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Messages - AKA23

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Off-Topic Discussion / The Music of Joni Mitchell
« on: Yesterday at 09:29:41 AM »
Hello everyone. I was watching an old episode of "This Is Us," as I've recently started watching the show, and they played a song by Joni Mitchell called "Both Sides Now" that I really liked. I'm not familiar with the music of Joni Mitchell at all, but after hearing the clip, I listened to the full song, and really found that it was both deep and philosophical, which is rare to find in music today.

For any board members that are familiar with Joni Mitchell and the song, I'd love to hear from you, what do you think it means? What was she trying to communicate with the song? How do you interpret it, and what resonance does it have for you? Has she ever talked about why she wrote it or how to interpret its meaning? I find the song to be profound, but am not sure that I really understand it, and wanted to seek all of your thoughts to help enrich my appreciation of it, and thought this could generate a nice dialogue.

Also, for those who like Joni Mitchell, if I like "Both Sides Now", are there any other similar songs that you'd recommend, or any other artists with similar songs that you think I might like? As I've spoken about on the board before, I am not very knowledgeable about music, so could really use everyone's guidance on that.

To refresh everyone's memory, or if you aren't familiar with the song, here's a link to it from Youtube (it was originally recorded in the 1960's, but I heard her re-recording of it that she recorded in 2000, which is linked below, and I think I like this version better, since it has more poignancy for me). I am kind of shocked that Joni Mitchell wrote it when she was in her 20's, since it demonstrates a wisdom that was way beyond her years at the time:

How much money a movie makes will always be important to a studio, but that money doesn't all have to come from box office either. There's streaming rights, physical media and digital releases, and TV rights.

This is a very legitimate point that I agree with. How much money a movie makes will always be important to a studio, and it should be. As you point out, that money can be made in a variety of different ways outside of the money a film makes at theaters. However, I think that the revenue a film generates is only one of several measures of success that a studio head would, and should, care about--the others being critical reception and Oscar nominations, and actually making a good film that a studio would be proud to associate with their company. Both of those measures of success affect the reputation of the studio, its viability, the brand, and the likelihood that the studio will be seen as a go to company for prestigious films to be made in the future. Also, I think total revenue from all the films made, and making money in the aggregate, is much more important than each individual film being a money maker for the studio.

Additionally, I think being seen as a hospitable place for filmmakers to bring their projects to be made would also be important to a studio head, and this CEO's comments are kind of in tension with that goal. I wouldn't have financed "Cry Macho", but that doesn't necessarily mean that any of Clint's future projects would be money losers, and I wouldn't necessarily want to alienate him from making future films with Warner Bros because a couple movies recently didn't make money. After all, who among us could have predicted that "American Sniper," which was released in 2014, so not a million years ago, would have been the highest grossing movie of 2014 in the U.S., and would go on to make $550 million at the global box office?

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this! In my opinion, I don't think "Cry Macho" should have been made. There was no way with the script that they had that they could have possibly made a good film. I also don't think "15:17 to Paris" should have been made, for the same reason. The existing problems in both films with the scripts were compounded by Eastwood by choosing cast members that were either unknown, or in the case of "15:17 to Paris", had no acting experience. If what the CEO is saying is that he is going to apply more scrutiny to Eastwood's future projects, and that he won't automatically green light any film just because Eastwood says he wants to make it, and Clint has to search for better material next time, that wouldn't be the worst thing for me as an Eastwood fan.

At the same time, I personally wouldn't have made "Richard Jewell", but he did actually make a good movie out of the story, and Kathy Bates did get an Oscar nomination for her portrayal of Jewell's Mom. I think if I were a studio head, my primary goal would be to make a good film, my secondary goal would probably be critical acclaim and Oscar nominations (if the film is the type of film where that is possible), and my third goal would be for it to make money. Not every film necessarily needs to be a huge money maker for the studio. Making money is only one criteria for a successful film. There is always a balance, which is one of the reasons that the industry is so fond of making sequels and remakes, because those are usually more reliable box office performers. A reflexive policy that any film that was judged before production to be likely not to make money would therefore not be financed, would also lead to only safe films being made, with little to no risk being taken, which would really take away from the richness of film as an art, and further reduce the diversity of the type of films that ended up being made.

Also, "The Mule" made $175 million worldwide, on a $50 million budget, and that was just three films ago, so Eastwood can still, with the right story, be a box office draw, I think. I think had Eastwood and the screen writer not botched the portrayal of the female journalist, by implying that she traded sex for information, that "Richard Jewell" would have gotten even better reviews and more critical acclaim, because the film otherwise was very well done, but that movie never would have been a huge money maker for the studio. The prestige that accrues to the studio from either making a very well done film, or a film which receives Oscar nominations, is sometimes more important to the reputation of the studio than how much money it makes.

Also, it is very difficult to accurately determine how audiences may respond to a film in advance of it being released. Warners didn't want to make either "Million Dollar Baby", or "Mystic River", and both made a lot of money for Warner Bros when they were released.

In summary, if the CEO's views encourage Eastwood to apply more scrutiny to his future projects, I think that might be a good thing, but I disagree that every film needs to be a money maker for the studio, and I think it's more difficult to determine that in advance than the CEO might think that it it is. If the film being proposed won't make a good film because the material just isn't there, and it also won't make money or bring prestige to the studio, I think that's a perfectly valid reason to decline to finance a film, even if its someone of Eastwood's calibre that wants to make it.

I just read an article that I thought all the Eastwood fans on the board may be interested in discussing. I would be surprised if Warners ended its relationship with Eastwood, but it does appear that the new CEO may not be interested in green lighting any future Eastwood projects that he doesn't think will make money. What does everyone think of this?

Clint Eastwood has been making movies with Warner Bros. for over 50 years now. It?s been one of the most trust-worthy and lasting director/studio friendships in the industry.

Sadly, I don?t think newly promoted Warner CEO David Zaslav gives a damn. A recent conference call Zaslav had with the movie studio?s executives leaked and it looks like this hotshot would not flinch if he wanted to let go of Eastwood?s partnership with the studio.

The major point of contention was Eastwood?s box-office flop ?Cry Macho.? After executives told Zaslav that they had doubted the movie would turn a profit,  Zaslav asked ?then why did you make it if you had reservations?? When they replied that Eastwood had given the studio many hits and never delivered a movie late or over budget, he answered: ?We don?t owe anyone any favors.?

Eastwood is turning 92 next week. He has nothing more to prove, but he still wants to make the small-budgeted movies he seems to be churning out on a yearly basis. Zaslav taking over is very bad news for not just Eastwood, but quality cinema as a whole. His attitude seems repugnant. That's not  a way to talk about a man who brought your studio a ton of prestige over the last five decades with critically-acclaimed and award-winning movies.

I can confirm that I also see the New Topic button.

General Discussion / Re: Clint and the Hollywood Walk of Fame
« on: March 23, 2022, 10:48:22 AM »
Hi LB. Thanks for this question. We've discussed this before. From what I remember, there is a substantial fee that would need to be paid in order for Clint to have a star. This is an old thread, but I looked up the current cost, and it looks like it may now be $50,000. I think he's been offered it multiple times, but has declined the opportunity. This is speculation, but this is presumably because he either didn't want to pay himself to have a star, or didn't want to fundraise to purchase one.;action=display;threadid=60

Eastwood News / Re: Eastwood in the press (minor mentions)
« on: March 15, 2022, 03:42:01 PM »
Eastwood recently gave an interview to his local paper reminiscing about his experience in the military at Ford Ord. The article also has some nice photos of him. There is nothing related to his filmmaking career that I saw in this article.

Eastwood News / Re: Eastwood in the press (minor mentions)
« on: March 15, 2022, 03:39:11 PM »
A company is producing some Man with No Name and Dirty Harry action figures. The likeness to Eastwood is, I think, quite good.

If you're interested in checking them out, you can do that at the below links. They can also be pre-ordered here:

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: Love
« on: March 15, 2022, 03:33:43 PM »
Congrats Brian. Glad this relationship has brought meaning and joy to your life.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2022 Movie Discussion
« on: March 09, 2022, 11:21:05 AM »
I saw The Batman. I liked it a lot. It's nearly three hours long, but I really wasn't much aware of the its length (except for when I had to get up at some point in the middle to leave the auditorium for a few minutes). I really liked being in this Batman world. I like most of the Batman movies that we've had so far, and this one goes near the top for me.

Glad you liked this Christopher, as I know that you were really looking forward to it. I also saw this and really didn't like it, which was quite disappointing, since Batman has always been my favorite super hero. For me, both the Tim Burton Batman movies and all of the Nolan films were far superior, but it does have a very high rating on IMDB (8.5/10, I think), so most viewers were like you and not like me, which has me kind of questioning my own judgment on this. I just don't understand why people like this movie so much. Can you go into some more depth into your thoughts on it and why you are ranking it near the top?

For me, I found it to be much too long. I found the story to be highly convoluted and at times difficult to follow. The tone of the film felt far too dark and gloomy, and even visually, I found the cinematography, which a lot are loving, to also be far too dark. At times, it was actually difficult to see what was happening on the screen for me, and most of the scenes were set during the evening or when it was raining, etc.

For a Batman film, I also found the plot to be quite slow moving, with much less action than I would have expected when compared to the other films in the series. In terms of Robert Pattinson's performance as Batman, which a lot of people were concerned about when he was cast, I felt that he was fine, but I did find that there was very little of Bruce Wayne in this film, and that Robert Pattinson really acted much the same portraying both Batman and Bruce Wayne, which I found to be quite odd given that the duality of the character has always been a large part of the portrayal in other films. I also found due to the dark and gloomy tone and slow plot, much less action, and relative absence of Bruce Wayne, that the film kind of lacked the fun factor that made a lot of the other movies entertaining. I did like the corruption theme, and the fact that fighting corruption in Gotham and exposing its hypocrisy was front and center. If I were to rate it, I think I'd give it a C. "Batman v. Superman" was definitely worse, and I do think that the director was successful in achieving the aesthetic that he was obviously going for, but I just didn't find the movie to be entertaining to watch.

Hocine, I've never seen "Delta Force," or any other movie with Chuck Norris. This is because I am not really a fan of Chuck Norris, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, etc. I have always felt that Eastwood's films explored themes that are typically not delved into too deeply, or at all, by the other action movie stars, so they have always been more thought-provoking for me and more interesting to watch.

Thanks LB for watching this. Does anyone else have any feedback? The creator of the video is also interested in hearing from anyone who may disagree with the perspectives expressed in the video, and why. LB, I have shared your feedback and appreciate your comments.

Thanks for this very thoughtful post, LB. Although I think I would still prefer for "Dirty Harry" to not be remade or revisited, I do think the idea of doing a prequel that extends the story in other directions and that can actually add to the mythology of how Harry became the cop we see in "Dirty Harry" could be a more promising approach than remaking the original film.

As for Scott Eastwood being the actor to do that, I have some concerns about that. To me, Scott Eastwood has not yet demonstrated that he has either the charisma or the acting skill of his father, and I think it would be better for the film if the actor chosen did not invite such direct comparisons to Clint Eastwood's portrayal of Harry.

Like you, I very much like Timothy Olyphant. What I liked about Olyphant was that Clint Eastwood was clearly an influence for his character in "Justified," but he was still very much his own character, and I think Olyphant would try to make Dirty Harry his own rather than trying to perform a caricature of Eastwood's version. But, as you say, he would be too old to portray a younger Harry.

I'm really not a fan of his movies. I think I admire him more for the success he's had outside of the film industry. I think his best film is the original "Terminator." This is likely influenced by my own background, but I absolutely hated "True Lies." I think "True Lies" had some of the most offensive portrayals of Arab/Muslim characters that I've ever seen in an American film to date. I did only see it once though, a very long time ago, but I do remember being very upset by the film, and that is very unusual for me.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2022 Movie Discussion
« on: January 27, 2022, 11:09:48 AM »
AKA, did you see Man of Steel? I just realized you referred to Batman v Superman as a standalone movie. It's a sequel to Man of Steel, and then both versions of Justice League is the follow-up to that movie (the Snyder version is the best movie of any of those).

I have seen "Man of Steel". I didn't like it. I strongly preferred the original Superman film with Christopher Reeve.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2022 Movie Journals
« on: January 25, 2022, 08:42:14 AM »


Rating options: Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent


24: A Hero Rating: Good
29: Don't Look Up Rating: Good


1: House of Gucci Rating: Good
18: Mass Rating: Good


5: The Batman Rating: Fair


2: Argo Rating: Good
4: Coda Rating: Good
8: Absolute Power Rating: Good
22: Top Gun Rating: Good

Eastwood News / Re: Clint Eastwood’s next project
« on: January 07, 2022, 07:50:21 AM »
Hocine, it's interesting that you say that many audience members, who are not big Clint fans, don't typically reference "Unforgiven" when discussing his work. I think that's likely due to it being a 30 year old film, while "Million Dollar Baby" and "Gran Torino" were made much more recently. I think I like the idea of "Unforgiven" being his last Western because I think it's a great capper to his career as a Western star. This is mostly because I tend to think of his films thematically, and pay a lot of attention to the evolving arc of his films on that level. I don't think another Western would have the same impact, or serve as such a perfect commentary on the genre as a whole, but I do also see the appeal of doing one with an all-star cast.

It's primarily for this reason that I still believe that he should have stopped acting after "Gran Torino". It would have been the perfect capper to his career as an actor, and if you look at the films he has  made since, "Trouble with the Curve," "The Mule," and "Cry Macho," none have even come close to the critical reception of "Gran Torino," and thematically, they also pale in comparison. Walt Kowalski is one of his best characters, the film has one of his best performances, and the death of his character also serves as a very effective symbolic death of his role as an action star. It also reinforced one of his long-standing themes by showing the deleterious consequences of violence, even when it is used to achieve noble ends, and the redemptive power of restraint and sacrifice. It was unlikely that he'd be able to do another film that served as such a perfect commentary on his career, since he was at that time 78, and now that we have the benefit of the passage of time, and witnessing the roles that came after it, I'd argue has proven this to be even more true. 

Eastwood News / Re: Clint Eastwood’s next project
« on: January 05, 2022, 12:03:02 PM »
I'd love to see him act again, but after seeing "Cry Macho," I don't know if he will be able to do so.

I'd like to not see another true life story, but given his track record recently, that's most likely to be his next project.

I think Hocine's idea of him directing a western that he does not appear in with an all star cast is very interesting, but I doubt he'll ever do another western again after "Unforgiven," even if only as a director. He'll never be able to top the critical reception of that film, and historical place within the genre, and I think he knows that. "Cry Macho" although billed as a neo-western, really was not a western, so "Unforgiven" is still his definitive commentary on that genre, and I think it's likely to remain so.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: 2022 Movie Discussion
« on: January 03, 2022, 07:03:45 AM »
I don't really know much about what's coming out this year, but I have been looking forward to the new Batman movie. I'm not sure if I'll like it though. I hated Batman v. Superman, the last stand-alone Batman movie, and I didn't watch Justice League. I'm usually not one for movies based on comic books, but Batman is my favorite superhero, so I'm hoping I'll like it.

Off-Topic Discussion / Re: CEWB Annual Seasons Greeting Thread 2021/2022
« on: December 31, 2021, 05:26:38 PM »
I echo SK's sentiments. Hope everyone has a Happy New Year and best wishes to everyone on the board for a life-affirming, soul enriching, and productive 2022!

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