CAN SORT OF MAKE ANYONE LOOK GOOD WITH ANY LENS AT ANY DISTANCE, THINGS JUST NEED BE ADJUST TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED CORRECTLY.

NATURALLY MOST PEOPLE JUST POINT AND SHOOT AND TRY TO GET THE CAMERA TO DO AS MUCH OF THE WORK AS POSSIBLE. HONESTLY, CAMERAS ADJUST PRETTY WELL NOWADAYS, BUT STILL IT NOT MAGIC AND IT REASON LOTS OF PHOTOGRAPHS NO COME OUT FLATTERING. MEANWHILE, GREAT PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE EXPERTS OF NUANCE…. WELL… TECHNICALLY ALL GREATLY SKILLED PEOPLE ARE EXPERTS OF NUANCE.

❤ HULK

QUESTION #9

How my fist taste?

-Abomination

HULK THINK THERE MANY PROBLEMS WITH ARGUMENT SIR.

FIRST OFF, WHEN YOU EVER BEAT HULK? NEVER.

SECOND OFF, YOU ONCE BEAT BY NAMOR… FUCKING NAMOR.

THIRD OFF, YOU LOOK LIKE KILLER CROC HAD SEX WITH A MUPPET.

FOURTH OFF, YOU ONCE PAID MONEY FOR “WITLESS PROTECTION

FIFTH OFF, THAT MOVIE SO BAD IT ONCE GAVE SOMEONE CANCER. TRUE FACT.

LAST OFF, SHUTYOURSTUPIDFACE.

NO ❤ HULK

THAT END THE QUESTIONS!

HULK GOT LOADS MORE QUESTIONS. THEY COMING MAILBAG PART 2. KEEP EM COMING!