Sunday, November 06, 2016

Strange Days Indeed... Most Peculiar, Momma

Oh, data analysis is just so boring, but I do recall with a certain wistful fondness when I was prowling the halls at a community college as an overage student for a while, trying to avoid the looks of the pimply-faced youngsters, when I noticed a movie-themed study on one of the walls.  I think it had something to do with statistical analysis of the Oscars... that's all of it I can remember.  Well, who would expect a youngster to come away with a takeaway teachable moment worth anything to the Oscar community, when they already know there was a massive societal shift in the late '60s and what not.  All you need to do is look at the Oscar winners for 1969, then the ones for 1970, and... well, frankly, the whole Oscar system is corrupt.  We need an orange-faced billionaire outsider to go in there and do some serious reforms.  And if he can't, well... back to bankruptcy court for all of us.
Of course, the data analysis that the big studios might be interested in now is an analysis of box office performance compared to publicity.  Take Benedict Cumberbatch, for example, or as I like to think of him, the new British Dennis Quaid.  He's had a busy week, taping segments for Saturday Night Live, and doing various talk shows for the last two weeks, not to mention traveling all over the world and making various stops on behalf of Marvel Studio's latest and greatest.  And what's the grand total?  Well, that it would be #1 in America is without question, but... a bit shy of $100 million?  I guess you could say that it's not bad for a character that, while apparently everyone's now favourite comic books they red... I'm going to leave that one as is, and rub my nose in it now and again. 
The Doctor Strange comic books are, all of a sudden, everyone's favourite, having READ all of them as children, along with Pogo and Dumb Dora from the funny papers... and yet, this is the character's big debut to the Marvel Universe, so to speak, or the Marvel-verse... Marv-iverse?  Muniverse?  Unimarv?  The point is, I think even the most partisan among us can agree, it's still way, way better than that Fantastic Four reboot.  Wow, what a stinky cinematic turd pile.  Guess it'll be a while before they get into one of the Avengers movies... the Marvel ones, not the much reviled 1998 cinematic re-envisioning of the classic 60s show starring Patrick Macnee and Diana Rigg.  You will remember the name Chechik!  Chances are he's directed one of your favorite TV shows.  His fans are of course called Chechik Rebels.
Meanwhile, on the flid sipe of the kenard... coin... what multivariate calculus could possibly explain the performance of Hacksaw Ridge?  Well, let's start with the setting: World War II, a setting that, while not done to death, seems a little bit close to it, especially after Saving Private Ryan, and "Band of Brothers," the HBO miniseries version of Saving Private Ryan.  Then you've got "The Pacific" and The Monuments Men.  Those are just the modern examples.  I exclude Inglorious Basterds just because it's a little bit fantastical.  Do with that what you like.  But one thing these all have in common is that everyone involved seemed very, very committed to doing everything they could to defeat that bastard Adolf Hitler.  Some guys who were declared 4F committed suicide at home.  There was rationing at home on a scale unseen in modern times, even on top of the Great Depression, which your grandparents can tell you was bad.  Really bad.  Why, Bob Dole had to take in boarders, for God's sake!  Filthy, unwashed boarders.
Okay, so bearing all that in mind, along comes Hacksaw Ridge about a conscientious objector in World War II.  Um... okay, that's... that's different, I guess!  Sure, the concept wasn't as popular then as it was, say, during the Vietnam War, but whatever.  Donald Sutherland's Hippie-like character in Kelly's Heroes seems out of place as well.  Oyster, urster.  Which brings me to the director of Hacksaw Ridge, Oscar-winner and new gold standard bearer of the title "raging Hollywood trainwreck" Mel Gibson.  He went on with Colbert to flog his new wares, and he was planning on behaving himself asbestos he could, unlike with, say, Diane Sawyer.  And unlike when he was pushing Edge of Darkness, now he does give a f... damn.  So let's say it's a double feature: a pro-Vietnam movie with We Were Soldiers, and an anti-fighting WWII pic now with Summit Entertainment's Hacksaw Ridge because, well... after the Twilight series, Summit's got money to burn, and Mel was in Oscar territory 20 years ago... maybe he's overdue!
So given those two choices, audiences were clearly divided, which is why Trolls was people's go-to Plan B, a nice, non-offensive fare to dump the kids off at for a couple hours.  Boy, but parents can't get enough of those, can they?

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