Movie Trends
September 7, 2010 4:58 PM   Subscribe

 
The Time 2 A.M.
The Place In a restored vintage Chevy Mustang, just outside of San Bernardino.

gurgling noises "so, imagine Stallone, right? Rambo, like, with giant nipple clamps, just punching dudes and kicking ass"

laughter

"Wait, wait. Stallone's, what, 100 right now? If you clamped his nipples, they'd be on the floor like clank blonk clonk donk . Major bonerkill.

"What if he had a tongue stud?"

"I told you: Boner. Kill. Too. Old. Though I gotta say I like a tounge stud."

gurgling noise and then a thoughtful pause, broken by a bout of coughing

"So if he were..."

"younger."

"and British!"

"what?"

"accents make me weak in the knees."

"Fine, whatever."

Another pause

(together) "JASON STATHAM!"

and that's how Crank: High Voltage (in the list's #2 spot) got made.
posted by boo_radley at 5:16 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those color things annoy me so much I can;t form words to explain why I'm sweating in anger to my friends.
posted by The Whelk at 5:16 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


For a more intelligent, less snarky take on color grading, check out Stu Maschwitz' "Save Our Skins" and "Memory Colors".

Stu Maschwitz founded the Orphanage, supervised the production of Sin City and a host of other movies. His articles on color correction and camera operation are second-to-none. His blog is super-informative WRT color and film.
posted by fake at 5:20 PM on September 7, 2010 [32 favorites]




Wow carsonb, it's like they lifted most of that guy's article straight out. I'd be pissed, and asking for my CPM's. Dang.
posted by cavalier at 5:26 PM on September 7, 2010


I think the word Hollywood is missing from your post.
posted by fire&wings at 5:26 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Five annoying things you can do to display lists of funny things.

   5. Paginate them!

Adding pages to your thoughtful and trite comments on pop-culture generalities (which you spared from a young death in unnoticed Facebook status messages) will ensure that all of your punch lines aren't revealed immediately, and that it is difficult for readers to skip to the hopefully funniest item at the bottom. More importantly, your C-grade work receives more hits!

Previous : Next
posted by taursir at 5:31 PM on September 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


Cracked seriously needs to police the comment spam if they're gonna be running a blog.
posted by crapmatic at 5:31 PM on September 7, 2010


What do you know, an informative article from Cracked.com. I've complained about most of these things at one time or another, especially "ramping." God I hate that.
posted by JHarris at 5:35 PM on September 7, 2010


I finally watched the Watchmen about 3 weeks ago, and hated the very look of it so much - the color palette, the digital color correction that gave it such a yellowish green creepy look - that I had googled up this very article and read it in full just after the final credits rolled. So many of the reviews of the movie had cited the visual faithfulness to the graphic novel, but for me, the whole tone of the film created through the color palette made the entire film feel wrong at a basic level.
posted by Auden at 5:37 PM on September 7, 2010


Surely this Hollywood as of today: Hacks Aping Hacks.
posted by Trochanter at 5:48 PM on September 7, 2010


One Force That Ensures This Will Always Be The Case:

1) Greed-powered lowest common denominatorism
posted by DU at 5:53 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Surely this Hollywood as of today: Hacks Aping Hacks.

If they ever get around to Apes Hacking Apes, then maybe they'll have something.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:01 PM on September 7, 2010 [10 favorites]


Apes Hacking Apps and the world banana supply is DOOMED.
posted by The Whelk at 6:03 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


What taursir said. There's a special place in hell for web sites that paginate needlessly.

As for their complaints, meh. Sorry, but only industry folks and neckbeard film geeks care about this stuff.
posted by mullingitover at 6:04 PM on September 7, 2010


Cameron used to make blue tinted sci-fi movies. Who authorized anyone else to co-opt that color for horror, eh?! Maybe he gave it up when he started using Yes album cover palette.
posted by asfuller at 6:05 PM on September 7, 2010


Sorry, but only industry folks and neckbeard film geeks care about this stuff.

Then by all means, go away and leave us to it.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:06 PM on September 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


If they ever get around to Apes Hacking Apes, then maybe they'll have something.


[Comic Book Guy voice] I think you're forgetting a little movie called *ahem* Battle for the Planet of the Apes?...
posted by Trochanter at 6:06 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's not like we all don't already stare at teal-ish and orange-ish for several hours a week, anyway...
posted by taursir at 6:08 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


As for their complaints, meh. Sorry, but only industry folks and neckbeard film geeks care about this stuff.

Unlike every other topic in the world, which has 100% universal appeal?
posted by DU at 6:18 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


well, sex and money....
posted by jonmc at 6:20 PM on September 7, 2010


I too have a complaint about 3D. I was born with a retina unlike yours—I see double when I tilt my head to the left (that is an improvement upon my original condition, which was the reverse). I would like to say that seeing 3D movies with double vision allows me to see in 11-dimensions and lets me truly understand M-theory, but it really just gives me a headache, even when my head is un-tilted. I'd like this to stop. That is all.
posted by ifandonlyif at 6:30 PM on September 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


started using Yes album cover palette.

well, Roger Dean...
posted by ovvl at 6:31 PM on September 7, 2010


The teal and orange thing was egregious in The Proposition; the first half hour or so I really thought it was part of the storyline that some of the characters had jaundice. But no. I couldn't even finish the movie after I started noticing it bugged me so much.
posted by frobozz at 6:31 PM on September 7, 2010


This thread was worth it just for the sheer ineffable brilliance of "Chevy Mustang." I can not eff that shit.
posted by Mister_A at 6:32 PM on September 7, 2010



Have You Ever Noticed:

Modern action movies can't just show you the hero landing the final blow. Oh, no. They just have to sloooow it down and make really, really sure you understand that, yes, that is a punch to the face.


yeah, we dont look at a movie and think: that IS Lincoln, like in my great-great grandmathers time (B.circa 1850)

It is choreograph and IMO the movies are getting better at it. Sherlock Holmes had some interesting Wing Chun (close to the fictional baritsu?)

In 'The 300', the shot is of the Phalanx system, more accurate to the picture from the web site,

the Pararrhexis: "Breaching" the opposing phallanx, the enemy formation shatters and the battle ends.

But who cant resist Bullett.
posted by clavdivs at 6:39 PM on September 7, 2010


I worked on a video game based on a movie. We were sure that the movie had a green tint on purpose. The production designer of the film later told us it was a bad DVD transfer that gave us the impression.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:57 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


fake, great links.

The same principles are applied in painting as well. If you look at paintings by the old masters, it's surprising how few colors they used. They were also well versed in tricking the eye into seeing colors that don't actually exist. There is an old saying that the most important colors in a painting are the neutrals.
posted by yaymukund at 7:10 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


The first time I saw blood flying onto the camera lens was Wong Kar-Wai's 1988 film "As Tears Go By".

Actually I think a lot of the things the article complains about are the result of the influence of the past couple of decades of Hong Kong film. The heavy use of filters (example 1, 2, 3) helped give a flashy look to compensate for the super low budgets over there.

I think cinematographer Christopher Doyle as his most self indulgent on one of those Hong Kong films would do the filter +shaky cam +lens flare +slow mo, like the article complains about, and on top of that it would be out of focus the shutter speed would be set that every frame was blurred, and it would look absolutely beautiful.

Personally, I like these trends and think Hollywood films have never looked better than they do today.
posted by bobo123 at 7:12 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fortunately on the teal/orange tip, that convention is getting to be pretty well known around film schools and such, and seen as lazy, so the next generation of filmmakers is going to avoid it just to separate themselves and seem "original." So that one, at least, should die out eventually.

Personally I wish people would just focus on shooting the film well in the first place and leave color correction for those who really know how to use it and have a purpose for it (like with O Brother)
posted by Navelgazer at 7:24 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


> Cameron used to make blue tinted sci-fi movies.

Back in the early '90s a friend of mine briefly dated a girl with, shall we say, artistic pretensions. To his surprise, she actually went to see Terminator 2, and when he asked her what she thought she told him "Interesting use of the colour blue."
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:26 PM on September 7, 2010 [11 favorites]


Wow carsonb, it's like they lifted most of that guy's article straight out. I'd be pissed, and asking for my CPM's. Dang.

They linked to his article in the first paragraph of that section.
posted by delmoi at 7:33 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I couldn't get to the linked article from work, so I went back to the one I remembered reading before. That little bit of info, delmoi, pretty much makes this post a double on top of being a single-link Crapped list post. Meh.
posted by carsonb at 7:42 PM on September 7, 2010


A friend of mine linked to these pictures from the updated Blu-Ray release of James Cameron's Aliens tonight and that damned teal and orange was the first thing I noticed.
posted by immlass at 7:53 PM on September 7, 2010


Navelgazer: "that convention is getting to be pretty well known around film schools and such, and seen as lazy, so the next generation of filmmakers is going to avoid it just to separate themselves and seem "original." So that one, at least, should die out eventually."

Sure, if they ever get jobs that involve color correction or making movies.

(is married to a film school grad)
posted by subbes at 8:03 PM on September 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


(close to the fictional baritsu?)

Not fictional.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:12 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine linked to these pictures from the updated Blu-Ray release of James Cameron's Aliens tonight and that damned teal and orange was the first thing I noticed.

It's not DNRd to hell and back! Yay!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:33 PM on September 7, 2010


frobozz: "The teal and orange thing was egregious in The Proposition…"

To be fair, The Proposition was set in outback Australia and filmed around Winton, Qld. Teal and orange is pretty much the default colour scheme there.

But, yes, they over-cooked it.
posted by Pinback at 8:40 PM on September 7, 2010


I never really noticed colour in films before I watched a terrible B Movie one time. The characters were supposed to be freezing, they kept standing around in their underwear rubbing their arms and shivering. I couldn't work out for a while why it looked so wrong and bad, they weren't doing anything actorly that seemed much different.

Then I realised the whole film was shot in browny orange, the warmest colour ever. You just cannot look cold in orange. The director had done it on purpose too, to move away from the blue/grey cliche of horror films. Bad move. Or at least set it in a sauna instead of an abandoned lunatic asylum then.
posted by shinybaum at 9:08 PM on September 7, 2010


Bartitsu-non-fiction (and a basterized form at that)

Bartisu-FICTION!

like getting you ...TIT ...in a ringer a'int it.
posted by clavdivs at 9:34 PM on September 7, 2010


Wow, they've managed to make Aliens look as bad as both AvP movies. David Fincher & Jean-Pierre Jeunet, all is forgiven.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:44 PM on September 7, 2010



(not fictional)

"Take your bank before I pay you out
I promise this, promise this
Check this hand cause I'm marvelous

[Chorus x3]

[x3]
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah) "

-Lady GaGa (Poker Face)

<)
<)


you should read your own link
posted by clavdivs at 9:46 PM on September 7, 2010


"As for their complaints, meh. Sorry, but only industry folks and neckbeard film geeks care about this stuff."

Man I only see a couple films a year in the theatre and this stuff can drive me crazy. The shaky cam effect where the film looks like it was shot by a business of ferrets ODing on caffeine is especially offensive. I paid a couple hours labour for this experience the least the film can do is actually show me a movie and not a jumbled set of images streamed together at couple dozen frames per second. Transformers was a prime example where the extreme shaky cam effect seriously detracted from the effects.
posted by Mitheral at 10:45 PM on September 7, 2010


Yep, those are indeed five things that I hate in modern Hollywood crap. Pretty much does what it says on the tin, though it takes a whole second page to bother finishing.
posted by paisley henosis at 11:14 PM on September 7, 2010


"Since most movies are about humans, you simply find the closest thing to a human's skin tone on the wheel (somewhere on the upper right) and then make everything else the opposite, most contrasting color (that is, the color on the opposite side of the wheel, or lower left). Teal and orange."

Huh, so all human skin (read: makeup on white actors' faces) is orange? Perhaps this is a sign of a certain lack of diversity on screen.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:34 AM on September 8, 2010


I'm just waiting for the day when literally every trailer for every single movie is nothing more than a series of rapid jump-cuts set to that Requiem For A Dream song and at the end you're all "Fuck yeah I am totally seeing that four hour Warren Beatty/Diane Keaton romantic drama with the boys!"

Warren: "I don't love my wife any more..."

DE-DO

Diane: "But what about your children?"

DE-DO-DE-DO

Warren: "I've had enough!"

DE-DO-DE-DO

Diane: "Oh, [Warren]!"

DE-DO-DE-DO-DE-DO-DE-DO-DE-DO-DE-DO
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:01 AM on September 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


I haven't noticed this, but oh dear god, I was aware of the insidious tendency to light faces and rooms from below, that seemed to start with Max Headroom, back when. This seemed to indicate that this was the future, and these were the Bad Guys. I hate the effect, passionately.
posted by Goofyy at 1:24 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm genuinely surprised that somewhere in that list there wasn't an entry for action films taking horrific liberties with the laws of gravity.

I've lost count of how many films there are - generally since Crouching Tiger - where the protagonists fall through the air at half speed, or can do three turns and a half pike when they fall backwards off the second step of their front porch, or manage to jump ridiculous distances and land so lightly it's almost as if they're held up by wires.

I'm prepared to suspend my disbelief, don't get me wrong. But my disbelief has its own gravity too.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:28 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


The shaky cam fight scene with a zillion .5 second cuts where you've got no clue what is going on has got really old really fast.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:56 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


And as literally everything is graded now I suspect the temptation to teal-and-orange everything up and get it 'popping' is just too much for most.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:58 AM on September 8, 2010


Watching a movie from the sixties or seventies is almost like therapy for me now. It's so refreshing and relaxing to watch real humans interacting with a real environment filmed with a tripod and edited into shots lasting longer than 1/2 a second.
posted by octothorpe at 5:25 AM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


The spinning fans, the Venetian blinds, and the improbable keylights. They give me a headache, I tell you. /40s crank
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:37 AM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Something to look out for as we move to more and more 3D films - purple and straw. Stage lighting geeks have known for a long time that this color combo enhances depth perception, allowing elements on the stage to really "pop" and give the audience the "really there" sensation. Plus, depending on how you use them, you can give a warm or cold cast to the scene.

So get used to purple-dominated thrillers with ominous straw highlights and warm, straw colored comedies and romances with pleasant purple accents. And stuff flying at your face and first-person falling/flying scenes, because that shit never gets played out.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:44 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Something to look out for as we move to more and more 3D films

I'm really hoping that Slate is right and this third wave of 3-D movies will go the way of the first two in the fifties and eighties.
posted by octothorpe at 5:51 AM on September 8, 2010


I did read my own link. It seems pretty obvious what he meant.
posted by adamdschneider at 5:59 AM on September 8, 2010


I went to the theater with a friend several months ago, and while watching the trailers that were nothing but wild blurs of color and screeching noise, I remarked that in another couple of years, I may actually be physically incapable of watching a movie. I had literally no idea of what I had seen in the trailer except some explosions. I couldn't even tell what had exploded.

The camera spun and shook and rotated and zoomed literally every millisecond. It was never still, ever. And even on a 50 foot screen with a billion pixels of digital clarity, I couldn't even tell what the fuck I was looking at.

Yes, I'm getting old. Maybe the kids today are all about vertigo and confusion. *shrug*
posted by discountfortunecookie at 7:12 AM on September 8, 2010


If you want to see color casting done right, watch Out of Sight (actually, watch it anyway, it's awesome). Soderbergh, a former DP, uses color in the most remarkable ways, letting the Florida locations skew yellow and blow out, the Detroit locations skew blue etc. Once you're looking for it, it's really something. Also, he gets a spectacular performance out of J-Lo which I don't believe any other director has ever done before or since. He's a total master who loves his job and if you happen to pick it up on DVD the commentary is incredible fun.
posted by The Bellman at 7:35 AM on September 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


As for their complaints, meh. Sorry, but only industry folks and neckbeard film geeks care about this stuff.

I am hard pressed to think of an FPP that isn't open to this criticism. Gravitation waves? How a watch works? John Le Carré`s new book? Ptah. Only neckbeard astrophysics/timepiece/fiction geeks care about this stuff.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:12 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someday I'm gonna make a movie and run every frame through Photoshop's newsprint filter. Critics will hail me as a visionary genius.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 8:13 AM on September 8, 2010


Seconding Out of Sight; it's everything mainstream Hollywood filmmaking should be but so rarely is.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:15 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


"As for their complaints, meh. Sorry, but only industry folks and neckbeard film geeks care about this stuff."

You'd be surprised. It winds me up something rotten when I see anachronism in novels or, occasionally, films (I'm more lenient but FFS it's not hard to get a soundtrack done right). To the point where I was moved to mention the reference to an uneducated 22yr old doing 'O-levels' in an Amazon review for a crappy contemporary novel. I'd tell you why that was wrong on both levels but then I'd have to drown my shame in Krusty Burger.
posted by mippy at 8:41 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've updated Colour Corrected Mefi to include this thread. You too can glory in orange-teal-orama!
posted by zamboni at 10:05 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I see one more fucking ellipse in a comment in this thread...
posted by longbaugh at 10:27 AM on September 8, 2010


Huh, so all human skin (read: makeup on white actors' faces) is orange?

No, it's the color of a flesh crayon.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:44 AM on September 8, 2010


Watching a movie from the sixties or seventies is almost like therapy for me now. It's so refreshing and relaxing to watch real humans interacting with a real environment filmed with a tripod and edited into shots lasting longer than 1/2 a second.

There are a lot of movies like that today, but you have to look further than what comes out of Hollywood. Anything by Jim Jarmusch. Have you seen what Woody Allen has done lately? Seriously, check out Vicki Cristina Barcelona - incidentally, Woody no longer appears in his own films.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:58 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Clint Eastwood makes good, 'proper' films in Hollywood.
posted by shinybaum at 11:38 AM on September 8, 2010


incidentally, Woody no longer appears in his own films.


I like his films except for that nervous fellow who's always in them.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 11:45 AM on September 8, 2010


JHarris : What do you know, an informative article from Cracked.com.

I never complain when it's linked to the front page, but I'll never, ever do it myself. I'm a poor judge of this sort of thing, and I find something nearly every day over there that I'd like to do a post on.

For being a goofy comedy site, they turn out a remarkable quantity of quality writing. I can't count the number of times I've been reading an article, caught something interesting mentioned, and lost the rest of the day digging out the whole story behind it.
posted by quin at 11:58 AM on September 8, 2010


I did read my own link. It seems pretty obvious what he meant
fair enough, what did "he" mean?
look, i see what you mean but
i am correct.
baritsu=fictional word.
posted by clavdivs at 12:05 PM on September 8, 2010


except for that nervous fellow who's always in them.

Poor Woody's been looking for the perfect nebbish to replace himself for twenty years -- since he felt himself growing too old to be the romantic lead in his movies. A tough row, since he's surely one of the best nebbishes in all of movies.

People say he's lost his touch as a director, but I think part of it is that he's lost his leading man, and thereby his muse.


PS...
posted by Trochanter at 12:12 PM on September 8, 2010


baritsu=fictional word.

Alright, but the wiki explanations are good enough for me. Misspelling, infringement avoidance, etc. As bartitsu was based heavily on jujutsu and ACD refers to baritsu as "the Japanese system of wrestling," it seems obvious to me that he was referring (at least slyly, if not directly) to bartitsu.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:33 PM on September 8, 2010


There's a fascinating correlation between creativity and artistic restriction, especially in movies. When it's hard to do something, only the really talented and patient people attempt it, but when that thing becomes easy it's suddenly a trend. I think that today's colour correction is something like the enthusiasm for film noir back in the 40s and 50s. If they had the ability (and colour film) back in the day, movies like DOA and The Blue Dahlia would have been teal-and-oranged to hell and back.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:34 PM on September 8, 2010


I've lost count of how many films there are - generally since Crouching Tiger - where the protagonists fall through the air at half speed, or can do three turns and a half pike when they fall backwards off the second step of their front porch, or manage to jump ridiculous distances and land so lightly it's almost as if they're held up by wires.

Well, to be fair, wuxia films like Crouching Tiger are intentionally TRYING to look like that - the motion of the kung fu through the air is supposed to be supernaturally over-the-top. The part at the end where they are leaping from tip of tree-branch to tip of tree-branch? Yeah, rather overtly not-realistic. Or parts where they jump up, land on someone's sword, and then do some full moon spinning face kick? Gravity is a jerk and they don't invite gravity to their parties.
posted by FatherDagon at 12:38 PM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cheap colour film, that is. They obviously had things like Technicolor, but not for the cheap genre movies. And of course colour was itself a trend once, with the bleeding edge trend setters hand tinting their silent films. Now everybody does it.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:40 PM on September 8, 2010


ok then
posted by clavdivs at 12:52 PM on September 8, 2010


DAMMIT, you guys!!! Now I'm noticing the teal-and-orange thing in freakin' Toy Story 2, which I'm just now getting around to watching for the first time (it came out ten years ago? Srsly?)!! The blue rug, the orange puffed cheese snacks... DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT you guys!! Fuck!

*sigh*
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:08 PM on September 8, 2010


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