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From Box Office Mojo:

Channing Tatum in “Jupiter Ascending”

Weekend Report: ‘Jupiter Ascending’ Crushed By Super ‘SpongeBob’

by Ray Subers

February 8, 2015

… The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water opened to a massive $55.4 million, which is one of the best debuts ever in the month of February.

The other new releases weren’t so hot: the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending opened below $20 million, while Seventh Son fell short of $10 million.

… After holding the top spot for the past three weeks, American Sniper dropped down to second place this weekend with $23.3 million (down 24 percent). That ranks 12th all-time among fourth weekends, and is the biggest one since The Avengers in 2012.

… Playing at 3,181 locations, Jupiter Ascending opened in third place with a very disappointing $18.4 million this weekend. That’s a fraction below the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer ($18.6 million); with seven years of ticket price inflation and the addition of 3D premiums, it’s likely that attendance for Jupiter was substantially lower.

Jupiter Ascending’s opening was also around $10 million less than recent big-budget sci-fi movies like Elysium ($29.8 million), Edge of Tomorrow ($28.8 million), After Earth ($27.5 million) and Ender’s Game ($27 million), all of which were considered misses on opening weekend.

The marketing for Jupiter Ascending never quite found a way to sell the convoluted story, and also struggled to hide the movie’s sillier elements. It also doesn’t help that the Wachowski brand is essentially worthless now: the massive amount of goodwill generated by The Matrix has faded thanks to two lukewarm sequels followed by odd originals Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas.

Whatever the hell the Wachowskis did with Channing Tatum’s face didn’t help either. You have to work pretty hard to make Channing Tatum look bad for the camera, but the Wachowskis spared no expense.

Memo to Chris Pratt: if your agent ever mentions the word “Wachowski” to you, fire him.

Warner Bros. is reporting that the audience was 57 percent male and 82 percent over the age of 25. Showings in 3D accounted for 52 percent of ticket sales.

Moviegoers awarded Jupiter Ascending a weak “B-” CinemaScore; combine that with poor reviews, and it’s a foregone conclusion that this fades quickly. There’s a realistic chance that this falls short of $50 million, which would be a huge loss considering the movie’s massive price tag ($176 million). There’s always a chance that overseas saves the day, though it’s hard to imagine it generates much more than $200 million or so outside of the U.S.

Larry / Lana

Larry and Andy Wachowski did make a competent movie before The Matrix, the low budget erotic thriller Bound.

But then they made so much money off The Matrix that Larry got to live out his pervy sci-fi geekery instead of just sublimating it into his movies.

So Larry moved in with his dominatrix and changed his name to Lana.

How’s that working out for the quality of his/her movies?

 
• Tags: Movies 
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  1. The Wachowskis have only made one good movie ever, that I know of. (I haven’t seen Bound).

  2. “There’s always a chance that overseas saves the day, though it’s hard to imagine it generates much more than $200 million or so outside of the U.S.”

    Funny what the foreign market is helping us discover: that foreign audiences are even dumber than American ones. If shit like this continues to get made, it is thanks in large part to foreigners who are willing to watch just about anything Hollywood shoves out.

    • Replies: @MartianObserver
    Not really. All it proves is that foreign audiences (like Americans) just like the sort of big budget spectacle that only Hollywood can produce. That can range from Transformers 4 to Gravity.
  3. Steve trollbaiting? 😀 Well, I never!

    Asking whether the ongoing Wachowski failure is caused by Lana’s descent into weirdo-land is liable to rustle jimmies and get goats, but I don’t know that Steve won’t enjoy a few fools taking the bait.

  4. They made Cloud Atlas? I actually watched that (twice, fell asleep the first time). What a mess that was, but I bet the source novel was a mess too.

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
    The source novel was actually very well structured. That sort of "matrioshka" structure of a story within a story within a story can work well on the page, but is hard to film.
  5. I think a strong point in favor of the autogynephilia hypothesis is how often these guys don’t try to look actually feminine, but instead strive to look like caricatures of femininity. Can you imagine somebody born with a real vagina wearing a hairstyle that looks like a hat made of used tampons?

    • Replies: @Thagomizer
    Some women do wear dreadlocks. Not the most stable ones, but here's Sarah Thomson who ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2010 and 2014.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3xWp8C71og

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUrrLQJ3494

    Keep in mind she's one of the candidates who did not smoke crack.
    , @BlueSonicStreak
    On the contrary, I see dozens of women a month wearing their hair like this. I think it's unspeakably hideous, but they seem to have no awareness of how gross it looks. It's usually either this jaw-dropping pink color, or GREEN. Green! Can't imagine what possesses anyone to have green hair.

    Also, if your features have been masculinized to a particular degree, it may be difficult to avoid looking like a drag queen no matter what you wear.

    I have seen plenty of trans women who look "normal," though. Even very pretty. I doubt they usually get much press. Wouldn't be very exciting, would it?

    But yes, there are some men claiming to be "trans women" who are clearly just fetishistic loons. There's one in particular in California (I think?) who looks to harass lesbian organizations there for excluding trans women. He has a weird obsession with dressing up like he's Shirley Temple about to break into, "On The Good Ship Lollipop," wearing diapers, and hanging out on children's playgrounds. Why he's not locked up yet escapes me.
    , @unpc downunder
    In the 2010 comedy The Extraman, Paul Dano features as a mild-mannered guy with autogynephilia who is horrified by what he sees in the mirror when he hires a professional makeup artist to try and make him look like a sexy woman.

    It's interestingly to note that this very funny film, with a brilliant performance from Kevin Kline as Dano's eccentric landlord, was given a very poor rating by liberal film critics.
  6. Simpler explanation. They are bad movie makers who got lucky once only with the original matrix. Rather, I’d argue that the sex change is just another example of poor judgement.

    Star Wars, the Shatner Star Treks, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers were all fun adventure movies first, sci fi second. That’s pretty simple.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    Well, not Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  7. @Whiskey
    Simpler explanation. They are bad movie makers who got lucky once only with the original matrix. Rather, I'd argue that the sex change is just another example of poor judgement.

    Star Wars, the Shatner Star Treks, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers were all fun adventure movies first, sci fi second. That's pretty simple.

    Well, not Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

    • Replies: @YIH
    The only problem with Star Trek: The Motion Picture (the first one) was it's 2 1/2 hour length.
    Literally an HOUR could have ''been left on the cutting room floor''. Think of those 20+ minute 'Enterprise in dry dock' and 'journey to V-ger' scenes.
    BTW why did you have to mention 'Speed Racer'? That thing bombed for good reason - it was awful.
    , @cthulhu
    The unofficial name is "Star Trek: The Motion Sickness".
  8. As compared to Andrew Sullivan whose androgen injections increased his output? Those who take oestrogen complain of lowered energy, depression and difficulty controlling emotions. Can’t see how that would help one deliver good movies. One transformer I knew lost all interest in their nerdy pursuits.

    • Replies: @Tom Regan
    I'd be prepared to say that is a major factor in this case. Looking at the photos, 'Lana' is certainly not a babe, but looks no less feminine than half the women you'd see these days. The soft facial features suggest large doses of female hormones and very little testosterone. That undoubtedly changes the way s/he thinks and reasons.
    That thought also came to mind with the Bruce Jenner accident.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    What the hell!! I learn a new word "transformer" that ruins my childhood memories and an iSteve commenter knows one?

    I came to iSteve from NRO. Where's the new less gay iSteve?
  9. “Speed Racer” is underrated but frothy (it’s one of the most visually interesting movies ever made) and was effectively made as Lana crossed over (she came out right after the movie did).

    “Cloud Atlas” was strange, but I assume that’s from the source material. They’re definitely still talented at making the kind of films they make.

    • Replies: @FredR
    Agreed on Speed Racer.
  10. For such fans of Baudrillard, it’s amazing they refuse to understand the following:

    Transsexuality – “The sexual body has now been assigned a kind of artificial fate. This fate is transsexuality — ‘transsexual’ not in any anatomical sense, but rather in the more general sense of transvestism, of playing with the commutability of the signs of sex — and of playing, in contrast to the former manner of playing on sexual difference, on sexual indifference: on lack of differentiation between the sexual poles, and on indifference to sex qua pleasure. Sexuality is underpinned by pleasure, by jouissance (the leitmotiv of sexual liberation); transsexuality is underpinned by artifice — be it the artifice of actually changing sex or the artifice of the transvestite who plays with the sartorial, morphological or gestural signs of sex. But whether the operation in question is surgical or semio-urgical, whether it involves organs or signs, we are in any case concerned with replacement parts, and since today the body is fated to become a prosthesis, it is logical enough that our model of sexuality should have become transsexuality, and that transsexuality should have everywhere become the locus of seduction.

    From The Transparency of Evil

    Who could read this and not realize it is an apocalyptic lamentation rather than an endorsement of post-human plasticity?

  11. Steve, I was one of those $18.4 million, and I will tell you it was dreadful. No humor at all, just didn’t know what sort of movie it wanted to be. Ponderous and plodding.

    I think your sublimation theory is borne out because instead of seeing Mila Kunis in kinky leather, which could be fun, we see her cleaning toilets, which is not.

    And I liked Speed Racer.

    You need to suffer too. I want the Steve Review!

  12. @WowJustWow
    I think a strong point in favor of the autogynephilia hypothesis is how often these guys don't try to look actually feminine, but instead strive to look like caricatures of femininity. Can you imagine somebody born with a real vagina wearing a hairstyle that looks like a hat made of used tampons? http://a2.files.biography.com/image/upload/c_fill,dpr_1.0,g_face,h_300,q_80,w_300/MTIwNjA4NjM0MTk2MDM1MDg0.jpg

    Some women do wear dreadlocks. Not the most stable ones, but here’s Sarah Thomson who ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2010 and 2014.

    Keep in mind she’s one of the candidates who did not smoke crack.

    • Replies: @The Z Blog
    A cop once told me that he always avoided dealing with white people sporting dreadlocks. The women were always crazy and the men mostly so. The exceptions were the stoners. His theory was that one day really smart criminals would figure it out and start wearing dreadlocks, knowing the cops would do anything to avoid even talking to them.
    , @Father O'Hara
    She almost looks like a real woman.
    , @Curle
    Christ what a loon. Comes across as a grade A pain in the ass. Please tell me she didn't win.
  13. @Tacitus2016
    As compared to Andrew Sullivan whose androgen injections increased his output? Those who take oestrogen complain of lowered energy, depression and difficulty controlling emotions. Can't see how that would help one deliver good movies. One transformer I knew lost all interest in their nerdy pursuits.

    I’d be prepared to say that is a major factor in this case. Looking at the photos, ‘Lana’ is certainly not a babe, but looks no less feminine than half the women you’d see these days. The soft facial features suggest large doses of female hormones and very little testosterone. That undoubtedly changes the way s/he thinks and reasons.
    That thought also came to mind with the Bruce Jenner accident.

  14. @Wilkey
    "There’s always a chance that overseas saves the day, though it’s hard to imagine it generates much more than $200 million or so outside of the U.S."

    Funny what the foreign market is helping us discover: that foreign audiences are even dumber than American ones. If shit like this continues to get made, it is thanks in large part to foreigners who are willing to watch just about anything Hollywood shoves out.

    Not really. All it proves is that foreign audiences (like Americans) just like the sort of big budget spectacle that only Hollywood can produce. That can range from Transformers 4 to Gravity.

  15. I liked Cloud Atlas quite a lot; definetely I liked it more than the 2/3 of the Matrix trilogy. In fact, I think that the second part of the Matrix trilogy was the biggest dissapointment in my life when it comes to s-f movies.

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    The appeal of the first Matrix was the novel red vs blue pill premise. The special effects were preposterous but fun at first. It all wore thin quickly.

    Cloud Atlas was full of in your face WWG and WWT propaganda. I thought any movie with Tom Hanks would at least be watchable.

    Mila Kunis is a doll and a good comedic actress. Why Hollywood has decided to ruin her future as the next Sandra Bullock or even Julia Roberts is beyond me. Roles as a predatory lesbian in Black Swan and having Woody Harrelson in a needless subplot as a lecherous gay with eyes for her love interest Justin Timberlake in "Friends with Benifits" have not helped her career. Not to mention all the gay kissing in "Ted"

    The push to fight WWG and WWT by the likes of GLAAD is killing off the both traditional Romantic Comedy and even the raunchy adult comedy. It is all Kunis's loss.

    Guys are not going to shell out 20-30 bucks just for movie tickets on a date night for a RomCom full of pro gay indoctrination, when they can sit at home with remote in hand and just Fast Forward past the WWG/WWT propaganda.

    Seeing Russell Brand kissing Alec Baldwin, to the sounds of a classic Reo Speedwagon power ballad, is likely to result in 4 hours of detumescence. Not something you want on date night.
    , @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "...I think that the second part of the Matrix trilogy was the biggest dissapointment in my life when it comes to s-f movies."

    Yes, I'll go along with that. I literally fell asleep in the cinema, and never bothered to see part three. Man, what a stinker that mess was!
  16. @Dave Pinsen
    They made Cloud Atlas? I actually watched that (twice, fell asleep the first time). What a mess that was, but I bet the source novel was a mess too.

    The source novel was actually very well structured. That sort of “matrioshka” structure of a story within a story within a story can work well on the page, but is hard to film.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    The structure didn't throw me off. Having actors play multiple roles helped with that. Bad casting choice for the future Asian messiah lady though. Someone who inspires a new religion would have to impinge more. Her spirituality dialogue was kind of weak to begin with, and her thickly-accented, soft-voiced delivery didn't help.
  17. Maybe they just got lucky with the Matrix and couldn’t repeat their success?

    Long as we’re talking about geek luminaries, how about Gary Gygax? He made a huge success with Dungeons & Dragons, but after leaving the company kept making D&D knockoffs without any special distinction. He managed to synthesize wargames, fantasy novels, and storytelling into a game that directly influenced World of Warcraft and all its clones, but once he’d had his big idea, he couldn’t come up with anything earthshaking afterward.

    • Replies: @Simon in London
    I think it was the Gary Gygax/Dave Arneson synthesis that caught lightning in a bottle with the original Dungeons & Dragons, the foundation of the structure for all level-up role-playing games tabletop, live-action, computer, and online multi-player. Arneson had the amazing ideas, Gygax put it into a structured format derived from tabletop wargaming.

    Gygax's best late work was when he went back to writing D&D material at the very end, for Castle Zagyg/Yggsburgh, based on his original Castle Greyhawk.
  18. Whiskey says: Star Wars, the Shatner Star Treks, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers were all fun adventure movies first, sci fi second. That’s pretty simple.

    That’s an excellent point. Hardcore sci-fi fans will go see any and every sci-fi movie, but “adventure first/sci-fi second” looks like a pretty great formula for attracting casual sci-fi fans and the mass market.

    The other issue with Jupiter Ascending (2015) is the marketing. I’ve seen the trailers, and based on those I have absolutely no interest in seeing the film or even learning anything more. (If I hadn’t read it here, I’d have no idea the Wachowskis were even involved.) Basically, it looks like another “butt kicking babe” flick…. but she’s also secretly queen of the galaxy or something? And there are probably two alphas fighting over her at some point. Yawn.

    Did I get the general idea?

    As easy as Mila Kunis is on the eye, there’s no way I’m shelling out $9 to watch her beat up space gargoyles for 2+ hours, in between listening to her struggle to come to terms with her divine celestial origins and waffle back and forth with the buff guy from 21 Jump Street (2012). Will they? Won’t they? Oh, the dramatic tension! Yawn. Speaking on behalf of casual sci-fi fans, I can barely stomach Scarlett Johansen’s ridiculous chick-fu in the Marvel films, and that’s in the context of all the other awesome Avengery stuff going on. Who wants to see 2 hours of her as the main protagonist? Obviously nobody.

    That said, I will take the kids to see the new Sponge Bob movie this weekend. At least we can laugh with that one.

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "As easy as Mila Kunis is on the eye, there’s no way I’m shelling out $9 to watch her beat up space gargoyles for 2+ hours, in between listening to her struggle to come to terms with her divine celestial origins and waffle back and forth with the buff guy from 21 Jump Street (2012). Will they? Won’t they? Oh, the dramatic tension! Yawn. Speaking on behalf of casual sci-fi fans, I can barely stomach Scarlett Johansen’s ridiculous chick-fu in the Marvel films, and that’s in the context of all the other awesome Avengery stuff going on. Who wants to see 2 hours of her as the main protagonist? Obviously nobody."

    This is what comes of criticizing a movie you haven't seen. Mila Kunis's role is a fairly traditional sort of female role, and there is very little of the "butt-kicking babe" trope evident in this film (thankfully).
  19. Tarantino was right, the Matrix sequels were so bad they ruined the original. That is a fair effort, not even the Star Wars prequels managed that.

    Was this due to a Larry becoming Lana? Well this article points at Larry/Lana’s transition as a key difficulty during the filming so I would say yes. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/09/10/beyond-the-matrix
    Read the 5th section starting with a big W.

    • Replies: @shk12344
    Wait, Larry became a woman then married another woman?? Transexual lesbian???
  20. This is ludicrous. JA is a societally important and thought provoking work, and if you don’t like it, it’s because you hate women like Lana for trying to make it in a male dominated industry.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Lana Wachowski was featured in a You Go Girl article in the NYT about women challenging the sexist old guard in Hollywood.
  21. @Anonymous
    This is ludicrous. JA is a societally important and thought provoking work, and if you don't like it, it's because you hate women like Lana for trying to make it in a male dominated industry.

    Lana Wachowski was featured in a You Go Girl article in the NYT about women challenging the sexist old guard in Hollywood.

  22. I saw Jupiter Ascending at the drive in a few nights ago and realized it occupies the worst tier of bad movies. The hope was that it would be MST3K style campy bad and on the same level as Battlefield Earth or Waterworld. I have a soft spot for campy movies and firmly believe that a batshit crazy vision taken to the extreme can be amusing even when it’s not good. The problem with Jupiter Ascending is that it’s stupid, but never gets hammy, interesting, playful, or just entertaining enough to jump into the “so bad it’s good” territory, so it just blows. As an example of why it fails, JA has some space-aristocrat who monotonously mumbles the entire time as the primary villain. By comparison, Dune has Sting as a maniacally laughing sadist who gets into cubist knife fights, Zardoz has Sean Connery running around in a red leather diaper, and John Travolta is at his best-worst as Terl in Battlefield Earth. Jupiter Ascending just doesn’t seem to care and is too half assed to make it into a the elite bad tier. Because of its release date, I don’t even think it’s going to win any Golden Razzies because everyone will have forgotten about it in a year.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "The hope was that it would be MST3K style campy bad and on the same level as Battlefield Earth or Waterworld."

    Waterworld is great, you idiot.

    PS. I'm guessing most guys don't wanna see a movie where guys wear makeup or cosmetics. Channing Tatum looks more like he should be called Tatum Channing.
    I don't think girls wanna see cosmeticized boys either. (Twilight vamp men were pasty-faced but it still wasn't cosmetics.) Homos and trans maybe wanna see that kind of stuff. This movie would be a megablockbuster hit if 90% of US population were homo or tranny. Rocky Scifi Picture Show.

  23. I took my daughter and her friend to see SpongeBob and I was laughing harder than anyone in the theater. We had a great time. You’d have to pay me money to see Jupiter Ascending.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    Hey, dude, long time no see!

    For better or worse, I've never been able to "get" SpongeBob.
  24. Estrogen driven silly logically incoherent sci-fi repels the core audience without attracting anyone.

    In addition, success went to their heads and removed discipline imposed by others, same as Star Wars prequels. Waste of talent.

    Had same reaction as Gunnar to the trailer with Queen of the Galaxy butt-kicking babe.

    Having said that, I found cloud-Atlas interesting thought messy, especially the future parts. Perhaps just due to the source material.

  25. BTW, has Peter Jackson directed a good movie since LOTR: The Return of the King? He seems to have lost his critical judgment, feeling that if a five-minute battle scene is exciting, a fifteen-minute battle scene will be three times as exciting.

    Maybe he’s pandering to the foreign audiences.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I hope someday that Peter Jackson's "King Kong" is released in an Editor's Cut.
    , @Hell_Is_Like_Newark
    I believe what happened to Peter Jackson is similar to what happened to George Lucas:

    The man got so big there was nobody around to say 'no' to him. Nobody has the power and guts to say, "This is awful! Stop messing up the story by throwing a load of CGI crap onto the screen.!"
    , @josh

    "BTW, has Peter Jackson directed a good movie since LOTR: The Return of the King?"
     
    Has Peter Jackson ever directed a good movie?
  26. @Harry Baldwin
    BTW, has Peter Jackson directed a good movie since LOTR: The Return of the King? He seems to have lost his critical judgment, feeling that if a five-minute battle scene is exciting, a fifteen-minute battle scene will be three times as exciting.

    Maybe he's pandering to the foreign audiences.

    I hope someday that Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” is released in an Editor’s Cut.

    • Replies: @TWS
    Yes, that's the movie that needs to be re-released because everyone wants to see a 'rom-com' with a giant 40' ape in the leading man role. At first it had my wife and I laughing at the ludicrous image then we just got bored.
    , @syonredux

    I hope someday that Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” is released in an Editor’s Cut.
     
    Surely you mean Peter Jackson's Omega Edition Director's Cut, Steve:

    New York Prologue: 4 hours

    Ship Voyage to Skull Island: 4 hours

    On Skull Island : 4 hours

    Kong in New York: 4 hours
    , @Pincher Martin
    One scene in King Kong exemplifies Jackson's worst fault as a moviemaker.

    A rescue party of around a dozen men is pursuing Ann Darrow (played by Naomi Watts) after she's taken away by Kong. While on the trail, the men stumble upon a grove full of grazing sauropods just as those large herbivores are about to be attacked by a group of velociraptors.

    Sensing the attack, the sauropods stampede toward the men, forcing the group to run down a narrow canyon with both sauropods and raptors in hot pursuit. Since the raptors and sauropods are both faster than the men, eventually the three distinct groups are running together in the canyon. The raptors, who had previously been focused on hunting the sauropods, now see the men and begin dodging around and under the massive galloping sauropods to catch these new bite-sized hominids, with the men doing all sorts of unlikely things to evade them.

    For some inexplicable reason, the canyon ends with a sharp U-turn at a precipitous and unstable cliff, which begins to give way under the weight of the stampeding sauropods, some of whom don't have the sharp turning skills needed to successfully negotiate the U-turn. Many dinosaurs fall over the cliff, taking some men with them.

    Those sauropods who do make the turn suddenly come back into a steeply descending bottleneck, causing the remaining large dinosaurs to fall on and crush each other. The rest of the men still in the race do what they can to avoid the collapsing dinosaurs. But despite all this fresh sauropod flesh sitting before the raptors, which could probably feed them for a year, the meat-eating dinos still chase after the scrawny men now running up the hill, who probably couldn't feed a raptor for a day.

    The entire scene feels like it takes more than ten minutes to complete, because by the end of it I was bored out of my mind. Jackson just can't help piling on the details to enhance the action, but does so in such an absurd and mindless way that he spoils the movie.

  27. Waterworld isn’t bad, it is a legitimately good movie. It was just never going to have mass appeal since Cosner’s character is unlike able.

  28. @Steve Sailer
    I hope someday that Peter Jackson's "King Kong" is released in an Editor's Cut.

    Yes, that’s the movie that needs to be re-released because everyone wants to see a ‘rom-com’ with a giant 40′ ape in the leading man role. At first it had my wife and I laughing at the ludicrous image then we just got bored.

  29. @Steve Sailer
    I hope someday that Peter Jackson's "King Kong" is released in an Editor's Cut.

    I hope someday that Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” is released in an Editor’s Cut.

    Surely you mean Peter Jackson’s Omega Edition Director’s Cut, Steve:

    New York Prologue: 4 hours

    Ship Voyage to Skull Island: 4 hours

    On Skull Island : 4 hours

    Kong in New York: 4 hours

    • Replies: @anonymous-antimarxist
    My problem with Jackson's King Kong was complete lack of realism. Namely that in the climatic scene on the top of the Empire State Building, the lovely Naomi Watts in her diaphanous dress was so meticulously airbrushed that it was impossible to tell if she had breasts.

    That was not a problem in the original C Merian Cooper version with Fay Wray in the 1930s, and not in the dreadful Dino De Laurentis 1970s version with the gorgeous with Jessica Lange.
    , @Alfa158
    Whaddya mean Director's cut? I thought that was the version I saw in the original theatrical release. Or maybe it just felt like that. Seriously the original movie would have been just fine if you cut out about an hour and Jackson used his WETA technology to digitally replace Jack Black with somebody else. Anybody.
  30. V for Vapid

  31. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:

    Looks sort of interesting. Aristo-fruiters elbowing one another to gain dominance of the cosmic fashion industry.

    At any rate, box office doesn’t say much about quality. ENDER’S GAME is superb but bombed.
    13th WARRIOR is an all-time bust but a true classic.

    I think WATERWORLD is one of most inspired action-comedies. No one got it.

    JOHN CARTER wasn’t entirely successful but it wasn’t bad as many people said it was. It was rather interesting and zany-inventive.

    But some bombs deserved to be bombs.

    CLOUD ATLAS wasn’t watchable. Quit after 30 excruciating min. 47 RONIN was moronic. Quit after 20 insufferable min.

    • Replies: @Gunnar von Cowtown

    K. Arujo says: ENDER’S GAME is superb but bombed.
    13th WARRIOR is an all-time bust but a true classic.
    I think WATERWORLD is one of most inspired action-comedies. No one got it.
     
    If you ever need a ride to the drive-in... give me a call.

    Kevin O'Keeffe says: This is what comes of criticizing a movie you haven’t seen. Mila Kunis’s role is a fairly traditional sort of female role, and there is very little of the “butt-kicking babe” trope evident in this film (thankfully).
     
    Fair enough. Your review just upgraded Jupiter Ascending from "avoid" to "wait 'til it comes out on basic cable".
  32. @syonredux

    I hope someday that Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” is released in an Editor’s Cut.
     
    Surely you mean Peter Jackson's Omega Edition Director's Cut, Steve:

    New York Prologue: 4 hours

    Ship Voyage to Skull Island: 4 hours

    On Skull Island : 4 hours

    Kong in New York: 4 hours

    My problem with Jackson’s King Kong was complete lack of realism. Namely that in the climatic scene on the top of the Empire State Building, the lovely Naomi Watts in her diaphanous dress was so meticulously airbrushed that it was impossible to tell if she had breasts.

    That was not a problem in the original C Merian Cooper version with Fay Wray in the 1930s, and not in the dreadful Dino De Laurentis 1970s version with the gorgeous with Jessica Lange.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    The 1930s version was perfect. Should've left it at that.
  33. @Dave Pinsen
    Well, not Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

    The only problem with Star Trek: The Motion Picture (the first one) was it’s 2 1/2 hour length.
    Literally an HOUR could have ”been left on the cutting room floor”. Think of those 20+ minute ‘Enterprise in dry dock’ and ‘journey to V-ger’ scenes.
    BTW why did you have to mention ‘Speed Racer’? That thing bombed for good reason – it was awful.

  34. @Harry Baldwin
    BTW, has Peter Jackson directed a good movie since LOTR: The Return of the King? He seems to have lost his critical judgment, feeling that if a five-minute battle scene is exciting, a fifteen-minute battle scene will be three times as exciting.

    Maybe he's pandering to the foreign audiences.

    I believe what happened to Peter Jackson is similar to what happened to George Lucas:

    The man got so big there was nobody around to say ‘no’ to him. Nobody has the power and guts to say, “This is awful! Stop messing up the story by throwing a load of CGI crap onto the screen.!”

  35. @szopen
    I liked Cloud Atlas quite a lot; definetely I liked it more than the 2/3 of the Matrix trilogy. In fact, I think that the second part of the Matrix trilogy was the biggest dissapointment in my life when it comes to s-f movies.

    The appeal of the first Matrix was the novel red vs blue pill premise. The special effects were preposterous but fun at first. It all wore thin quickly.

    Cloud Atlas was full of in your face WWG and WWT propaganda. I thought any movie with Tom Hanks would at least be watchable.

    Mila Kunis is a doll and a good comedic actress. Why Hollywood has decided to ruin her future as the next Sandra Bullock or even Julia Roberts is beyond me. Roles as a predatory lesbian in Black Swan and having Woody Harrelson in a needless subplot as a lecherous gay with eyes for her love interest Justin Timberlake in “Friends with Benifits” have not helped her career. Not to mention all the gay kissing in “Ted”

    The push to fight WWG and WWT by the likes of GLAAD is killing off the both traditional Romantic Comedy and even the raunchy adult comedy. It is all Kunis’s loss.

    Guys are not going to shell out 20-30 bucks just for movie tickets on a date night for a RomCom full of pro gay indoctrination, when they can sit at home with remote in hand and just Fast Forward past the WWG/WWT propaganda.

    Seeing Russell Brand kissing Alec Baldwin, to the sounds of a classic Reo Speedwagon power ballad, is likely to result in 4 hours of detumescence. Not something you want on date night.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    The appeal of the first Matrix was the novel red vs blue pill premise. The special effects were preposterous but fun at first. It all wore thin quickly.
     
    Plus, the first Matrix was an extended, comic book riff on Plato's allegory of the cave.As Christianity has demonstrated, Plato for the masses has legs.

    The two sequels ditched Plato for Hegel, and the master-slave dialectic has never really wowed anyone outside of a graduate philosophy seminar.Combine that with mind-numbing action sequences, and tedium is guaranteed
    , @Lurker

    the novel red vs blue pill premise
     
    So novel and influential that the makers of Total Recall referenced it in, er, 1990. True, they only had the red pill.
  36. @Thagomizer
    Some women do wear dreadlocks. Not the most stable ones, but here's Sarah Thomson who ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2010 and 2014.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3xWp8C71og

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUrrLQJ3494

    Keep in mind she's one of the candidates who did not smoke crack.

    A cop once told me that he always avoided dealing with white people sporting dreadlocks. The women were always crazy and the men mostly so. The exceptions were the stoners. His theory was that one day really smart criminals would figure it out and start wearing dreadlocks, knowing the cops would do anything to avoid even talking to them.

  37. @Harry Baldwin
    BTW, has Peter Jackson directed a good movie since LOTR: The Return of the King? He seems to have lost his critical judgment, feeling that if a five-minute battle scene is exciting, a fifteen-minute battle scene will be three times as exciting.

    Maybe he's pandering to the foreign audiences.

    “BTW, has Peter Jackson directed a good movie since LOTR: The Return of the King?”

    Has Peter Jackson ever directed a good movie?

    • Replies: @MEH 0910

    Has Peter Jackson ever directed a good movie?
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcqscKtxSB8
  38. They should make a sex tape. More people would pay to see a Wachowski Siblings sex tape than another movie of theirs.

  39. Estrogen driven silly logically incoherent sci-fi repels the core audience without attracting anyone.

    Indeed, this has happened in the science fiction novel industry as well. The fan awards, called the “Hugos”, year after year nominates women and minorities for their homo-and-filth-obsessed pretentious literary fiction with a smattering of science fiction tropes. The organization which arranges the Hugos, the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America, I think) is mostly a bunch of crazed leftists who are obsessed with how awful white heterosexual men are.

    There is a movement against this infiltration of cut-rate writers in science fiction who couldn’t make it in literary fic but can’t bring themselves to say they write romance (much of this “sci-fi” they write is more sex-obsessed than Harlequin novel). The crappy message fic barely sells while the fun old adventure and hard science stories are doing well in comparison.

    Good riddance to this nonsense. The more it fails, the less likely it’ll be released in the future.

  40. I’m going to go out a limb here and contradict the conventional wisdom. You know, “The Matrix” itself is quite a bad film. It’s stupid. It’s really rather monumentally stupid. But was it the first movie that did those “slow motion people spinning in the air as bullets whiz past them” shtick? Really, that’s the only thing about it worth a damn, and probably the only thing you really remember about it.

    So far as I’m concerned the Wachowski’s have never made a good film.

  41. Has Peter Jackson made a good movie since The Fellowship of the Ring? The other two were horrid.

  42. @syonredux

    I hope someday that Peter Jackson’s “King Kong” is released in an Editor’s Cut.
     
    Surely you mean Peter Jackson's Omega Edition Director's Cut, Steve:

    New York Prologue: 4 hours

    Ship Voyage to Skull Island: 4 hours

    On Skull Island : 4 hours

    Kong in New York: 4 hours

    Whaddya mean Director’s cut? I thought that was the version I saw in the original theatrical release. Or maybe it just felt like that. Seriously the original movie would have been just fine if you cut out about an hour and Jackson used his WETA technology to digitally replace Jack Black with somebody else. Anybody.

  43. Is Mila Kunis much of an actress? I made the mistake of watching the Wizard of Oz reboot movie with her and James Franco. She was surprisingly hard to watch.

    • Replies: @Kevin O'Keeffe
    "Is Mila Kunis much of an actress?"

    No, she's really not. People just enjoy her because she's physically attractive.
  44. The dubyas seem to have made the first transgendered, cross-over chick/SF boys toys flick – a combination of Maid in Manhattan, Working Girl, The Bodyguard, My Fair Lady and Dune, Star Wars and The Chronicles of Riddick. Funnily enough, it has alienated both the potential groups who might have gone to see it. The successful Twilight films seem the obvious recent influence: an ordinary girl who acquires a super-powered masculine protector and finds herself at the centre of fantasy political intrigue. Those movies elicited a huge approving female response and an almost as strong revulsion on the part of teenage lads and young men. Trying to force these two groups together into a theatre at this point in time is near impossible.

  45. I feel like both the mass media, and the independent blogosphere, are united in their determination to give this film the “Heaven’s Gate”/”Ishtar”/”Waterworld” treatment, but I’m not sure it really deserves it. Its only the 2nd movie I’ve ever seen (along with “Gravity”) that I thought was significantly enhanced by the 3D effects (rather than their just being a mildly annoying distraction), and if you like sci-fi/adventure-type films, you could do a lot worse than seeing this film in cinematic 3D (I would just skip it, however, if you plan on watching it at home on TV). Its not a great film, but its definitely not nearly as bad as “everyone” seems to be saying. I’d say its their 3rd best film (after “V for Vendetta” and the original “Matrix”).

  46. @szopen
    I liked Cloud Atlas quite a lot; definetely I liked it more than the 2/3 of the Matrix trilogy. In fact, I think that the second part of the Matrix trilogy was the biggest dissapointment in my life when it comes to s-f movies.

    “…I think that the second part of the Matrix trilogy was the biggest dissapointment in my life when it comes to s-f movies.”

    Yes, I’ll go along with that. I literally fell asleep in the cinema, and never bothered to see part three. Man, what a stinker that mess was!

  47. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    Whiskey says: Star Wars, the Shatner Star Treks, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers were all fun adventure movies first, sci fi second. That’s pretty simple.
     
    That's an excellent point. Hardcore sci-fi fans will go see any and every sci-fi movie, but "adventure first/sci-fi second" looks like a pretty great formula for attracting casual sci-fi fans and the mass market.

    The other issue with Jupiter Ascending (2015) is the marketing. I've seen the trailers, and based on those I have absolutely no interest in seeing the film or even learning anything more. (If I hadn't read it here, I'd have no idea the Wachowskis were even involved.) Basically, it looks like another "butt kicking babe" flick.... but she's also secretly queen of the galaxy or something? And there are probably two alphas fighting over her at some point. Yawn.

    Did I get the general idea?

    As easy as Mila Kunis is on the eye, there's no way I'm shelling out $9 to watch her beat up space gargoyles for 2+ hours, in between listening to her struggle to come to terms with her divine celestial origins and waffle back and forth with the buff guy from 21 Jump Street (2012). Will they? Won't they? Oh, the dramatic tension! Yawn. Speaking on behalf of casual sci-fi fans, I can barely stomach Scarlett Johansen's ridiculous chick-fu in the Marvel films, and that's in the context of all the other awesome Avengery stuff going on. Who wants to see 2 hours of her as the main protagonist? Obviously nobody.

    That said, I will take the kids to see the new Sponge Bob movie this weekend. At least we can laugh with that one.

    “As easy as Mila Kunis is on the eye, there’s no way I’m shelling out $9 to watch her beat up space gargoyles for 2+ hours, in between listening to her struggle to come to terms with her divine celestial origins and waffle back and forth with the buff guy from 21 Jump Street (2012). Will they? Won’t they? Oh, the dramatic tension! Yawn. Speaking on behalf of casual sci-fi fans, I can barely stomach Scarlett Johansen’s ridiculous chick-fu in the Marvel films, and that’s in the context of all the other awesome Avengery stuff going on. Who wants to see 2 hours of her as the main protagonist? Obviously nobody.”

    This is what comes of criticizing a movie you haven’t seen. Mila Kunis’s role is a fairly traditional sort of female role, and there is very little of the “butt-kicking babe” trope evident in this film (thankfully).

  48. @Aristippus
    I saw Jupiter Ascending at the drive in a few nights ago and realized it occupies the worst tier of bad movies. The hope was that it would be MST3K style campy bad and on the same level as Battlefield Earth or Waterworld. I have a soft spot for campy movies and firmly believe that a batshit crazy vision taken to the extreme can be amusing even when it's not good. The problem with Jupiter Ascending is that it's stupid, but never gets hammy, interesting, playful, or just entertaining enough to jump into the "so bad it's good" territory, so it just blows. As an example of why it fails, JA has some space-aristocrat who monotonously mumbles the entire time as the primary villain. By comparison, Dune has Sting as a maniacally laughing sadist who gets into cubist knife fights, Zardoz has Sean Connery running around in a red leather diaper, and John Travolta is at his best-worst as Terl in Battlefield Earth. Jupiter Ascending just doesn't seem to care and is too half assed to make it into a the elite bad tier. Because of its release date, I don't even think it's going to win any Golden Razzies because everyone will have forgotten about it in a year.

    “The hope was that it would be MST3K style campy bad and on the same level as Battlefield Earth or Waterworld.”

    Waterworld is great, you idiot.

    PS. I’m guessing most guys don’t wanna see a movie where guys wear makeup or cosmetics. Channing Tatum looks more like he should be called Tatum Channing.
    I don’t think girls wanna see cosmeticized boys either. (Twilight vamp men were pasty-faced but it still wasn’t cosmetics.) Homos and trans maybe wanna see that kind of stuff. This movie would be a megablockbuster hit if 90% of US population were homo or tranny. Rocky Scifi Picture Show.

    • Replies: @Grumpy
    "Waterworld is great, you idiot."

    I don't think I've ever rolled my eyes like I did at the Exxon Valdez in Waterworld.

    Kevin Costner with gills?

    Did you really just call someone an idiot for not liking that movie?
  49. The foreign box office for Cloud Atlas was three times the domestic box office. Cynically or not, the Wachowski siblings know exactly what they are doing. They know that at this stage of the game the American audience is too small to matter. Hence the traditional metrics such as the opening weekend gross and even the critical reception are no longer relevant. The kind of movies they make these days, i.e., sci-fi spectacles with the minimum of verbal pyrotechnics and maximum of special effects, do very well overseas, and financially that’s all that matters. It’s all about export, baby, export!

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I don't see why it wouldn't matter. If Hollywood just cared about overseas box office, then it wouldn't make any, say, dramas or comedies, since they don't tend to do as well overseas.
    , @Priss Factor
    "The foreign box office for Cloud Atlas was three times the domestic box office. Cynically or not, the Wachowski siblings know exactly what they are doing. They know that at this stage of the game the American audience is too small to matter."

    But foreign audiences generally like what American audiences like.

    And 100 million in foreign grosses isn't much.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Atlas_%28film%29

    All in all, it didn't recoup the filmmaking cost.

    CLOUD ATLAS was confusing. It was based on an 'intellectualish' high concept novel that should have been made by a real art director or left alone. Wachos tried to turn complex stuff into bubblegum. It didn't make the author's admirers happy(too stupid) and it didn't make the blockbuster fans happy(as they were wondering 'what is this shit?')
  50. @Thagomizer
    Some women do wear dreadlocks. Not the most stable ones, but here's Sarah Thomson who ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2010 and 2014.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3xWp8C71og

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUrrLQJ3494

    Keep in mind she's one of the candidates who did not smoke crack.

    She almost looks like a real woman.

  51. @Ann one
    "Speed Racer" is underrated but frothy (it's one of the most visually interesting movies ever made) and was effectively made as Lana crossed over (she came out right after the movie did).

    "Cloud Atlas" was strange, but I assume that's from the source material. They're definitely still talented at making the kind of films they make.

    Agreed on Speed Racer.

  52. To add to my previous post – to a large extent, Hollywood movies are no longer made to please the American audiences. The U.S. population, at 325 million, is just too small to matter, relative to Europe’s population of about 900 million (incl. Russia, Ukraine, and the Europeanized part of Turkey) and China’s – about 1.4 billion. Similarly, the world’s largest car and cell phone markets are now in China. That’s one reason I find most Hollywood products these days totally contemptible (although I loved Inherent Vice – but that’s Pynchon – and liked Boyhood and Birdman), and as a result I lost much of my respect for Hollywood. Hollywood worships the bitch goddess of success, to quote William James, and with the huge budgets that means movies made primarily for overseas markets

    • Replies: @keypusher
    That is ridiculous. The United States remains by far the biggest single movie market in the world. Anyone who thinks it is "too small to matter " knows nothing about the movie business. Say, maybe that is the Wachowskis' problem.

    Most hit movies today have grosses about equal size in the U.S. and worldwide. Eg Mockingjay earned $335 million in the U.S. and about $390 million internationally. The Avengers made over $600 million in the U.S. and about $800 million internationally.

    There are some movies that have notably bigger grosses overseas than domestically. E.g. Fast and Furious 6 made about $238 million in the US and $550 million internationally. Avatar had a U.S. gross of $700 million and a global gross of $2 billion.

    Cloud Atlas made $27 million domestically and $100 million internationally.

    What distinguishes all the movies above from Cloud Atlas is that they were huge hits in the United States and overseas. Cloud Atlas wasn't a hit anywhere.
  53. Sometimes one feels that Hollywood deliberately demeans and subverts sci-fi.
    What was done to Starship Troopers, by the Director VerHoeven was criminal.
    What was done to both the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged was criminal.
    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress screenplay has been bottled up for over a decade.
    Still waiting for someone to treat the rip roaring Glory Road to something one tenth as
    expensive as the Hobbit movie crap Peter Jackson has defecated onto the screen.

    • Replies: @cthulhu
    Based on "Interstellar", I nominate Chris Nolan to helm "Glory Road". He has the right individualistic ego to do it.

    Agree that Verhoeven turned "Starship Troopers" into a travesty; when Sergeant Zim turned out to be a sadist...well, we're done here.
  54. OT:

    Australian police just nabbed two Muslims who were about to ‘kill blonds’ in a beheading rampage. If it were not for out prime minster, Tony Abbott, reading out their attack video in parliament, in which they said they wanted to kill blonds, this would have been kept from the public.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-02-12/pm-had-afp-consent-to-reveal-details-about-alleged-terror-attack/6087256

  55. @WowJustWow
    I think a strong point in favor of the autogynephilia hypothesis is how often these guys don't try to look actually feminine, but instead strive to look like caricatures of femininity. Can you imagine somebody born with a real vagina wearing a hairstyle that looks like a hat made of used tampons? http://a2.files.biography.com/image/upload/c_fill,dpr_1.0,g_face,h_300,q_80,w_300/MTIwNjA4NjM0MTk2MDM1MDg0.jpg

    On the contrary, I see dozens of women a month wearing their hair like this. I think it’s unspeakably hideous, but they seem to have no awareness of how gross it looks. It’s usually either this jaw-dropping pink color, or GREEN. Green! Can’t imagine what possesses anyone to have green hair.

    Also, if your features have been masculinized to a particular degree, it may be difficult to avoid looking like a drag queen no matter what you wear.

    I have seen plenty of trans women who look “normal,” though. Even very pretty. I doubt they usually get much press. Wouldn’t be very exciting, would it?

    But yes, there are some men claiming to be “trans women” who are clearly just fetishistic loons. There’s one in particular in California (I think?) who looks to harass lesbian organizations there for excluding trans women. He has a weird obsession with dressing up like he’s Shirley Temple about to break into, “On The Good Ship Lollipop,” wearing diapers, and hanging out on children’s playgrounds. Why he’s not locked up yet escapes me.

  56. @Steve Sailer
    I hope someday that Peter Jackson's "King Kong" is released in an Editor's Cut.

    One scene in King Kong exemplifies Jackson’s worst fault as a moviemaker.

    A rescue party of around a dozen men is pursuing Ann Darrow (played by Naomi Watts) after she’s taken away by Kong. While on the trail, the men stumble upon a grove full of grazing sauropods just as those large herbivores are about to be attacked by a group of velociraptors.

    Sensing the attack, the sauropods stampede toward the men, forcing the group to run down a narrow canyon with both sauropods and raptors in hot pursuit. Since the raptors and sauropods are both faster than the men, eventually the three distinct groups are running together in the canyon. The raptors, who had previously been focused on hunting the sauropods, now see the men and begin dodging around and under the massive galloping sauropods to catch these new bite-sized hominids, with the men doing all sorts of unlikely things to evade them.

    For some inexplicable reason, the canyon ends with a sharp U-turn at a precipitous and unstable cliff, which begins to give way under the weight of the stampeding sauropods, some of whom don’t have the sharp turning skills needed to successfully negotiate the U-turn. Many dinosaurs fall over the cliff, taking some men with them.

    Those sauropods who do make the turn suddenly come back into a steeply descending bottleneck, causing the remaining large dinosaurs to fall on and crush each other. The rest of the men still in the race do what they can to avoid the collapsing dinosaurs. But despite all this fresh sauropod flesh sitting before the raptors, which could probably feed them for a year, the meat-eating dinos still chase after the scrawny men now running up the hill, who probably couldn’t feed a raptor for a day.

    The entire scene feels like it takes more than ten minutes to complete, because by the end of it I was bored out of my mind. Jackson just can’t help piling on the details to enhance the action, but does so in such an absurd and mindless way that he spoils the movie.

  57. @Anon 3
    The foreign box office for Cloud Atlas was three times the domestic box office. Cynically or not, the Wachowski siblings know exactly what they are doing. They know that at this stage of the game the American audience is too small to matter. Hence the traditional metrics such as the opening weekend gross and even the critical reception are no longer relevant. The kind of movies they make these days, i.e., sci-fi spectacles with the minimum of verbal pyrotechnics and maximum of special effects, do very well overseas, and financially that's all that matters. It's all about export, baby, export!

    I don’t see why it wouldn’t matter. If Hollywood just cared about overseas box office, then it wouldn’t make any, say, dramas or comedies, since they don’t tend to do as well overseas.

  58. Flooding your system with estrogen is probably not a good idea for producing sci-fi action content. They might want to consider branching into rom-coms.

  59. @anonymous-antimarxist
    My problem with Jackson's King Kong was complete lack of realism. Namely that in the climatic scene on the top of the Empire State Building, the lovely Naomi Watts in her diaphanous dress was so meticulously airbrushed that it was impossible to tell if she had breasts.

    That was not a problem in the original C Merian Cooper version with Fay Wray in the 1930s, and not in the dreadful Dino De Laurentis 1970s version with the gorgeous with Jessica Lange.

    The 1930s version was perfect. Should’ve left it at that.

  60. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Steve, have you heard of “Gamergate”? It was some sort of pseudo-scandal and controversy about sexism and misogyny in video games that erupted a few months ago and exercised a bunch of nerds and SJWs and feminists:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy

    Well it’s now been turned into a hilariously bad Law & Order SVU episode:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/02/12/law-order-svu-takes-on-gamergate-cant-press-reset-button/

    Here’s the episode condensed into 10 minutes with all the hilariously ludicrous bits:

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "Well it’s now been turned into a hilariously bad Law & Order SVU episode."

    But for a lot of millenny dummies(and admirers of US pop culture around the world), their impression of 'gamer culture' will come from that show.

    There's reality and narrative reality or narreality. Narreality distorts reality to fit the narrative.

    If a old white man defends himself and get the better of a black bully on a bus, a movie about him will turn him into a mulatto and turn the bully or bullies white.

    If blacks generally rape but if narreality shows white thugs raping white women(and noble black men coming to the aid of white women), that's what millenny dummies will suck up and believe.

    Same as it was ever. Megacamera as important as megaphone.

    Of course, not all millenny dummies really believe in narreality BUT they imbibe the lesson that THIS is the 'approved' narrative whereas THAT isn't allowed. So, if they want to make it in privileged society, they have to favor the narreality over reality. So, GOP whores go with the narreality that Putin is a KGB thug who instigated the crisis in Ukraine to reform the USSR. I mean gimme a break.

    It's like the Grammy show with Hands Up sing-a-thon. Though Michael Brown didn't put his Hands Up, it's the narreality. It is pushed and promoted by the globe-elites.

  61. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:
    @Anon 3
    The foreign box office for Cloud Atlas was three times the domestic box office. Cynically or not, the Wachowski siblings know exactly what they are doing. They know that at this stage of the game the American audience is too small to matter. Hence the traditional metrics such as the opening weekend gross and even the critical reception are no longer relevant. The kind of movies they make these days, i.e., sci-fi spectacles with the minimum of verbal pyrotechnics and maximum of special effects, do very well overseas, and financially that's all that matters. It's all about export, baby, export!

    “The foreign box office for Cloud Atlas was three times the domestic box office. Cynically or not, the Wachowski siblings know exactly what they are doing. They know that at this stage of the game the American audience is too small to matter.”

    But foreign audiences generally like what American audiences like.

    And 100 million in foreign grosses isn’t much.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_Atlas_%28film%29

    All in all, it didn’t recoup the filmmaking cost.

    CLOUD ATLAS was confusing. It was based on an ‘intellectualish’ high concept novel that should have been made by a real art director or left alone. Wachos tried to turn complex stuff into bubblegum. It didn’t make the author’s admirers happy(too stupid) and it didn’t make the blockbuster fans happy(as they were wondering ‘what is this shit?’)

  62. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:
    @Anonymous
    Steve, have you heard of "Gamergate"? It was some sort of pseudo-scandal and controversy about sexism and misogyny in video games that erupted a few months ago and exercised a bunch of nerds and SJWs and feminists:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy

    Well it's now been turned into a hilariously bad Law & Order SVU episode:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2015/02/12/law-order-svu-takes-on-gamergate-cant-press-reset-button/

    Here's the episode condensed into 10 minutes with all the hilariously ludicrous bits:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7faUHdlh9g

    “Well it’s now been turned into a hilariously bad Law & Order SVU episode.”

    But for a lot of millenny dummies(and admirers of US pop culture around the world), their impression of ‘gamer culture’ will come from that show.

    There’s reality and narrative reality or narreality. Narreality distorts reality to fit the narrative.

    If a old white man defends himself and get the better of a black bully on a bus, a movie about him will turn him into a mulatto and turn the bully or bullies white.

    If blacks generally rape but if narreality shows white thugs raping white women(and noble black men coming to the aid of white women), that’s what millenny dummies will suck up and believe.

    Same as it was ever. Megacamera as important as megaphone.

    Of course, not all millenny dummies really believe in narreality BUT they imbibe the lesson that THIS is the ‘approved’ narrative whereas THAT isn’t allowed. So, if they want to make it in privileged society, they have to favor the narreality over reality. So, GOP whores go with the narreality that Putin is a KGB thug who instigated the crisis in Ukraine to reform the USSR. I mean gimme a break.

    It’s like the Grammy show with Hands Up sing-a-thon. Though Michael Brown didn’t put his Hands Up, it’s the narreality. It is pushed and promoted by the globe-elites.

  63. @josh

    "BTW, has Peter Jackson directed a good movie since LOTR: The Return of the King?"
     
    Has Peter Jackson ever directed a good movie?

    Has Peter Jackson ever directed a good movie?

  64. @Grumpy
    Is Mila Kunis much of an actress? I made the mistake of watching the Wizard of Oz reboot movie with her and James Franco. She was surprisingly hard to watch.

    “Is Mila Kunis much of an actress?”

    No, she’s really not. People just enjoy her because she’s physically attractive.

  65. @Priss Factor
    "The hope was that it would be MST3K style campy bad and on the same level as Battlefield Earth or Waterworld."

    Waterworld is great, you idiot.

    PS. I'm guessing most guys don't wanna see a movie where guys wear makeup or cosmetics. Channing Tatum looks more like he should be called Tatum Channing.
    I don't think girls wanna see cosmeticized boys either. (Twilight vamp men were pasty-faced but it still wasn't cosmetics.) Homos and trans maybe wanna see that kind of stuff. This movie would be a megablockbuster hit if 90% of US population were homo or tranny. Rocky Scifi Picture Show.

    “Waterworld is great, you idiot.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever rolled my eyes like I did at the Exxon Valdez in Waterworld.

    Kevin Costner with gills?

    Did you really just call someone an idiot for not liking that movie?

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "I don’t think I’ve ever rolled my eyes like I did at the Exxon Valdez in Waterworld.
    Kevin Costner with gills?
    Did you really just call someone an idiot for not liking that movie?"

    It's an action-comedy, you fool. It's meant to be zany-crazy. Kevin Reynolds has one heck of an eye. At his best, he almost comes close to Spielberg. And he has something Spiel doesn't. A kind of cool.
    Like Linklater + Spielberg.
  66. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:
    @Grumpy
    "Waterworld is great, you idiot."

    I don't think I've ever rolled my eyes like I did at the Exxon Valdez in Waterworld.

    Kevin Costner with gills?

    Did you really just call someone an idiot for not liking that movie?

    “I don’t think I’ve ever rolled my eyes like I did at the Exxon Valdez in Waterworld.
    Kevin Costner with gills?
    Did you really just call someone an idiot for not liking that movie?”

    It’s an action-comedy, you fool. It’s meant to be zany-crazy. Kevin Reynolds has one heck of an eye. At his best, he almost comes close to Spielberg. And he has something Spiel doesn’t. A kind of cool.
    Like Linklater + Spielberg.

    • Replies: @Melendwyr

    It's an action-comedy, you fool. It's meant to be zany-crazy.
     
    No, by all appearances it was meant to be action-drama with occasional comic relief. There is a significant difference. If it truly was intended to be comical, it failed - and became a farce instead.

    No part of Waterworld made sense as presented. When we say we want a movie to make us think, we mean in the sense of having nuanced themes and profound applicability, not in the sense of being ripped out of the experience by confusion and contempt.

    Ferex, perhaps there were attempts to engineer people to breathe water as an emergency supplementary system - but this is never made clear, and has to be invented by the viewer either afterwards or by suspending engagement and pondering while the film is going on. Either state is bad. It makes absolutely no sense as a spontaneous mutation. It's as bad as the 'humans are batteries' development in The Matrix, but the rest of that movie was good enough for us to excuse it. Waterworld wasn't.

  67. @Anon 3
    To add to my previous post - to a large extent, Hollywood movies are no longer made to please the American audiences. The U.S. population, at 325 million, is just too small to matter, relative to Europe's population of about 900 million (incl. Russia, Ukraine, and the Europeanized part of Turkey) and China's - about 1.4 billion. Similarly, the world's largest car and cell phone markets are now in China. That's one reason I find most Hollywood products these days totally contemptible (although I loved Inherent Vice - but that's Pynchon - and liked Boyhood and Birdman), and as a result I lost much of my respect for Hollywood. Hollywood worships the bitch goddess of success, to quote William James, and with the huge budgets that means movies made primarily for overseas markets

    That is ridiculous. The United States remains by far the biggest single movie market in the world. Anyone who thinks it is “too small to matter ” knows nothing about the movie business. Say, maybe that is the Wachowskis’ problem.

    Most hit movies today have grosses about equal size in the U.S. and worldwide. Eg Mockingjay earned $335 million in the U.S. and about $390 million internationally. The Avengers made over $600 million in the U.S. and about $800 million internationally.

    There are some movies that have notably bigger grosses overseas than domestically. E.g. Fast and Furious 6 made about $238 million in the US and $550 million internationally. Avatar had a U.S. gross of $700 million and a global gross of $2 billion.

    Cloud Atlas made $27 million domestically and $100 million internationally.

    What distinguishes all the movies above from Cloud Atlas is that they were huge hits in the United States and overseas. Cloud Atlas wasn’t a hit anywhere.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    You can't fool all the people all the time, but you can often fool the international audience one more time than you can fool the American audience.
  68. @keypusher
    That is ridiculous. The United States remains by far the biggest single movie market in the world. Anyone who thinks it is "too small to matter " knows nothing about the movie business. Say, maybe that is the Wachowskis' problem.

    Most hit movies today have grosses about equal size in the U.S. and worldwide. Eg Mockingjay earned $335 million in the U.S. and about $390 million internationally. The Avengers made over $600 million in the U.S. and about $800 million internationally.

    There are some movies that have notably bigger grosses overseas than domestically. E.g. Fast and Furious 6 made about $238 million in the US and $550 million internationally. Avatar had a U.S. gross of $700 million and a global gross of $2 billion.

    Cloud Atlas made $27 million domestically and $100 million internationally.

    What distinguishes all the movies above from Cloud Atlas is that they were huge hits in the United States and overseas. Cloud Atlas wasn't a hit anywhere.

    You can’t fool all the people all the time, but you can often fool the international audience one more time than you can fool the American audience.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    You should reuse that in a future movie review. That's classic.
  69. @Fake Herzog
    I took my daughter and her friend to see SpongeBob and I was laughing harder than anyone in the theater. We had a great time. You'd have to pay me money to see Jupiter Ascending.

    Hey, dude, long time no see!

    For better or worse, I’ve never been able to “get” SpongeBob.

  70. @Peter Akuleyev
    The source novel was actually very well structured. That sort of "matrioshka" structure of a story within a story within a story can work well on the page, but is hard to film.

    The structure didn’t throw me off. Having actors play multiple roles helped with that. Bad casting choice for the future Asian messiah lady though. Someone who inspires a new religion would have to impinge more. Her spirituality dialogue was kind of weak to begin with, and her thickly-accented, soft-voiced delivery didn’t help.

  71. @Steve Sailer
    You can't fool all the people all the time, but you can often fool the international audience one more time than you can fool the American audience.

    You should reuse that in a future movie review. That’s classic.

  72. @anonymous-antimarxist
    The appeal of the first Matrix was the novel red vs blue pill premise. The special effects were preposterous but fun at first. It all wore thin quickly.

    Cloud Atlas was full of in your face WWG and WWT propaganda. I thought any movie with Tom Hanks would at least be watchable.

    Mila Kunis is a doll and a good comedic actress. Why Hollywood has decided to ruin her future as the next Sandra Bullock or even Julia Roberts is beyond me. Roles as a predatory lesbian in Black Swan and having Woody Harrelson in a needless subplot as a lecherous gay with eyes for her love interest Justin Timberlake in "Friends with Benifits" have not helped her career. Not to mention all the gay kissing in "Ted"

    The push to fight WWG and WWT by the likes of GLAAD is killing off the both traditional Romantic Comedy and even the raunchy adult comedy. It is all Kunis's loss.

    Guys are not going to shell out 20-30 bucks just for movie tickets on a date night for a RomCom full of pro gay indoctrination, when they can sit at home with remote in hand and just Fast Forward past the WWG/WWT propaganda.

    Seeing Russell Brand kissing Alec Baldwin, to the sounds of a classic Reo Speedwagon power ballad, is likely to result in 4 hours of detumescence. Not something you want on date night.

    The appeal of the first Matrix was the novel red vs blue pill premise. The special effects were preposterous but fun at first. It all wore thin quickly.

    Plus, the first Matrix was an extended, comic book riff on Plato’s allegory of the cave.As Christianity has demonstrated, Plato for the masses has legs.

    The two sequels ditched Plato for Hegel, and the master-slave dialectic has never really wowed anyone outside of a graduate philosophy seminar.Combine that with mind-numbing action sequences, and tedium is guaranteed

  73. Larry and Andy Wachowski did make a competent movie before The Matrix, the low budget erotic thriller Bound.

    The Wachowski brother’s Bound was marred by its Penthouse inspired take on Lesbians:

    Butch Lesbians only look like Gina Gershon in the sweaty fantasies of straight men.

    Of course, that does help to further confirm the notion that Larry/Lana Wachowski suffers from a bad case of autogynephilia……

  74. @Priss Factor
    "I don’t think I’ve ever rolled my eyes like I did at the Exxon Valdez in Waterworld.
    Kevin Costner with gills?
    Did you really just call someone an idiot for not liking that movie?"

    It's an action-comedy, you fool. It's meant to be zany-crazy. Kevin Reynolds has one heck of an eye. At his best, he almost comes close to Spielberg. And he has something Spiel doesn't. A kind of cool.
    Like Linklater + Spielberg.

    It’s an action-comedy, you fool. It’s meant to be zany-crazy.

    No, by all appearances it was meant to be action-drama with occasional comic relief. There is a significant difference. If it truly was intended to be comical, it failed – and became a farce instead.

    No part of Waterworld made sense as presented. When we say we want a movie to make us think, we mean in the sense of having nuanced themes and profound applicability, not in the sense of being ripped out of the experience by confusion and contempt.

    Ferex, perhaps there were attempts to engineer people to breathe water as an emergency supplementary system – but this is never made clear, and has to be invented by the viewer either afterwards or by suspending engagement and pondering while the film is going on. Either state is bad. It makes absolutely no sense as a spontaneous mutation. It’s as bad as the ‘humans are batteries’ development in The Matrix, but the rest of that movie was good enough for us to excuse it. Waterworld wasn’t.

    • Replies: @Priss Factor
    "No, by all appearances it was meant to be action-drama with occasional comic relief. There is a significant difference. If it truly was intended to be comical, it failed – and became a farce instead."

    What a dumbass you are. It's hilarious and riotous from the getgo. Dennis Hopper is outrageous and was given the funniest lines. It's got the goofy kid. The action is outlandish, as is the scenario.
    It was done in the spirit of Fandango.

    How about the scene where Kostner shops for a tomato plant.
  75. What I can never understand is why anybody ever thought the first Matrix movie was any good.

    My erstwhile friend Tom Palmer (yeah, the Cato Institute’s Tom Palmer) gave me a DVD of that movie for my birthday, years & years ago, apparently thinking that I might like it

    In fact, in the event, I hated pretty much every minute of it. To this day, I think it’s one of the worst and stupidest movies ever made.

  76. Lana looks like she’s from 1996. More like Run Lana Run…to the nearest rave.

  77. Artists are a mostly a flaky, inconsistent bunch. It isn’t terribly unusual for even the best of them to end up with only one or two really good pieces of work. Henry James only has one top notch novel: Portrait of a Lady. Mark Twain: Huck Finn. I’m sure you can come up with other examples.

    Is that because James or Twain or whoever declined in talent? Or were they always about the same and just happened on an idea that really brought out the best in them? Hard to say. It isn’t unknown for an author to make something good when relatively young, flounder around for decades producing crap, and then pull out a late masterpiece before the end.

    Similarly, it’s really difficult to say if one of them going transgender has hurt the Wachowskis. It could just be they haven’t fluked onto another good idea. It could be a decline in talent that would have happened anyway. It could be the transgender thing has messed with Larry/Lana’s talent.

    Perhaps the really interesting topics are those where there are more than one plausible explanation. 😉

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Twain was at his best writing about boyhood on the Mississippi: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, the first half of Life on the Mississippi.
    , @Curle
    I liked The Americans and The Bostonians, speaking of Henry James.
    , @syonredux

    Henry James only has one top notch novel: Portrait of a Lady.
     
    Try telling that to a Jacobite. I have a colleague who is constantly trying to convince me that The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowel, and The Wings of the Dove are James' true masterpieces, and that everything else (Lady, The Bostonians, etc) was mere prelude.I just tell her in response that I am a coarse-grained philistine.Hence, the Elysium of The Ambassadors is forever closed to me, and I must content myself with poor things like The Portrait of a Lady
  78. The first Matrix movie had some cool world building, a plot that chugged along nicely, a distinct sense of fashion and some stylish action sequences. It’s not the greatest movie in the world, but it’s original enough to stand out from most action fare.

  79. @CJ
    Tarantino was right, the Matrix sequels were so bad they ruined the original. That is a fair effort, not even the Star Wars prequels managed that.

    Was this due to a Larry becoming Lana? Well this article points at Larry/Lana's transition as a key difficulty during the filming so I would say yes. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2012/09/10/beyond-the-matrix
    Read the 5th section starting with a big W.

    Wait, Larry became a woman then married another woman?? Transexual lesbian???

  80. @Thursday
    Artists are a mostly a flaky, inconsistent bunch. It isn't terribly unusual for even the best of them to end up with only one or two really good pieces of work. Henry James only has one top notch novel: Portrait of a Lady. Mark Twain: Huck Finn. I'm sure you can come up with other examples.

    Is that because James or Twain or whoever declined in talent? Or were they always about the same and just happened on an idea that really brought out the best in them? Hard to say. It isn't unknown for an author to make something good when relatively young, flounder around for decades producing crap, and then pull out a late masterpiece before the end.

    Similarly, it's really difficult to say if one of them going transgender has hurt the Wachowskis. It could just be they haven't fluked onto another good idea. It could be a decline in talent that would have happened anyway. It could be the transgender thing has messed with Larry/Lana's talent.

    Perhaps the really interesting topics are those where there are more than one plausible explanation. ;)

    Twain was at his best writing about boyhood on the Mississippi: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, the first half of Life on the Mississippi.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Also great is "Roughing It" and "Innocents Abroad" which are autobiographical, but comedically enhanced. Some of Twain's work is just god-awful, like "Tom Sawyer Abroad." Twain really had a nerve to mock Jane Austen, as in "I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone."

    He who wrote "Pudd'nhead Wilson" should STFU.

    , @syonredux

    Twain was at his best writing about boyhood on the Mississippi: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, the first half of Life on the Mississippi.
     
    The Mississippi brought out the poet in Twain.

    Roughing It has my vote for peak non-riparian Twain
    , @Melendwyr
    I don't agree, but 'best' is such a subjective thing. I think many people avoid his latter works because of his increasingly misanthropic views as he grew older and endured more tragedy. Don't ignore his short works - I'd put "Was it Heaven? Or Hell?" up against The Adventures of Tom Sawyer any day.
  81. @anonymous-antimarxist
    The appeal of the first Matrix was the novel red vs blue pill premise. The special effects were preposterous but fun at first. It all wore thin quickly.

    Cloud Atlas was full of in your face WWG and WWT propaganda. I thought any movie with Tom Hanks would at least be watchable.

    Mila Kunis is a doll and a good comedic actress. Why Hollywood has decided to ruin her future as the next Sandra Bullock or even Julia Roberts is beyond me. Roles as a predatory lesbian in Black Swan and having Woody Harrelson in a needless subplot as a lecherous gay with eyes for her love interest Justin Timberlake in "Friends with Benifits" have not helped her career. Not to mention all the gay kissing in "Ted"

    The push to fight WWG and WWT by the likes of GLAAD is killing off the both traditional Romantic Comedy and even the raunchy adult comedy. It is all Kunis's loss.

    Guys are not going to shell out 20-30 bucks just for movie tickets on a date night for a RomCom full of pro gay indoctrination, when they can sit at home with remote in hand and just Fast Forward past the WWG/WWT propaganda.

    Seeing Russell Brand kissing Alec Baldwin, to the sounds of a classic Reo Speedwagon power ballad, is likely to result in 4 hours of detumescence. Not something you want on date night.

    the novel red vs blue pill premise

    So novel and influential that the makers of Total Recall referenced it in, er, 1990. True, they only had the red pill.

  82. @Thagomizer
    Some women do wear dreadlocks. Not the most stable ones, but here's Sarah Thomson who ran for Mayor of Toronto in 2010 and 2014.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3xWp8C71og

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUrrLQJ3494

    Keep in mind she's one of the candidates who did not smoke crack.

    Christ what a loon. Comes across as a grade A pain in the ass. Please tell me she didn’t win.

  83. @Thursday
    Artists are a mostly a flaky, inconsistent bunch. It isn't terribly unusual for even the best of them to end up with only one or two really good pieces of work. Henry James only has one top notch novel: Portrait of a Lady. Mark Twain: Huck Finn. I'm sure you can come up with other examples.

    Is that because James or Twain or whoever declined in talent? Or were they always about the same and just happened on an idea that really brought out the best in them? Hard to say. It isn't unknown for an author to make something good when relatively young, flounder around for decades producing crap, and then pull out a late masterpiece before the end.

    Similarly, it's really difficult to say if one of them going transgender has hurt the Wachowskis. It could just be they haven't fluked onto another good idea. It could be a decline in talent that would have happened anyway. It could be the transgender thing has messed with Larry/Lana's talent.

    Perhaps the really interesting topics are those where there are more than one plausible explanation. ;)

    I liked The Americans and The Bostonians, speaking of Henry James.

  84. @Thursday
    Artists are a mostly a flaky, inconsistent bunch. It isn't terribly unusual for even the best of them to end up with only one or two really good pieces of work. Henry James only has one top notch novel: Portrait of a Lady. Mark Twain: Huck Finn. I'm sure you can come up with other examples.

    Is that because James or Twain or whoever declined in talent? Or were they always about the same and just happened on an idea that really brought out the best in them? Hard to say. It isn't unknown for an author to make something good when relatively young, flounder around for decades producing crap, and then pull out a late masterpiece before the end.

    Similarly, it's really difficult to say if one of them going transgender has hurt the Wachowskis. It could just be they haven't fluked onto another good idea. It could be a decline in talent that would have happened anyway. It could be the transgender thing has messed with Larry/Lana's talent.

    Perhaps the really interesting topics are those where there are more than one plausible explanation. ;)

    Henry James only has one top notch novel: Portrait of a Lady.

    Try telling that to a Jacobite. I have a colleague who is constantly trying to convince me that The Ambassadors, The Golden Bowel, and The Wings of the Dove are James’ true masterpieces, and that everything else (Lady, The Bostonians, etc) was mere prelude.I just tell her in response that I am a coarse-grained philistine.Hence, the Elysium of The Ambassadors is forever closed to me, and I must content myself with poor things like The Portrait of a Lady

  85. @Steve Sailer
    Twain was at his best writing about boyhood on the Mississippi: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, the first half of Life on the Mississippi.

    Also great is “Roughing It” and “Innocents Abroad” which are autobiographical, but comedically enhanced. Some of Twain’s work is just god-awful, like “Tom Sawyer Abroad.” Twain really had a nerve to mock Jane Austen, as in “I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”

    He who wrote “Pudd’nhead Wilson” should STFU.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Twain was the guy writer and Austen was a gal writer. Insert your "Never the Twain ..." joke here.
  86. @Harry Baldwin
    Also great is "Roughing It" and "Innocents Abroad" which are autobiographical, but comedically enhanced. Some of Twain's work is just god-awful, like "Tom Sawyer Abroad." Twain really had a nerve to mock Jane Austen, as in "I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone."

    He who wrote "Pudd'nhead Wilson" should STFU.

    Twain was the guy writer and Austen was a gal writer. Insert your “Never the Twain …” joke here.

    • Replies: @syonredux

    Twain was the guy writer and Austen was a gal writer. Insert your “Never the Twain …” joke here.
     
    I had a Lesbian friend in my cohort at graduate school who loathed Austen and loved Twain.

    In his extensive correspondence with fellow author and critic William Dean Howells, Mark Twain seemed to enjoy venting his literary spleen on Jane Austen precisely because he knew her to be Howells’ favorite author, In 1909 Twain wrote that “Jane Austin” [sic] was “entirely impossible” and that he could not read her prose even if paid a salary to do so. Howells notes in My Mark Twain (1910) that in fiction Twain “had certain distinct loathings; there were certain authors whose names he seemed not so much to pronounce as to spew out of his mouth.”

    His prime abhorrence was my dear and honored prime favorite, Jane Austen. He once said to me, I suppose after he had been reading some of my unsparing praise of her—I am always praising her, “You seem to think that woman could write,” and he forbore withering me with his scorn, apparently because we had been friends so long and he more pitied than hated me for my bad taste.

    Rather than pitying Twain when he was sick, Howells threatened to come and read Pride and Prejudice to him.
     
    http://www.vqronline.org/essay/barkeeper-entering-kingdom-heaven-did-mark-twain-really-hate-jane-austen
  87. @Steve Sailer
    Twain was at his best writing about boyhood on the Mississippi: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, the first half of Life on the Mississippi.

    Twain was at his best writing about boyhood on the Mississippi: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, the first half of Life on the Mississippi.

    The Mississippi brought out the poet in Twain.

    Roughing It has my vote for peak non-riparian Twain

  88. Never even thought The Matrix was a big deal. It was a good, solid, is-this-reality-or-just-a-dream scifi film, but ts I was like “meh.” Critics and hype jumped the hype train, however, so much so I was thinking “am I missing something?”

    Then the next two Matrix films hit and everyone calmed the fuck down. “Oh, it wasn’t that good/ the sequels ruined it/so much potential/etc.”

    Come to think of it, this is a common theme amongst movies of the late 1990s/early 2000s: the good ones were solid and unadventurous but then wildly overpraised by critics for doing nothing more than not screwing up—and later people had a laugh at how overblown their reaction was to them, as if they were The Godfather-esque.

    Movies of that time period that fit this solid-but-way=overrated-in-hindsight: American Beauty (1999); Shakespeare in Love (1998), the English Patient (1996) (Seinfeld made fun of its overratedness by having an episode where Elaine is chastised by people for not absolutely loving the film); and Chicago (2002), to name a few.

    These movies tend to be sandwiched between Epic Films that clearly were awesome in substance, production, and style, and completely changed the game in their own ways: Titantic (1997); Braveheart (1995); Gladiator (2000).

    Perhaps it stands that when those epic-awesome films came out, they dwarfed other Hollywood productions, so Hollywood publicists and bootlickers work overtime to convince audiences that their latest solid-but-unspectacular piece is in that category or just as good. Sort of like they feared audiences not showing up for their B minus fare once they’d had a taste of A+ fare. So they overcompensated.

    Perhaps Steve, as a film reviewer, could do an article about solid films that were talked up to death at the time they opened, and were lavishly praised, but were quickly forgotten? Maybe a correlation to solid-but-overrated movies coming out within a short time of a truly epic, game-changing film

    Then again, maybe The Matrix and American Beauty really were the greatest movies of all time and I just missed it.

    • Replies: @snorlax
    You can say a lot of things about The Matrix, but "quickly forgotten" is not one of them. It's easily one of the top 10 films of the '90s in terms of cultural impact and in terms of references in other pop culture. If the sequels had been any good it certainly would have eclipsed Star Trek to become the second-biggest sci-fi franchise.
  89. @Steve Sailer
    Twain was the guy writer and Austen was a gal writer. Insert your "Never the Twain ..." joke here.

    Twain was the guy writer and Austen was a gal writer. Insert your “Never the Twain …” joke here.

    I had a Lesbian friend in my cohort at graduate school who loathed Austen and loved Twain.

    In his extensive correspondence with fellow author and critic William Dean Howells, Mark Twain seemed to enjoy venting his literary spleen on Jane Austen precisely because he knew her to be Howells’ favorite author, In 1909 Twain wrote that “Jane Austin” [sic] was “entirely impossible” and that he could not read her prose even if paid a salary to do so. Howells notes in My Mark Twain (1910) that in fiction Twain “had certain distinct loathings; there were certain authors whose names he seemed not so much to pronounce as to spew out of his mouth.”

    His prime abhorrence was my dear and honored prime favorite, Jane Austen. He once said to me, I suppose after he had been reading some of my unsparing praise of her—I am always praising her, “You seem to think that woman could write,” and he forbore withering me with his scorn, apparently because we had been friends so long and he more pitied than hated me for my bad taste.

    Rather than pitying Twain when he was sick, Howells threatened to come and read Pride and Prejudice to him.

    http://www.vqronline.org/essay/barkeeper-entering-kingdom-heaven-did-mark-twain-really-hate-jane-austen

  90. @Steve Sailer
    Twain was at his best writing about boyhood on the Mississippi: Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, the first half of Life on the Mississippi.

    I don’t agree, but ‘best’ is such a subjective thing. I think many people avoid his latter works because of his increasingly misanthropic views as he grew older and endured more tragedy. Don’t ignore his short works – I’d put “Was it Heaven? Or Hell?” up against The Adventures of Tom Sawyer any day.

  91. Matt says:

    I’m a little shocked anyone here liked Cloud Atlas. It was six separate Aesop-level lefty morality plays whose stories whose villains were, in order:

    1. White people
    2. Straight people
    3. Oil and nuclear power industries
    4. Film critics
    5. Rich people
    6. Christians

    If you wanted to make a parody of Hollywood hatred of normal, it wouldn’t be as ridiculously over the top as Cloud Atlas.

  92. @whorefinder
    Never even thought The Matrix was a big deal. It was a good, solid, is-this-reality-or-just-a-dream scifi film, but ts I was like "meh." Critics and hype jumped the hype train, however, so much so I was thinking "am I missing something?"

    Then the next two Matrix films hit and everyone calmed the fuck down. "Oh, it wasn't that good/ the sequels ruined it/so much potential/etc."

    Come to think of it, this is a common theme amongst movies of the late 1990s/early 2000s: the good ones were solid and unadventurous but then wildly overpraised by critics for doing nothing more than not screwing up---and later people had a laugh at how overblown their reaction was to them, as if they were The Godfather-esque.

    Movies of that time period that fit this solid-but-way=overrated-in-hindsight: American Beauty (1999); Shakespeare in Love (1998), the English Patient (1996) (Seinfeld made fun of its overratedness by having an episode where Elaine is chastised by people for not absolutely loving the film); and Chicago (2002), to name a few.

    These movies tend to be sandwiched between Epic Films that clearly were awesome in substance, production, and style, and completely changed the game in their own ways: Titantic (1997); Braveheart (1995); Gladiator (2000).

    Perhaps it stands that when those epic-awesome films came out, they dwarfed other Hollywood productions, so Hollywood publicists and bootlickers work overtime to convince audiences that their latest solid-but-unspectacular piece is in that category or just as good. Sort of like they feared audiences not showing up for their B minus fare once they'd had a taste of A+ fare. So they overcompensated.

    Perhaps Steve, as a film reviewer, could do an article about solid films that were talked up to death at the time they opened, and were lavishly praised, but were quickly forgotten? Maybe a correlation to solid-but-overrated movies coming out within a short time of a truly epic, game-changing film

    Then again, maybe The Matrix and American Beauty really were the greatest movies of all time and I just missed it.

    You can say a lot of things about The Matrix, but “quickly forgotten” is not one of them. It’s easily one of the top 10 films of the ’90s in terms of cultural impact and in terms of references in other pop culture. If the sequels had been any good it certainly would have eclipsed Star Trek to become the second-biggest sci-fi franchise.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I saw the Matrix 2 at a preview screening on the Warner Brothers lot with Jerry Pournelle, and we were both really fired up about it going in. Coming out ...
    , @Priss Factor
    I didn't care for the first Gaytrix cuz it was filled with sci-fi cliches. I didn't care for the lectures about mumbo jumbo stuff which I heard a million times in sci-fi stuff.

    I liked the last one cuz it was all action, some really cool ones. And some stunning images. The dancing-on-the-ceiling gun-fight is a real knockout.

    I saw the second one on TV and it had two excellent action scenes. But not much else.
    , @Priss Factor
    "If the sequels had been any good it certainly would have eclipsed Star Trek to become the second-biggest sci-fi franchise."

    I dunno. Star Drek sucks but it's so popular. Geeks have no taste.
    , @whorefinder
    Aside from the slow-motion, 3-d, bending out of the way of bullets---which was both copied and parodied to death in the next decade---Keeanu Reeve parodies (always done anyway), and the improved career of Hugo Weaving, it really was forgotten when the second movie failed to deliver. Like I said, the first was solid but nothing new or innovative (outside the bullet thing, I'll grant you). A few years later LOTR came out and delivered solidly in every film, not just the first one, and rightfully took the scifi/fantasy crown away.

    And I highly doubt it would have beaten the never-dying Star Trek; again, that's a lot of post hoc rationalization of your devotion at the time. Can't people admit that it was a just faddish craze to overrate the movie, and then to have the fad pass? Like when people were all about M. Night Shyamalan after The Sixth Sense.

    Or the hype about Vince Young and Reggie Bush following their Rose Bowl accomplishments. Yes, they were very good college players who both played well in a big college game (well, Bush in more than one). But then people overhyped them into "game changers" when they entered the pros. Neither panned out. It was just a faddish thing for fans to do. We all look foolish later, but we shouldn't defend such silliness.

    Everyone thinks they're above being manipulated; that's why everyone's so easily manipulated.
  93. @snorlax
    You can say a lot of things about The Matrix, but "quickly forgotten" is not one of them. It's easily one of the top 10 films of the '90s in terms of cultural impact and in terms of references in other pop culture. If the sequels had been any good it certainly would have eclipsed Star Trek to become the second-biggest sci-fi franchise.

    I saw the Matrix 2 at a preview screening on the Warner Brothers lot with Jerry Pournelle, and we were both really fired up about it going in. Coming out …

  94. @Dave Pinsen
    Well, not Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

    The unofficial name is “Star Trek: The Motion Sickness”.

  95. @CK
    Sometimes one feels that Hollywood deliberately demeans and subverts sci-fi.
    What was done to Starship Troopers, by the Director VerHoeven was criminal.
    What was done to both the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged was criminal.
    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress screenplay has been bottled up for over a decade.
    Still waiting for someone to treat the rip roaring Glory Road to something one tenth as
    expensive as the Hobbit movie crap Peter Jackson has defecated onto the screen.

    Based on “Interstellar”, I nominate Chris Nolan to helm “Glory Road”. He has the right individualistic ego to do it.

    Agree that Verhoeven turned “Starship Troopers” into a travesty; when Sergeant Zim turned out to be a sadist…well, we’re done here.

  96. Who wants to see Star Wars where Han Solo wears makeup?

  97. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:
    @snorlax
    You can say a lot of things about The Matrix, but "quickly forgotten" is not one of them. It's easily one of the top 10 films of the '90s in terms of cultural impact and in terms of references in other pop culture. If the sequels had been any good it certainly would have eclipsed Star Trek to become the second-biggest sci-fi franchise.

    I didn’t care for the first Gaytrix cuz it was filled with sci-fi cliches. I didn’t care for the lectures about mumbo jumbo stuff which I heard a million times in sci-fi stuff.

    I liked the last one cuz it was all action, some really cool ones. And some stunning images. The dancing-on-the-ceiling gun-fight is a real knockout.

    I saw the second one on TV and it had two excellent action scenes. But not much else.

  98. @snorlax
    You can say a lot of things about The Matrix, but "quickly forgotten" is not one of them. It's easily one of the top 10 films of the '90s in terms of cultural impact and in terms of references in other pop culture. If the sequels had been any good it certainly would have eclipsed Star Trek to become the second-biggest sci-fi franchise.

    “If the sequels had been any good it certainly would have eclipsed Star Trek to become the second-biggest sci-fi franchise.”

    I dunno. Star Drek sucks but it’s so popular. Geeks have no taste.

  99. Priss Factor [AKA "K. Arujo"] says:
    @Melendwyr

    It's an action-comedy, you fool. It's meant to be zany-crazy.
     
    No, by all appearances it was meant to be action-drama with occasional comic relief. There is a significant difference. If it truly was intended to be comical, it failed - and became a farce instead.

    No part of Waterworld made sense as presented. When we say we want a movie to make us think, we mean in the sense of having nuanced themes and profound applicability, not in the sense of being ripped out of the experience by confusion and contempt.

    Ferex, perhaps there were attempts to engineer people to breathe water as an emergency supplementary system - but this is never made clear, and has to be invented by the viewer either afterwards or by suspending engagement and pondering while the film is going on. Either state is bad. It makes absolutely no sense as a spontaneous mutation. It's as bad as the 'humans are batteries' development in The Matrix, but the rest of that movie was good enough for us to excuse it. Waterworld wasn't.

    “No, by all appearances it was meant to be action-drama with occasional comic relief. There is a significant difference. If it truly was intended to be comical, it failed – and became a farce instead.”

    What a dumbass you are. It’s hilarious and riotous from the getgo. Dennis Hopper is outrageous and was given the funniest lines. It’s got the goofy kid. The action is outlandish, as is the scenario.
    It was done in the spirit of Fandango.

    How about the scene where Kostner shops for a tomato plant.

  100. @SFG
    Maybe they just got lucky with the Matrix and couldn't repeat their success?

    Long as we're talking about geek luminaries, how about Gary Gygax? He made a huge success with Dungeons & Dragons, but after leaving the company kept making D&D knockoffs without any special distinction. He managed to synthesize wargames, fantasy novels, and storytelling into a game that directly influenced World of Warcraft and all its clones, but once he'd had his big idea, he couldn't come up with anything earthshaking afterward.

    I think it was the Gary Gygax/Dave Arneson synthesis that caught lightning in a bottle with the original Dungeons & Dragons, the foundation of the structure for all level-up role-playing games tabletop, live-action, computer, and online multi-player. Arneson had the amazing ideas, Gygax put it into a structured format derived from tabletop wargaming.

    Gygax’s best late work was when he went back to writing D&D material at the very end, for Castle Zagyg/Yggsburgh, based on his original Castle Greyhawk.

  101. @snorlax
    You can say a lot of things about The Matrix, but "quickly forgotten" is not one of them. It's easily one of the top 10 films of the '90s in terms of cultural impact and in terms of references in other pop culture. If the sequels had been any good it certainly would have eclipsed Star Trek to become the second-biggest sci-fi franchise.

    Aside from the slow-motion, 3-d, bending out of the way of bullets—which was both copied and parodied to death in the next decade—Keeanu Reeve parodies (always done anyway), and the improved career of Hugo Weaving, it really was forgotten when the second movie failed to deliver. Like I said, the first was solid but nothing new or innovative (outside the bullet thing, I’ll grant you). A few years later LOTR came out and delivered solidly in every film, not just the first one, and rightfully took the scifi/fantasy crown away.

    And I highly doubt it would have beaten the never-dying Star Trek; again, that’s a lot of post hoc rationalization of your devotion at the time. Can’t people admit that it was a just faddish craze to overrate the movie, and then to have the fad pass? Like when people were all about M. Night Shyamalan after The Sixth Sense.

    Or the hype about Vince Young and Reggie Bush following their Rose Bowl accomplishments. Yes, they were very good college players who both played well in a big college game (well, Bush in more than one). But then people overhyped them into “game changers” when they entered the pros. Neither panned out. It was just a faddish thing for fans to do. We all look foolish later, but we shouldn’t defend such silliness.

    Everyone thinks they’re above being manipulated; that’s why everyone’s so easily manipulated.

  102. I believe the first Matrix movie has become one of the most influential movies of the last 30 years. This film alone will guarantee the Wachowski Brothers a permanent place in the movie pantheon. First of all, it’s an update of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave – one of the foundational myths of the Western Civilization. Books have been written about it, and the consensus is that the movie presents a vision of reality that can be described as “paranoid Gnosticism,” – a darker view of the origins of the Universe, in which the latter was created by a lesser god, which explains the origins of evil and suffering. Gnosticism has been in competition with Christianity since the very start, and is still very influential.

    Secondly, the movie has been influenced by a new development in quantum physics – called digital physics- going back to John Wheeler’s metaphor of It from Bit, i.e., the illusion of matter arising from information.According to this point of view the Universe is in fact a quantum computer, and we live within a digital simulation or The Matrix. “The Universe Solved” by Jim Elvidge provides an intriguing and accessible introduction to this rapidly developing field.

    Finally, to see the extent to which the expressions Red Pill and Blue Pill have permeated the culture, look at the Manosphere, specifically at writers such as Chateau Heartiste, Roosh V, Dalrock, etc. The phrases and the point of view behind them are not going away anytime soon

  103. The Matrix was probably a tad overrated because it was released right before The Phantom Menace, which ended up being one of the most disappointing movies of all time. The Matrix’s initial box office in fact benefitted from the pent-up anticipation of the new Star Wars film, and when that ended up being a dud, The Matrix began to look like the Citizen Kane of Sci-Fi movies.

    Another interesting thing about early summer 1999 was that two other movies with almost identical premises to The Matrix, The 13th Floor and Existenz, also came out and were quickly forgotten.

  104. @Priss Factor
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4ZzMkDLjWI

    Looks sort of interesting. Aristo-fruiters elbowing one another to gain dominance of the cosmic fashion industry.

    At any rate, box office doesn't say much about quality. ENDER'S GAME is superb but bombed.
    13th WARRIOR is an all-time bust but a true classic.

    I think WATERWORLD is one of most inspired action-comedies. No one got it.

    JOHN CARTER wasn't entirely successful but it wasn't bad as many people said it was. It was rather interesting and zany-inventive.

    But some bombs deserved to be bombs.

    CLOUD ATLAS wasn't watchable. Quit after 30 excruciating min. 47 RONIN was moronic. Quit after 20 insufferable min.

    K. Arujo says: ENDER’S GAME is superb but bombed.
    13th WARRIOR is an all-time bust but a true classic.
    I think WATERWORLD is one of most inspired action-comedies. No one got it.

    If you ever need a ride to the drive-in… give me a call.

    Kevin O’Keeffe says: This is what comes of criticizing a movie you haven’t seen. Mila Kunis’s role is a fairly traditional sort of female role, and there is very little of the “butt-kicking babe” trope evident in this film (thankfully).

    Fair enough. Your review just upgraded Jupiter Ascending from “avoid” to “wait ’til it comes out on basic cable”.

  105. Someone in the Law & Order gamergate progrom episode thread said:

    This is a rare avoidance of the “black tech wizard” trope. No black nerds in the gang.

    But I guess I’ll put my Matrix-bashing here instead.

    I got bored and watched The Matrix again yesterday. I saw a single white male good guy, the omega male nerd comic relief who bought the farm the second the action started. I saw nothing but white male villains. No kidding. Go back and watch it yourself; was there a single non-white-male cop in the onanistic cop-killing scene? Have there been that many good guy cops in a movie without a single non-white among them since 1990? What a pile of shit that movie is. Funny how dieversity works in practice. It’s so bad it’s a caricature of what you’d expect from a couple of Polish gentile pervert directors.

    White man, watch The Matrix again and keep in mind that YOU are supposedly Agent Smith. YOU are the enemy in that movie. Still find it fun to watch? Maybe if you pretend the movie isn’t about what it’s actually about. The Matrix accidentally offers white men a couple of useful cultural memes to refer to: the Matrix – which we really are all living in, despite the creators’ attempt to give it a sex change – and the pills. Both of which are memes despite the movie itself, more than because of it. Other than that, the movie pretty much is forgotten.

    If you wanted to make a parody of Hollywood hatred of normal, it wouldn’t be as ridiculously over the top as Cloud Atlas.

    Hmm, I’ll have to watch it and see if it tops The Matrix in its hatred of the white heterosexual male goyim.

    I didn’t even care much for the fight scenes in The Matrix. I think they’re all nicely summarized by that faggy foot-in-the-air thing Mace Rixer Neo does right at the end after putting the smackdown on Evil YT. Too much prancy kung fu, not enough jujitsu/MMA. Agent Smith is the only one who doesn’t fight like a fag.

    The Matrix is the Holy Gospel of the Synagogue of the Anti-White Multikult with a mixed-race eunuch-Christ (ever seen a hero with less agency?), black John the Baptist, black female Moses, brown 12 apostles, and white virgin Mary (natch) fighting for the Learned Elder Zion against YT and the white Judas. What does Agent Honkey know? He just built the tech the whole thing runs on.

    I bet the pervert brothers siblingoids regret having had to use someone as almost-white as Reeves for the main character to put asses in seats.

    Go look for pictures of those perverts. Facial phrenology raises its ugly head again.

    And all that without mentioning all the jarringly bad cutaways (“ZOMG NEOOOO!”), inexplicable crap like the water ripple effect that ruined the helicopter crashing into the building, etc.

    Bullet time was cool enough, but that was probably conceived and executed by Agent Smith types. Regardless, I’m confident the perverts had no hand in it.

  106. @Tacitus2016
    As compared to Andrew Sullivan whose androgen injections increased his output? Those who take oestrogen complain of lowered energy, depression and difficulty controlling emotions. Can't see how that would help one deliver good movies. One transformer I knew lost all interest in their nerdy pursuits.

    What the hell!! I learn a new word “transformer” that ruins my childhood memories and an iSteve commenter knows one?

    I came to iSteve from NRO. Where’s the new less gay iSteve?

  107. Matrix with the “who-whom?” reversed: blond Aryan techno-Christ leads a team of blond Aryan techno-Apostles to victory against the Black/Brown/Jewish Agents of the Jewish Oligarch Matrix, killing tons of black guys in the process, saving the White Reich despite the treachery of the one black guy left on their team after Urkel buys the farm. The End. Oh, and it would be made in a country founded and largely populated by black Jews.

    It would be The Most Racist Movie Ever Made, and the people who made it would all be blacklisted (for starters).

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    "Matrix with the 'who-whom?' reversed...would be The Most Racist Movie Ever Made."

    Precisely so. It's amazing how few people seem to notice this.
  108. What I’d actually like to see is Stranger in a Strange Land, played seriously, nudity and all. I doubt the review boards are mature enough to watch a film with casual nudity and sex without giving it an X rating, much less audiences. I suppose it will never happen.

    Even when that work because popular, most people didn’t seem to actually understand it. “Thou art God” is an explicitly bittersweet declaration – it’s a mea culpa as much as it is self-affirming, a burden as much as a liberation. Responsibility isn’t as much fun as it seems. And that’s with a watered-down message: Heinlein didn’t quite have the guts to have the characters go around saying “I am God”.

    Don’t even get me started on how people misapply ‘grok’.

  109. As for stupid, yes, I found the idea that the White male Judas couldn’t just load up a juicy delicious steak in their mini-Matrix whenever he wanted one to be almost as stupid as the Duracell battery thing; the people removed from the Matrix had it waaay better than the poor slobs who were still stuck in it. But these are the kinds of eggs you often have to break to make movie omelets. They’re usually forgivable.

    I used the pause button and rewind several times throughout that movie. As far as I can tell, every single person stuck in the Matrix and not secretly fighting against it was white; every single white man in the movie is a bad guy; every single non-white in the movie is a good guy. To the point that they had a scene set on a busy street in Manhattan and every single person other than mixed race Jesus and black John the Baptist is white. Hundreds of whites on a crowded street in Manhattan, with not a single non-white in view. Check out the part where they freeze it for a good laugh. To say that kind of thing doesn’t happen by accident, especially in Hollywood, is the understatement of the year.

  110. Blade had bullet time before The Matrix did, so they weren’t even the first to bring that to film.

    I learn a new word “transformer” that ruins my childhood memories

    I don’t have to know any trannies to know that this is a thing with some of them: Transformers! More than meets the eye! Too perfect.

    13th Warrior is one of those cult classics that is adored by every guy who remembers it, in my experience. Great movie.

    Dredd was the last movie I saw and knew it would be in my pantheon forever. Awesome sci-fi movie.

  111. Twain had some okayish stuff besides Huck Finn, but it’s always a considerable step down from from his masterpiece.

    The Bostonians is an okay follow up to Portrait of a Lady. There are some other interesting bits here and there. I have no f-ing idea why people like late Henry James. And I’m a widely read fellow who is not easily intimidated by a bit of obscurity.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Late Henry James is a test of your working memory. I don't have enough to keep track of the antecedents of all the pronouns James uses in his convoluted sentences, so my brain is inferior to the brains of people who can make sense of his prose.
  112. Tom Sawyer is a step way down from Huck Finn.

  113. @Thursday
    Twain had some okayish stuff besides Huck Finn, but it's always a considerable step down from from his masterpiece.

    The Bostonians is an okay follow up to Portrait of a Lady. There are some other interesting bits here and there. I have no f-ing idea why people like late Henry James. And I'm a widely read fellow who is not easily intimidated by a bit of obscurity.

    Late Henry James is a test of your working memory. I don’t have enough to keep track of the antecedents of all the pronouns James uses in his convoluted sentences, so my brain is inferior to the brains of people who can make sense of his prose.

    • Replies: @whorefinder

    so my brain is inferior to the brains of people who can make sense of his prose.
     
    There is a reason James has to be rediscovered and pushed by university professors every few years. James was akin to today's avant-garde artists making art that only 5 other avant-gardes semi-understand and his patron only pretends to understand and no one else is supposed to understand because he's just a darn above-you-all special snowflake of awesome. James's arrogance in writing made him boring, which probably protected his ego from the fact that he just wasn't talented enough to be a good writer, so he just became an opaque one.
  114. @Steve Sailer
    Late Henry James is a test of your working memory. I don't have enough to keep track of the antecedents of all the pronouns James uses in his convoluted sentences, so my brain is inferior to the brains of people who can make sense of his prose.

    so my brain is inferior to the brains of people who can make sense of his prose.

    There is a reason James has to be rediscovered and pushed by university professors every few years. James was akin to today’s avant-garde artists making art that only 5 other avant-gardes semi-understand and his patron only pretends to understand and no one else is supposed to understand because he’s just a darn above-you-all special snowflake of awesome. James’s arrogance in writing made him boring, which probably protected his ego from the fact that he just wasn’t talented enough to be a good writer, so he just became an opaque one.

  115. @Svigor
    Matrix with the "who-whom?" reversed: blond Aryan techno-Christ leads a team of blond Aryan techno-Apostles to victory against the Black/Brown/Jewish Agents of the Jewish Oligarch Matrix, killing tons of black guys in the process, saving the White Reich despite the treachery of the one black guy left on their team after Urkel buys the farm. The End. Oh, and it would be made in a country founded and largely populated by black Jews.

    It would be The Most Racist Movie Ever Made, and the people who made it would all be blacklisted (for starters).

    “Matrix with the ‘who-whom?’ reversed…would be The Most Racist Movie Ever Made.”

    Precisely so. It’s amazing how few people seem to notice this.

  116. @WowJustWow
    I think a strong point in favor of the autogynephilia hypothesis is how often these guys don't try to look actually feminine, but instead strive to look like caricatures of femininity. Can you imagine somebody born with a real vagina wearing a hairstyle that looks like a hat made of used tampons? http://a2.files.biography.com/image/upload/c_fill,dpr_1.0,g_face,h_300,q_80,w_300/MTIwNjA4NjM0MTk2MDM1MDg0.jpg

    In the 2010 comedy The Extraman, Paul Dano features as a mild-mannered guy with autogynephilia who is horrified by what he sees in the mirror when he hires a professional makeup artist to try and make him look like a sexy woman.

    It’s interestingly to note that this very funny film, with a brilliant performance from Kevin Kline as Dano’s eccentric landlord, was given a very poor rating by liberal film critics.

  117. Funnily enough, I forgot the one scene in The Matrix where the drones in the matrix aren’t all white – the scene in Chinatown toward the end. I say funnily, because IIRC there are no yellow good guys in the film, unless you count mixed Jesus. And because yellows are one rung up from whites on America’s leftist racial hierarchy. I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence.

  118. I saw Jupiter Ascending at the drive in a few nights ago and realized it occupies the worst tier of bad movies. The hope was that it would be MST3K style campy bad and on the same level as Battlefield Earth or Waterworld. I have a soft spot for campy movies and firmly believe that a batshit crazy vision taken to the extreme can be amusing even when it’s not good.

    Same here. I like Starship Troopers (never read the book) and Flash Gordon.

  119. A cop once told me that he always avoided dealing with white people sporting dreadlocks. The women were always crazy and the men mostly so. The exceptions were the stoners. His theory was that one day really smart criminals would figure it out and start wearing dreadlocks, knowing the cops would do anything to avoid even talking to them.

    Wiggers who go for black hairstyles are really pushing the envelope of stupid. Blacks do all that awful shit with their hair because they lack any good options. I can still picture the wigger girls aping black girls’ hair, smothered in grease or whatever it is, to make hard hairstyles. Talk about out to lunch.

  120. “whorefinder says:

    These movies tend to be sandwiched between Epic Films that clearly were awesome in substance, production, and style, and completely changed the game in their own ways: Titantic (1997); Braveheart (1995); Gladiator (2000).”

    Awesome in substance? I suppose – if you have the mentality of a twelve year-old. All three of those movies you mentioned were awful.

  121. Speaking of Waterworl – its director, Kevin Reynolds, along with onetime game-show producer Jay Wolpert, went on to make what I consider to be one of the best movies of the last twenty years: “The Count of Monte Cristo”.

  122. I’m just back from seeing Jupiter Rising at an Imax: it was really, really bad and dragged on a really long time.

    At the beginning of the film there is a brief shot of Channing Tatum’s bare ass (my wife told me it was cute), but Mila Kunis remains chastely dressed throughout the 2 hours running time. It’s so unfair.

  123. Late Henry James is a test of your working memory. I don’t have enough to keep track of the antecedents of all the pronouns James uses in his convoluted sentences, so my brain is inferior to the brains of people who can make sense of his prose.

    OK, but he’s supposed to be a storyteller, right? Even for someone that understands it, that kind of prose just turns the narrative to sludge.

  124. I’m watching Vince Gilligans’s Better Call Saul at the moment and it strikes me while watching Saul, that the reason males make for interesting watching is we are so believably desperate sometimes. This makes for good TV.

    Man has to earn his love.
    Woman only has to ask for it.

    orrr

    Man has to buy his love.
    Woman can sell hers’.

    Whichever you prefer.

    Those are also probably the reasons why women and minorities (lets be honest those minorities are women) require affirmative action and sympathy-feelz from Slate…. and they are also probably the reason why women are pretty terrible at portraying male characters… or even the human condition. (that last one will probably be contentious, even here, but it’s probably true and probably related to female guilt. She cannot admit she has it easier, therefore she must project that “free ride” onto men in order to maintain her illusion of martyrdom….or something!)

    • Replies: @Thought Police
    (to clarify!)
    Fake Martyrdom = fake suffering.

    Fake suffering = misguided understanding of human condition.

  125. @Thought Police
    I'm watching Vince Gilligans's Better Call Saul at the moment and it strikes me while watching Saul, that the reason males make for interesting watching is we are so believably desperate sometimes. This makes for good TV.

    Man has to earn his love.
    Woman only has to ask for it.

    orrr

    Man has to buy his love.
    Woman can sell hers'.

    Whichever you prefer.

    Those are also probably the reasons why women and minorities (lets be honest those minorities are women) require affirmative action and sympathy-feelz from Slate.... and they are also probably the reason why women are pretty terrible at portraying male characters... or even the human condition. (that last one will probably be contentious, even here, but it's probably true and probably related to female guilt. She cannot admit she has it easier, therefore she must project that "free ride" onto men in order to maintain her illusion of martyrdom....or something!)

    (to clarify!)
    Fake Martyrdom = fake suffering.

    Fake suffering = misguided understanding of human condition.

  126. I’m enough of a science fiction fan that Ive been to a lot of conventions. I never saw the third Matrix movie because the second one was so awful and thought Bound wasn’t all that great, so I’m hardly a mindless Wachowski fan. All that said…

    I liked Speed Racer. It wasn’t great but I enjoyed it.

    I liked Cloud Atlas quite a bit. I’m not a fan of the philosophy behind it but it was well made and, in parts, surprisingly fun to watch.

    I saw Jupiter Rising over the weekend and enjoyed that more than I thought I would, as did my wife who didn’t like Cloud Atlas. I think it was a good Space Opera movie, even if it was a bit uneven in tone at times and some action scenes suffered from the Peter Jackson “When will this end?” problem.

    If nothing else, at least you get to see the money they spent on the screen.

  127. Some sneaky little shit with mod privileges goes around changing peoples posts here at unz.com, after the commenters have moved on. I wrote:

    It’s so bad it’s a caricature of what you’d expect from a couple of Jewish pervert directors.

    Only to find that it had been changed to this:

    It’s so bad it’s a caricature of what you’d expect from a couple of Polish gentile pervert directors.

    For all I know, the Wachowski brothers aren’t Jewish. I assume they are, but that’s why they call them assumptions. And I didn’t call them Jewish. What I wrote would be true, IMO, even if the Wachowskis aren’t Jewish; The Matrix is so bad it’s like a caricature of what a couple of Jewish perverts would produce.

    This kind of sneaky skullduggery doesn’t smell like Steve or Ron to me. So, who else is allowed to edit comments in Steve’s threads?

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I corrected your mis-statement because I didn't want to trash your whole comment.
  128. @Svigor
    Some sneaky little shit with mod privileges goes around changing peoples posts here at unz.com, after the commenters have moved on. I wrote:

    It’s so bad it’s a caricature of what you’d expect from a couple of Jewish pervert directors.
     
    Only to find that it had been changed to this:

    It’s so bad it’s a caricature of what you’d expect from a couple of Polish gentile pervert directors.
     
    For all I know, the Wachowski brothers aren't Jewish. I assume they are, but that's why they call them assumptions. And I didn't call them Jewish. What I wrote would be true, IMO, even if the Wachowskis aren't Jewish; The Matrix is so bad it's like a caricature of what a couple of Jewish perverts would produce.

    This kind of sneaky skullduggery doesn't smell like Steve or Ron to me. So, who else is allowed to edit comments in Steve's threads?

    I corrected your mis-statement because I didn’t want to trash your whole comment.

  129. Steve, I’m disappointed. You can ameliorate the suffering by citing your source, though. I didn’t find anything reliable.

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