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DallasBlack
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:20 pm

S.D. wrote:
DallasBlack wrote:
Many critics are intellectuals and IMO, I find a large amount of people like that to be pretentious know it alls who feel their opinion is more valid because they have some fancy college degree. T
Just because you don't comprehend something doesn't mean it's pretentious.

Also, many critics have masters degrees in film, so they DO know more about films than you do, that's why they get paid for their opinions.

Still don't care. They may know the techniques, history, etc. but you don't need to know that stuff to enjoy a movie or not. Still doesn't mean my opinion is invalid (maybe not as valuable since nobody pays for it, but doesn't lessen it). Pretentious is an opinion, may not be yours but it is mine.
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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:40 pm

I prefer my worms fresh instead of canned ;D.




Historically speaking, movies were not made just to entertain. Movies were made to observe and explore. Louis Le Prince took dibs on the first motion picture, Roundhay Garden Scene, in 1888, as an observational piece on how social interaction could be communicated to a subjective audience. We had Georges Melies take us to the moon to express an interstellar fantasy and explore the concept in a way the French could relate in 1902. The pragmatic idea here, then, is that since our minds are processing the information relayed by celluloid and light, then our intellect's courtship of deductive analysis is synonymous with entertainment. This property divides an audience into two: those that prefer passive entertainment, and those that prefer a more cerebral exercise. Gonna employ some hyperbole here, but can the two possibly live a peaceful existence??




My question to anyone who may have contempt for the intellectual viewer is, why perform the exact thing that we're accused of? It works the other way, of course, a civil war of artistic interpretation. A good example is a recent "scuffle" Vexer6 and I got into over Rock Star. He enjoyed the movie. To me, the movie was shit. I was having a bad day, so I attacked him for it. This was unfair. Vexer should be allowed to enjoy a movie I perceive as poorly made, because at the end of the day I can appreciate his ability to casually enjoy the most basic script translated on-screen. I can't do that as well. I look at every shot, every frame, color timing, composition, staging, contextual history, editing, ADR placement/accuracy, screen ratio, and let's not forget that movies as an entity is the only art form to fully engage all seven of the known art forms--sculpture, photography, architecture, painting, theater, dance, and writing. That's why it's referred to as the eighth art. This is what 'criticism' refers to. The definition of criticism has little to do with nitpicking. It's critical thinking, engagement, commitment, what have you--the analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work. And it's...freaking fun. I love it. Most critics do. Look at any top 100 movie list and one can see why. There are exceptionally great movies out there that challenge the social norm and open eyes, and some of these are action and adventure films, such as The Matrix. So the benefit of exploring and analyzing these movies in great detail is total transcendence over the basic cadence of passive viewing and selection. Dragonforce vs. Bob Dylan, if you take extremes into account.








DB, your opinion is of value to me, otherwise this debate wouldn't be happening. Your opinion of the movies is a common one. Yet my goal here is to help bring understanding to the more academic insights that film criticism has to offer. As for pretension, for any writer to be pretentious would recommend that their syntax be void of substance. I've yet to read work by any critic that follows this, other than Rex who is more or less the shock jock of professional film criticism.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:41 pm

Bizarre, my above post's text went haywire; can't seem to change my line breaks.
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tohostudios
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:01 pm

I think you need to filter critics' reviews through your own aesthetic.

Let's take our own prolific movie reviewer SD as an example.  I know he watches a lot of movies I would consider "pretentious crap".  I see the phrase "character study" and I know I'm out.  But then again, I see the phrase "intelligent science fiction" and I get turned on to movies like "Moon" and "Source Code", movies I'd have never given the time of day had I not read SD's reviews of them. So based on that history, even though I frequently disagree with what he writes, I can't just dismiss SD as a movie critic in general.

I apply that same philosophy to the paid critics.  I look for "buzzwords", words and phrases to which I have either a positive or negative connotation and then make my own determination as to whether I want to investigate a movie further.

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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:14 pm

tohostudios wrote:
I think you need to filter critics' reviews through your own aesthetic.

Let's take our own prolific movie reviewer SD as an example.  I know he watches a lot of movies I would consider "pretentious crap".  I see the phrase "character study" and I know I'm out.  But then again, I see the phrase "intelligent science fiction" and I get turned on to movies like "Moon" and "Source Code", movies I'd have never given the time of day had I not read SD's reviews of them. So based on that history, even though I frequently disagree with what he writes, I can't just dismiss SD as a movie critic in general.

I apply that same philosophy to the paid critics.  I look for "buzzwords", words and phrases to which I have either a positive or negative connotation and then make my own determination as to whether I want to investigate a movie further.
Completely valid. A friend of mine used to joke about assembling a "Movie Critic's Dictionary" which would consist of five pages of words such as "contrived" and "cliched."

I would also like to point out another misconception: character studies are antithetic of pretense. A Michael Bay movie would be considered pretentious because it lacks substance yet exaggerates a certain visual excess. Character studies rely more on subtlety and nuance, effective examples avoid telegraphing arc and emotion. They are often complex and layered. The Godfather is a great example of this. Character studies can have a very profound effect on the human psyche though they may require patience. But I get where you're talking about, Toho.
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tohostudios
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:23 pm

corplhicks wrote:
tohostudios wrote:
I think you need to filter critics' reviews through your own aesthetic.

Let's take our own prolific movie reviewer SD as an example.  I know he watches a lot of movies I would consider "pretentious crap".  I see the phrase "character study" and I know I'm out.  But then again, I see the phrase "intelligent science fiction" and I get turned on to movies like "Moon" and "Source Code", movies I'd have never given the time of day had I not read SD's reviews of them. So based on that history, even though I frequently disagree with what he writes, I can't just dismiss SD as a movie critic in general.

I apply that same philosophy to the paid critics.  I look for "buzzwords", words and phrases to which I have either a positive or negative connotation and then make my own determination as to whether I want to investigate a movie further.
Completely valid. A friend of mine used to joke about assembling a "Movie Critic's Dictionary" which would consist of five pages of words such as "contrived" and "cliched."

I would also like to point out another misconception: character studies are antithetic of pretense. A Michael Bay movie would be considered pretentious because it lacks substance yet exaggerates a certain visual excess. Character studies rely more on subtlety and nuance, effective examples avoid telegraphing arc and emotion. They are often complex and layered. The Godfather is a great example of this. Character studies can have a very profound effect on the human psyche though they may require patience. But I get where you're talking about, Toho.
I use the "buzzword" philosophy as a way to measure my interest in a movie; it's not an absolute.  But I find that the older I get, the less patience I have for "character development" unless it's done very, very well.  Your "Godfather" example is a good example of the latter.  I would also point out one of my personal favorite movies that very few people I know have ever seen, "The Mission".  There is lots of character study in the movie but also absolutely amazing scenery and heart-wrenching action.  

So like I said, I look for buzzwords and phrases but even then I read the entire review before deciding if I'm interested or not.

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DallasBlack
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:35 pm

I think I can agree with Toho. With reviews and S.D. I hardly ever agree with him on ANYTHING! However, I don't deny his knowledge of cinema and was in no way attacking him as a critic. My opinion of most critics is of critics in general. It doesn't mean that there are no critics whose opinion is worth listening too (for one, I've valued Michael Medved's reviews in the past, though I don't agree with him on everything). However, most critics annoy me and I've just made the decision to ignore them.
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corplhicks
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:35 pm

tohostudios wrote:
corplhicks wrote:
tohostudios wrote:
I think you need to filter critics' reviews through your own aesthetic.

Let's take our own prolific movie reviewer SD as an example.  I know he watches a lot of movies I would consider "pretentious crap".  I see the phrase "character study" and I know I'm out.  But then again, I see the phrase "intelligent science fiction" and I get turned on to movies like "Moon" and "Source Code", movies I'd have never given the time of day had I not read SD's reviews of them. So based on that history, even though I frequently disagree with what he writes, I can't just dismiss SD as a movie critic in general.

I apply that same philosophy to the paid critics.  I look for "buzzwords", words and phrases to which I have either a positive or negative connotation and then make my own determination as to whether I want to investigate a movie further.
Completely valid. A friend of mine used to joke about assembling a "Movie Critic's Dictionary" which would consist of five pages of words such as "contrived" and "cliched."

I would also like to point out another misconception: character studies are antithetic of pretense. A Michael Bay movie would be considered pretentious because it lacks substance yet exaggerates a certain visual excess. Character studies rely more on subtlety and nuance, effective examples avoid telegraphing arc and emotion. They are often complex and layered. The Godfather is a great example of this. Character studies can have a very profound effect on the human psyche though they may require patience. But I get where you're talking about, Toho.
I use the "buzzword" philosophy as a way to measure my interest in a movie; it's not an absolute.  But I find that the older I get, the less patience I have for "character development" unless it's done very, very well.  Your "Godfather" example is a good example of the latter.  I would also point out one of my personal favorite movies that very few people I know have ever seen, "The Mission".  There is lots of character study in the movie but also absolutely amazing scenery and heart-wrenching action.  

So like I said, I look for buzzwords and phrases but even then I read the entire review before deciding if I'm interested or not.
The Mission is another AWESOME example (anything involving that film's director is). But yeah the "Buzzwords Method" seems advantageous. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:35 am

I always looked for buzzwords like "nudity" & "graphic violence"
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:04 am

It bothers me when people say that a film is pretentious when what they mean is that they didn't like it or think that it was dull or just didn't understand what was going on. If you don't like a film, what's wrong with just saying so, without trying to imply that the film maker and all those that enjoy the film are a bunch of arrogant assholes! angry 

I've heard people say that 'A Clockwork Orange' is pretentious! No it isn't, it's heavily stylised but it isn't pretentious. There are examples of films that I do find pretentious (My Own Private Idaho, I'm looking at you!) but maybe I just didn't understand what Van Sant was trying to do (I rarely do) but I'm not a critic or a real film buff so I just say that the film sucks.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:29 am

Pretentious: attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.


If the body of work in question culls any avenue of relevant thought from the viewer, then it should be viewed as a sincere effort at the least. Therefore I stand in error regarding my above opinion of Michael Bay. Bay cannot be pretentious because his work represent what he knows best: ADHD imagery and schoolboy-giggling-induced explosions (I almost said impotent humor and dumb logic but the screenwriters should be faulted for that). Wink
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:28 am

corplhicks wrote:
Pretentious: attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.
It's always interesting to go back and read a definition and realize how often a term is used incorrectly.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:31 am

Boris2008 wrote:
It bothers me when people say that a film is pretentious when what they mean is that they didn't like it or think that it was dull or just didn't understand what was going on. If you don't like a film, what's wrong with just saying so, without trying to imply that the film maker and all those that enjoy the film are a bunch of arrogant assholes! angry
Why do people on the other side of the argument have to imply a film maker and all those who enjoy the film are a mass of classless rubes who don't know what a good movie is? I hear people all the time talk about blockbuster hits like the people who make them are no talent hacks and those who enjoy them are mindless idiots. If I can be accused of being a mindless drone for liking The Lone Ranger, then I have every right to imply that someone is being a pretentious asshole for liking a film like Children Of Man. By the way I don't because I believe everyone is free to enjoy what they want and dislike what they don't and make whatever kind of movie they want. When I call something boring and pretentious, it is my opinion of the movie, not the people involved.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:15 am

DallasBlack wrote:
Boris2008 wrote:
It bothers me when people say that a film is pretentious when what they mean is that they didn't like it or think that it was dull or just didn't understand what was going on. If you don't like a film, what's wrong with just saying so, without trying to imply that the film maker and all those that enjoy the film are a bunch of arrogant assholes! angry
Why do people on the other side of the argument have to imply a film maker and all those who enjoy the film are a mass of classless rubes who don't know what a good movie is? I hear people all the time talk about blockbuster hits like the people who make them are no talent hacks and those who enjoy them are mindless idiots. If I can be accused of being a mindless drone for liking The Lone Ranger, then I have every right to imply that someone is being a pretentious asshole for liking a film like Children Of Man. By the way I don't because I believe everyone is free to enjoy what they want and dislike what they don't and make whatever kind of movie they want. When I call something boring and pretentious, it is my opinion of the movie, not the people involved.
Not here, at least with the audience. Keith likes crass B-movies, and he's an intelligent dude. Same with you. The fact that you hate Children of Man doesn't reflect your character or intellect in any way. At the most there's a part of me that wishes you could experience the movie the way I did in an enjoyable fashion, but so what if you didn't.

As for the filmmakers, it's really case-by-case. The term 'hack' comes from the transitive verb property: crude, irregular shaping. With this in mind, of course Michael Bay is a hack. Everything from his framing to his SPM to his color timing to his tracking is off. But because he uses big, loud explosions, it's a base form of escapism. If someone wants to enjoy his movies, so be it. But on an art level, it's all pulp and nonsense. And there is no taste involved because there's no steady, controlled hand carefully crafting things together in an orgy of mayhem, throwing non-characters around like puppets. The human element is lost an a generic, throw-away script with bad logic and no mind for witty or profound dialogue. There's no one to care about, and nothing to care about but kiss kiss bang bang. But it's all passive entertainment, so the question is this: when are we going to accept the fact that there are hack filmmakers in the industry and that's okay? I've accepted it and moved on.

And those who wonder why people like S.D. and I kick and scream and chew at the bit for more character studies? Keep in mind that the Bay-esque movies are the ones getting constant bottomless funding. Our movies are getting jack shit.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:49 am

I actually really enjoy a big budget blockbuster, if they are well done, as was the case with the first two Nolan Batman movies. Independence Day was awesome mindless fun, as was Terminator 2, but a lot of the ones that have been released in recent times have been a plotless series of loud bangs and CGI.

I don't really think that it's a case of the blockbusters 'taking away' funding from the indies though. They were never getting jack from the big studios anyway, nor do they really need it. Our local boy done good is Shane Meadows (Twenty Four Seven, Dead Mans Shoes, This is England) he manages to make excellent films on a miniscule budget (you would be surprised at how little he spends on CGI Laughing very hard ) Films like that don't need huge budgets or Brad Pitt copping $15 million to be in it, on the other hand, they are never going to have mass appeal, the idea that they suddenly will because Hollywood backs it with big bucks doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

S.D & Hicks, if you haven't seen This is England, see it!
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:05 am

Boris2008 wrote:
I actually really enjoy a big budget blockbuster, if they are well done, as was the case with the first two Nolan Batman movies. Independence Day was awesome mindless fun, as was Terminator 2, but a lot of the ones that have been released in recent times have been a plotless series of loud bangs and CGI.

I don't really think that it's a case of the blockbusters 'taking away' funding from the indies though. They were never getting jack from the big studios anyway, nor do they really need it. Our local boy done good is Shane Meadows (Twenty Four Seven, Dead Mans Shoes, This is England) he manages to make excellent films on a miniscule budget (you would be surprised at how little he spends on CGI Laughing very hard ) Films like that don't need huge budgets or Brad Pitt copping $15 million to be in it, on the other hand, they are never going to have mass appeal, the idea that they suddenly will because Hollywood backs it with big bucks doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

S.D & Hicks, if you haven't seen This is England, see it!
You've got a point, and I think I get frustrated seeing so much money--which, in the end, is leverage for mass marketing and recognition from a business standpoint in capitalist markets--being thrown at star power, high concept, etc while the small dogs are struggling to get a bone. And of course blockbusters aren't what they used to be, like with Jurassic Park and T2. There was so much more passion in assembling a movie back then, something magical would happen at the cinema and justify the use of high-dollar funding. Now it's the equivalent of a brief brutal F*ck or a hit-and-run. When it's over you want a cigarette while trying to remember what the hell just happened.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:14 am

They are more like a really lousy f**k, where i get so bored I want to go out and have that cigarette halfway through! Laughing very hard 
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:28 am

Boris2008 wrote:
They are more like a really lousy f**k, where i get so bored I want to go out and have that cigarette halfway through! Laughing very hard 
Those too. lol!
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:50 am

I have nothing against a well-made blockbuster that doesn't insult the intelligence of the audience, escapist entertainment is a hallmark of Hollywood films going back to the silent era.

My main issues are the quality of what we're seeing now (Battleship anyone?) and the fact that there are TOO MANY OF THESE FILMS. If you had released The Lone Ranger in May it probably would have done better, but after being bombarded for 2 solid months with airhead CGI spectacles the audience gets burned out, because all of these films start to melt together in your mind. So the later summer films of this type never do that well.

Independent films don't need a lot of investment money from Hollywood, but what they DO need are available theater screens to be played on...and the multiplexes are so full of sequels, reboots, remakes and superheroes that there isn't any place for these films to play. So you end up with some of your best movies playing in New York, Los Angeles, San Fran, Boston, Chicago & Seattle...but nowhere else in the country. There also isn't any available screens for import films to play, so potential crowd-pleasing efforts like the Irish film Byzantium or the UK comedy I Give It A Year end up playing for 1 week at 5 theaters in the US and then go straight to video. It's pathetic.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:01 pm

My only point was that movie snobbery goes both ways. I like a wide variety of movies. However, when I go to see certain movies, I have different criteria. I know Bay's movies are just mindless blow 'em up action. However, when I go to see a Transformers movie, I don't care about character development, good acting, etc. I want to see the cartoon I loved as a kid come to life complete with explosions and escapist action. If I want to see a suspense or drama movie, then character development, good acting, etc. is important. There is enough variety in movies that people don't need to bitch about anything. If you want mindless action, you can get mindless action. If you want good drama, you can get good drama. If you want a movie that makes a political or social statement, you can get one. If you want movies where people get tortured or have their guts spilled out, or devoured by zombies, you can get them.

To quote Boris, "If you don't like a film, what's wrong with just saying so...?"
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:57 am

DallasBlack wrote:
My only point was that movie snobbery goes both ways. I like a wide variety of movies. However, when I go to see certain movies, I have different criteria. I know Bay's movies are just mindless blow 'em up action. However, when I go to see a Transformers movie, I don't care about character development, good acting, etc. I want to see the cartoon I loved as a kid come to life complete with explosions and escapist action. If I want to see a suspense or drama movie, then character development, good acting, etc. is important. There is enough variety in movies that people don't need to bitch about anything. If you want mindless action, you can get mindless action. If you want good drama, you can get good drama. If you want a movie that makes a political or social statement, you can get one. If you want movies where people get tortured or have their guts spilled out, or devoured by zombies, you can get them.

To quote Boris, "If you don't like a film, what's wrong with just saying so...?"
I think that the point S.D makes is really important. In all honesty, I don't care how many Battleships, Lone Rangers or Fast & Furious movies get made, or how many people enjoy them. I would just like an alternative at the cinema as they are not really my cup of tea. Fortunately here in the U.K there are plenty of indie cinemas if that's your thing, but it sounds as though it's not so much the case in the U.S (particularly if you live outside of the major cities) By all means give the people what they want, but the needs of the minority are important too.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:55 am

Independent cinemas exist almost exclusively in major cities here (and college towns, art communities, etc).  

3-D is another culprit for hogging theater screens.  Say a theater has 10 screens, when Iron Man 3 comes out the 2-D version is playing on 3 screens, the 3-D version is playing on another 2 screens.  So half the theaters get used for 1 film.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:05 am

The day when the gimmicky 3D illusion is no longer in the theater can't come soon enough.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:58 am

S.D. wrote:
Independent cinemas exist almost exclusively in major cities here (and college towns, art communities, etc).
Because that is where the demand is. Movies theaters are a business, and like any other business it's all about supply and demand. I know it's frustrating being in the minority but unfortunately, supply and demand tends to favor the majority. The movie theaters and the like don't see a large clamoring for independent films so they don't feel like there is any money to be made with them and it's why you don't see any get big exposure except in places where the demand for it is high. Independent films is a small niche when compared to the big Hollywood movies. Fair? Maybe not, but who ever said life was supposed to be fair?

Let's use our favorite music as an example (again this goes more toward Americans than Europeans). Heavy metal is not a large selling music genre except with a small amount of bands. That's why most big stores that sell CDs have a large selection of country, rap, r&b, etc. but very little in hard rock/heavy metal. More people like the other stuff so you have a bigger selection of that.
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 at the movies - what is upcoming   Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:19 pm

You are assuming there is a big difference between an independent feature and a major studio effort. The only real difference is budget. There are plenty of independent action films and horror films and sci-fi films and comedies which could easily attract more mainstream audiences, but they don't get the chance because the major studios have all the available theater slots locked up.

Not because the major studio films are better or more commercially viable, they just have more money to throw around. You can produce 20 independent features for the same amount of money spent on the advertising budget of Iron Man 3.
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