HULK ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS – PART 1

July 27, 2011

HELLO ALL!

TIME FOR THE FIRST ROUND OF HULK MAILBAG QUESTIONS. THIS LOT OF FUN! A COUPLE OF THEM TAKEN FROM HULK’S “ABOUT” PAGE THAT PEOPLE BEEN LEAVING QUESTIONS ON. HULK FEEL THIS BETTER FORMAT. HULK STILL HAVE MORE QUESTIONS TO ANSWER SO FEEL FREE ASK MORE IN COMMENTS BELOW. THEY BE ANSWERED IN NEXT ROUND.

QUESTION #1:

It’s 1,000,000 years in the future and some alien race has made it to earth.  All trace of humanity has been erased from the planet earth except for, miraculously, one piece of pop culture and the means for which to view/read/listen to it.

If you had a say in what it is, what would it be?  I don’t care how you go with this, it could be something that you feel does a great job at conveying the human condition, it could be something completely mystifying that only serves to confuse or misinform the aliens.  It’s up to you.

So, FilmCriticHulk, what say you?

-Ben W.

GREAT QUESTION. IT VASTLY SUPERIOR TO THE FAMILIAR ONE WITH THE “DESERT ISLAND” PARAMETERS. ANYCRAP, HULK BELIEVE THE ANSWER = THE WIRE.

WHILE CAPTURING PERFECT TRUTH OF “REALITY” AN IMPOSSIBILITY FOR FILM/TV, THERE SOME THINGS THAT COME CLOSE… OR AT LEAST STRIVE TO COME CLOSE. THE BEST PART ABOUT YOUR QUESTION THAT IT IMPLY GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. AFTER ALL, HULK FEEL OUR LEGACY ACTUALLY MATTERS. SO HULK WOULD WANT  TO CONVEY TO ALIENS SOMETHING THAT BOTH “TRUE” IN A REALISM SENSE, BUT ALSO “TRUE” IN WHAT COULD TEACH THEM THE MOST ABOUT HOW WE LIVED AND ULTIMATELY HOW WE CREATED A SYSTEM DOOMED TO FAIL. AND NOTHING HIGHLIGHT OUR CULTURAL FAILURES LIKE THE WIRE. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THE GREAT THING THAT IT WOULD ALSO SHOW OUR CAPACITY FOR INNATE GOODNESS. AND THAT WE WERE FUNNY. AND KIND. AND SOMETIMES IRREVERENT. IT WOULD SHOW THAT WE DRANK TOO MUCH. AND MOST OF ALL. THAT WE HAD A PSUEDO-VOLTAIRIAN UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD IN WHICH WE TRIED TO CONTROL THE IMMEDIATE THINGS AROUND US, AND SIMPLY DID NOT REALIZE HOW MUCH WE LIVED IN A SYSTEMIC WORLD OF FORCES MUCH BIGGER THAN OUR OWN NATURE. WE BUILT A SOCIETY UPON INSTITUTIONS AND THEN LET THEM GO ASTRAY, EITHER OUT OF PERSONAL GREED OR TURNING OUR BACKS ON OUR COMMUNITY IDEALS. AND WHEN IT MATTERED MOST, WE BARELY LISTENED.

THE WIRE WOULD LET THEM KNOW THAT WE WERE, OFTEN AT THE SAME TIME, OUR BEST AND OUR WORST SELVES.

<3 HULK

QUESTION #2:

Broad question, but what’s the best book regarding film (whether it be filmmaking, film theory, film criticism, etc) you’ve ever read?

Always enjoy reading your stuff. Thanks for doing what you do!

-Mark P.

ANOTHER GREAT QUESTION. HERE A BUNCH BY GENRE: 1) FILM HISTORY – “EASY RIDERS, RAGING BULLS” GREAT NO-BULLSHIT OVERVIEW OF AMERICA’S FILMMAKING APEX IN THE 70’S. REALLY ENJOYABLE READ. AND THE GOSSIPY SHIT TEND TO BE WORTH IT. 2) BEST ESSAY – DAVID FOSTER WALLACE’S ESSAY ON DAVID LYNCH AND THE MAKING OF “LOST HIGHWAY” IN HIS BOOK “A SUPPOSEDLY FUN THING I’LL NEVER DO AGAIN.” IF YOU’VE NEVER READ WALLACE. START WITH THAT BOOK AND THEN “CONSIDER THE LOBSTER” THEN MOVE TO HIS FICTION. HULK WILLING BET MOST PEOPLE HERE READ HIS STUFF, BUT YOU BE SURPRISED HOW MANY UNFAMILIAR, SO IT ALWAYS WORTH MENTIONING. 3) BEST SUPER COMPLICATED FILM THEORY BOOK: ANDREI TARKOVSKY’S “SCULPTING IN TIME” HULK ARGUE THIS THE PINNACLE OF ALL HIS WORK AND HULK A HUGE TARKOVSKY FAN (LESS SOLARIS, MORE THE MIRROR, THE SACRIFICE, ET ALL). 4) BEST BOOK ON INDIVIDUAL FILMMAKER: “KIESLOWSKI ON KIESLOWSKI” HULK ARGUE HE DEFINITELY ONE OF BEST FILMMAKERS OF ALL TIME. GREAT BOOK. AND LASTLY 5) BEST SCREENPLAYS: NO BUY BOOKS ABOUT SCREENWRITING. THEY MOSTLY GARBAGE. FIRST GET RID OF BAD HABITS. FOR HOW TO RESOURCES BUY ACTUAL SCREENPLAYS CAUSE THEY WAY MORE INFORMATIVE (NOT NECESSARILY ORIGINAL DRAFTS, MOST GOOD SCREENPLAYS HAVE BOOK VERSIONS). FOR THE MOST INFORMATIVE ONES, HULK SUGGEST THE WORKS OF PRESTON STURGES (SPECIFICALLY SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS), PADDY CHEYAFSKY (NETWORK, THE HOSPITAL, ALTERED STATES… EVEN MARTY), AND FOR MODERN GUY PAUL ATTANASIO (QUIZ SHOW) EASILY ONE OF THE BEST IN TERMS OF SHOWING HOW USE ECONOMY/ACTION LINES.

<3 HULK

QUESTION #3:

Will hulk be doing a review of the Fooly Cooly (FLCL) I would love to read your take on the TV show? as I can not figure out what makes the show work so well.

-Tommy A.

HULK PROBABLY NOT BEST PERSON ASK ABOUT ANIME. HULK JUST NOT SEEN ENOUGH. AND WHAT HULK SEEN, HULK NOT CRAZY ABOUT. ANIME INTERESTING THING IN THAT HULK FEEL LIKE IT MORE NICHE THAN OTHER NICHE GENRES… OR MAYBE THAT JUST BECAUSE IT ONE OF FEW NICHE GENRES HULK NOT REALLY EXPERIENCED… STILL, HULK WAGER EVERY PERSON HAVE THAT FRIEND WHO TRIED GET THEM WATCH COWBOY BEBOP… DIDN’T REALLY TAKE.

ANYWHO, SINCE HULK NEVER SEEN IT, THE REASON THE SHOW WORK SO WELL BECAUSE IT AN ANIME AND THEREFORE IT PROBABLY HAS ROBOTS, A CORPORATION, AND CONFUSED FEELINGS ABOUT PUBERTY. THAT WHY.

… OKAY SORRY HULK JUST JOKING. TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION FOR REAL HULK WILL LOOK INTO AND TRY AND FIGURE IT OUT. HULK LOVE AN INVESTIGATION AND THIS SEEM LIKE GOOD ONE.

<3 HULK

QUESTION #4:

Sucker Punch. What did you think of it? Doesn’t have to be a full review. Gut reactions are fine.

-Michael S.

BASICALLY, IT DIDN’T WORK.  ON A PURE LOGISTICAL LEVEL THE REASON IT NO WORK BECAUSE HULK SURMISE THAT ZACK SNYDER NOT FULLY HONEST WITH HIMSELF ABOUT HIS OWN INTENTIONS. FOR STARTERS, THE IDEA CAME FROM HIS BABYDOLL DRAWING THAT HE BEEN DOODLING FOR YEARS. SO SNYDER LIKE THE BABYDOLL IMAGE. HE ATTRACTED TO IT. HE THINK IT KICK ASS. THIS ALL VERY CLEAR. AND HE WANTED TO EXPLORE THAT CONCEPT USING A MOVIE. THE PROBLEM COME FROM FACT THAT ZACK SNYDER ACTUALLY PRETTY SMART. HIS WIFE ALSO PRETTY SMART. HE KNOWS THAT BABYDOLL AN INFANTILIZING IMAGE. HE KNOWS INFANTILIZATION A PROBLEM AND “NOT RIGHT.” AND SO BECAUSE HE, YOU KNOW, NOT SEXIST AND STUFF, HAD TO TRY AND APPROPRIATE IT INTO SOMETHING THAT MADE STATEMENT ABOUT THIS COMPLEX. HE BUILT ELABORATE NARRATIVE ABOUT MEN ABUSING WOMEN AND DRESSING THEM AND MAKING THEIR FIGHT THEIR OWN BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. THIS NOT TO SAY IT NOT TRUE, IT JUST THAT HULK NOT SURE WHY IT IN THIS PARTICULAR MOVIE. WHY NOT? WELL, LETS JUMP TO RELEVANT TANGENT: LOTS OF FOLKS MAKE THE COMPARISON THAT SUCKER PUNCH THEMATICALLY DUPLICITOUS. IT EXPLOITING YET HIGHLIGHTING THE EXPLOITING. TO BE HONEST HULK THINK DUPLICITY ACTUALLY FINE, IF AND ONLY IF, THE DUPLICITY AN UPFRONT AND HONEST ONE. LIKE IT THE REASON EXPLOITATION LIKE I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE WORK TONALLY.  IT EXPLOITATION YET FOR ITS TIME*, IT A REAL PIECE OF FEMINISM (3RD WAVE) BECAUSE HER RAGE, HER VENGEANCE, HER REACTION = ALL HONEST. AND HONESTY MATTERS MORE THAN ANYTHING.

MEANWHILE, THE REASON SUCKER PUNCH NO SUCCEED BECAUSE ZACK SNYDER REALLY WANTED TO MAKE THE MOVIE WHERE BABY DOLL AN ACTION HERO SLAYING SAMURAI ROBOTS, AND THEN BUILT THE REST OF THE MOVIE TO TRY AND INTELLECTUALLY JUSTIFY IT.

… DIDN’T WORK.

*HULK HATE THE EXPRESSION “FOR ITS TIME” CAUSE IT A CRUTCH. PLENTY OF PEOPLE HATED I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE AND FOUND IT SEXIST AND EXPLOITATIVE, E BUT WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF POPULAR DIGESTION “AT THE TIME,” IT WORKED IN TERMS OF 3RD WAVE FEMINISM. SO OKAY.

<3 HULK

QUESTION #5

Do you wear a Stetson now? Because stetsons are cool

- http://twitter.com/#!/FuschiaBegonia

HULK GOT THIS QUESTION CAUSE HULK SAID ON TWITTER THAT HULK WEAR A FEZ NOW. FEZZES ARE COOL.

… OKAY HULK CURRENTLY BALLS DEEP INTO THE MOFFAT ERA… IT GLORIOUS. ALMOST ALL CAUGHT UP!

<3 HULK

QUESTION #6:

What did Hulk think of RedLetterMedia’s classic, and eviscerating, series of 90 minute reviews on the new Star Wars trilogy?

-Nerdlinger

HULK LOVED IT. SURE, THE SERIAL KILLER JOKE GETS OLD VERY, VERY, VERY QUICK (BUT HULK IMAGINE SAME TRUE OF HOW HULK WRITE). BUT HE DISPLAY TRULY EXCELLENT SENSE OF STORYTELLING 101! HULK’S FAVORITE THING! IT DO REALLY GOOD JOB EXPLAINING BASICS OF CHARACTER APPROACH, SPECIFICALLY WHEN ASK PEOPLE DESCRIBE THE CHARACTERS WITHOUT USING NAME, JOB, OR CLOTHING. THE ORIGINAL CHARACTERS ALL CLASSIC ARCHTYPES, NOTHING SPECIAL. BUT THE PREQUEL CHARACTERS NO EVEN ARCHETYPES! THEY BIG NOTHINGS. HONESTLY, STORYTELLING 101 SHOULD BE THE HEART OF POPULAR CINEMA-GOING. RIGHT? HULK ARGUE IT THE REASON EVERYONE DIGGING ON CAPTAIN AMERICA. HULK THINK THIS RE-EMPAHSIS OF CLASSIC STORYTELLING SHOULD BE “THE NEW THING.” A CINEMATIC NEO-CLASSICIST MOVEMENT IF YOU WILL.

THEN AGAIN, THERE WAY COULD ARGUE THERE A NEO-CLASSICIST MOVEMENT EVERY FEW YEARS IN HOLLYWOOD WITH MORE FOCUS ON TRADITIONAL STORYTELLING WITHIN THAT GENRE. WHETHER IT A RE-BIRTH OF THE TRADITIONAL ROM-COM (POST-FOUR WEDDINGS). THE FANTASY ADVENTURE (LOTR, HARRY POTTER). HULK EVEN ARGUE THAT WHY COMIC BOOK MOVIES ROSE TO PROMINENCE. LOOK AT THE STATE OF THE 90’S BLOCKBUSTER WHICH NOTHING MORE THAN BLOATED RECKLESSNESS. THE FIRST COMIC BOOK MOVIES CAME OUT AND THEY HAD BASIC ARCHETYPES! CHARACTERS DEVELOPING AND GOING ON JOURNEYS AND SHIT! GOOD! EVIL! ALL THAT STUFF. PEOPLE RESPONDED BECAUSE WE HAD STOPPED MAKING POPULAR NARRATIVES LIKE THAT. OF COURSE, NOW, WE COME DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO BURNING OUT ON THAT GENRE SO WHO KNOWS WHAT NEXT NEO-CLASSICIST THING BE.

QUESTION #7

I can’t really think of a more obvious question than this:

Why do non-creative, corporate types interfere with the creative vision of artistic filmmakers when history has proven that said interference usually results in compromised product that suffers both artistically and financially? For example, every comic book geek groaned the moment the Fantastic Four showed up in their iconic vehicle, not b/c of the effects work, but for the gratuitous placement of a Dodge logo on the seats. Clearly this was not an artistic decision, and while im sure it generated some ancillary revenue, what was the real price paid in terms of fan respect and word of mouth? It happens time and again but the costly lessons which I imagine are critical to their job security never seem to take root in the movie business.

Why?

Jeff S.

IN ALL HONESTY, FAN RESPECT AND WORD OF MOUTH NOT MEAN MUCH ECONOMICALLY. REALLY. THEY DON’T. THEY NICE IDEA AND CERTAINLY CAN’T HURT, BUT A WHOLE BUNCH OTHER THINGS MEAN LOT MORE. AND IT ACTUALLY NOT RELEVANT TO THEIR JOB SECURITY. HERE FIVE PART ANSWER THAT WILL SORT OF GO BEYOND YOUR QUESTION AND WORTHY OF ITS OWN COLUMN. SO HERE A BRIEF SUMMARY OVERVIEW.

1. THE REALITY – HOLLYWOOD IS A BUSINESS. THE MOVIES ARE, AT BEST, JUST PRODUCT AND AT WORST, INCIDENTAL. AS MUCH AS IT PAIN HULK SAY THAT IT INESCAPABLY TRUE. MOVIES ARE ULTIMATELY OKAYED BY BIGGEST CORPORATIONS ON PLANET. CORPORATIONS HAVE RESPONSIBILITIES TO STOCK HOLDERS. AS RESULT A SAFE BET BETTER THAT A HIGH RISK ONE. THEY WILL SUFFER CREATIVITY ONLY TO THE POINT OF EXACTING COMMERCE FROM IT.

2. THE AUDIENCE – “IT BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD OUT THERE” AN EXECUTIVE ONCE TOLD HULK. ONE COULD ARGUE WE ONLY NEED GIVE BETTER CINEMA ALTERNATIVES, BUT THAT USUALLY NOT PAN OUT IN PRACTICE AND IT SORT OF REFLEXIVE ARUGMENT ANYWAY. THE AUDIENCE SUPPOSEDLY DEMAND QUALITY (AND HULK AGREE TO THAT POINT) BUT IN CONCRETE TERMS THE TREE OF LIFE MADE 11 MILLION DOMESTIC AND 34 MILLION WORLD-WIDE (ON A BUDGET OF 34) WHILE MEET THE SPARTANS MADE 38 MILLION AND 84 WORLD WIDE (ON A BUDGET OF 20-ISH). IN CONCRETE TERMS IT NOT LOOK GOOD. ONE COULD ARGUE THAT TREE OF LIFE WILL MAKE ANCILLARY INCOME DOWN THE LINE WITH DVD SALES AND HAVE “A LEGACY” AND SPARTANS WILL BE FORGOTTEN. IN SOME WAYS GREAT MOVIES ALWAYS MAKE THEIR MONEY BACK EVENTUALLY. GREAT CULT MOVIES WILL FIND THEIR AUDIENCE SO THEY NOT TOTAL DISASTER.  SOME WILL EARN STUDIOS MONEY FOR GENERATIONS. AFTER ALL, PEOPLE STILL RENTING THE PHILADELPHIA STORY. BUT ON AVERAGE, CULTURAL PENETRATION DOWN THE LINE ECONOMICALLY WORTH NOTHING COMPARED TO UPFRONT BOX-OFFICE. EVEN WITH TV ANCILLARIES,  MALICK’S MOVIES AND, SAY, FOR EXAMPLE SIDEWAYS DO TERRIBLE ON TELEVISION. AND SUPER-DUMB, TERRIBLE MOVIES DO VERY, VERY WELL. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, THE TV AUDIENCE OFTEN DUMBER THAN THE MOVIE-GOING AUDIENCE. IT TRUE. “IT BEAVIS AND BUTTHEAD OUT THERE.”

SO THE CINEMA GOING AUDIENCE THAT CARE ABOUT INTEGRITY AND RESPECT AND ALL THAT WORTH AN AMOUNT, BUT IT A SMALLER AMOUNT THAN THE CRAP.

GIVEN POINTS #1 AND #2, HERE A HYPOTHETICAL: IF ALL YOUR SAVINGS WERE TAKEN FROM YOU AND THE THIEF SAID, “YOU CAN DOUBLE YOUR MONEY IF YOU PICK THE MORE SUCCESSFUL FILM AND IF YOU DON’T GUESS RIGHT YOU YOU LOSE IT ALL. HERE YOUR OPTIONS:  THE NEW UNTITLED TERRENCE MALICK MOVIE OR ADAM SANDLER’S UPCOMING ABORTION JACK AND JILL.” THE ANSWER, SADLY, OBVIOUS.  WHEN YOU HAVE SUBSTANTIAL RISK IN THE MONEY IT CHANGE THINGS. AND THE PEOPLE HAVING STUDIO GIGS AT SUBSTANTIAL RISK. AND AS CINEMA LOVERS WE WANT THE BEST QUALITY PRODUCT FOR OUR TASTES, BUT THOSE MOVIE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SAFE BETS.

3. THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE – HULK HAS GOTTEN OPPORTUNITY TO WITNESS “THE HOLLYWOOD MACHINE” UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL. NOT JUST FROM A CREATIVE PERSON’S PERSPECTIVE (FROM WHICH APPEARS TO BE THE DEVIL FOR HOST OF DISPARAGING REASONS) BUT HULK ALSO WITNESSED FROM THE MACHINE’S PERSPECTIVE AS WELL. AND… WELL… THE ANSWER SORT OF MUNDANE. HULK REFERENCED THE WIRE ABOVE AND IT RELEVANT BECAUSE IT GREAT WAY TOO LOOK AT THE LARGER HOLLYWOOD SYSTEM. MOST PEOPLE WELL-INTENTIONED BUT THEY ONLY CONTROLLING SMALL AREA OF INFLUENCE SO IT THE SYSTEM THAT CREATING MOST OF THE PROBLEMS. IN FACT, MOST OF THE INDIVIDUALS ARE ACTUALLY AMAZING/SMART PEOPLE WHO COULD EASILY BE DOING CREATIVE THINGS (AND OFTEN HAVE). THEY JUST ENDED UP ON A DIFFERENT SIDE OF FENCE. AND THEY GIVE HONEST-TO-GOD GREAT NOTES. THERE ARE, ALSO, IDIOTS (ACTUALLY MORE DOUCHEBAGS THEN IDIOTS, BUT YOU GET POINT).

HULK BELIEVE THE BIGGEST PROBLEM LIES IN NUMBERS. STUDIO RANKS SORT OF DEVELOPING INTO MASS OLIGARCHY AND IT MAKE IT MORE OF PROBLEM OF TOO MANY COOKS IN KITCHEN. DEALING WITH ONE OR TWO EXECS? EASY PEASY. MORE THAN THAT? UGH. PATTON OSWALT HAS GREAT ANECDOTE ABOUT THIS JR. EXECUTIVE NOT UNDERSTANDING A VERY SIMPLE JOKE AND SINCE ALL THE OTHER EXECUTIVES HAD TO HUMOR HIM, THEY HAD TO SIT THERE FOR A FUCKING HOUR AND SUSS IT OUT. THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT COME WITH OLIGARCHY AND BLOAT. AND WITH THE BLOAT COMES EVERY YOUNG STUDIO EXEC BASICALLY GOING AROUND TRYING TO JUSTIFY THEIR JOBS. WHICH LEAD TO NEEDLESS ADDITIONS. IT OLD ADAGE THAT THE BEST PRODUCERS/EXECS ARE THE ONES WHO HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE AND GET OUT THE WAY. BUT THE UPCOMING EXEC NOT POWERFUL ENOUGH TO DO NOTHING AND GET OUT OF THE WAY. MORE THAN THAT, IF THEY GET IN HOT WATER THEY CAN SAY THINGS LIKE “IT A POPULAR COMIC BOOK!” AND “THE PLACEMENT SAVED US SO MUCH ON THE BUDGET!” WHICH WORK CAUSE THEIR BOSSES EVEN MORE BUSINESS PEOPLE THAN THEY ARE. IT NOT THEIR FAULT. IT JUST THE SYSTEM.

BUT GIVEN POINTS #1 AND #2 EVEN THE BEST PRODUCERS TAKE HITS. UNIVERSAL RECENTLY TOOK HUGE NUMBER CHANCES ON GREAT AND/OR “DIFFERENT” FILMS LIKE: SCOTT PILGRIM, GREEN ZONE, KICK-ASS, MACGRUBER, DRAG ME TO HELL, FUNNY PEOPLE, AND DUPLICITY. IT NOT LIKE THESE MOVIES SOLD POORLY, THEY GIVE THEM BIG SELLS AND THEY JUST BIT THE DUST. HULK BELIEVE IF YOU MAKE QUALITY PRODUCT THE AUDIENCE FIND EVENTUALLY AND THAT THE CASE WITH LOTS OF THOSE MOVIES, BUT REALLY THEY MISSED THE BOAT. IT ANOTHER INESCAPABLE TRUTH: THE AUDIENCE NOT HELPING.

4. AS FOR AS FOR PRODUCT PLACEMENT – IT SUCKS. IT DOES. BUT THE STUDIO ARGUE IT NO MATTER CAUSE NOBODY NOT LIKE A MOVIE SOLELY BECAUSE OF THE PRODUCT PLACEMENT. TO DEGREE, THEY ACTUALLY RIGHT. MOST JUST NO CARE. FANTASTIC FOUR BIGGEST PROBLEM THAT IT A TERRIBLE, TONE DEAF MOVIE. MOST PEOPLE DIDN’T CARE ABOUT THE DODGE LOGO. REMEMBER, THERE ALSO GOD-AWFUL MOMENT IRONMAN WHERE RIGHT AFTER HE HAVE THAT GREAT LINE WHERE HE SAY “I WANT AN AMERICAN CHEESEBURGER” THEY SHOW HIM EATING FUCKING BURGER KING. BUT EVERYONE STILL LOVE THAT MOVIE CAUSE IT GET STORYTELLING AND DO THE IMPORTANT THINGS RIGHT.

IF WANT DIRECT ANYTHING, THEN PRODUCT PLACEMENT JUST A REALITY THESE DAYS. THE STUDIO WILL FIGHT YOU TO USE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE BECAUSE IT HELP REMOVE THEIR RISK AND LOWER COST. IT JUST TOO PRUDENT (REALLY, THE AMOUNT OF BUDGETS PAID OFF BY PRODUCT PLACEMENT MIND-BOGGLING. IT NOT A MIDDLING COST). AT THIS POINT IT MANDATED IN CONTRACTS. THE ONLY WAY AROUND IT TO BE A “NAME” LIKE SPIELBERG OR NOLAN WHO CAN OPEN A PICTURE WHERE YOU GUARANTEED TO MAKE IT UP. BUT EVEN THEN IT A BATTLE.

PLUS, THEY SEE THE REALITY WHERE WE DO NOT: AS SOON AS THE YOUNGER GENERATION GROWS UP (HINT: ONLY 6-8 YEARS AWAY) PRODUCT PLACEMENT WILL NOT BE STRANGE TO THEM AT ALL. THEY WILL EXPECT THINGS TO BE ADVERTISED TO THEM IN ALL MEDIA FORMS. IT UNDENIABLE. TO US THOUGH? IT ALIEN TO THE WAY WE WATCH MOVIES. IN ARTISTIC TERMS IT COMPLETE BULLSHIT FOR SURE. DAVID LYNCH USED TO USE PRODUCTS CAUSE HE LOVED USING POP CULTURE BRANDS FOR ARTISTIC MEANS (“I LIKE HEINEKEN!” OR “PABST BLUE RIBBON!”). BUT NOW HE CAN’T CAUSE PEOPLE ASSUME IT PRODUCT PLACEMENT. WHICH THE OPPOSITE OF ART.

5. THERE ANY WAY TO FIX THE SYSTEM? – NOT REALLY. ALL THIS STUFF CORPORATELY MANDATED. AND THE FUN WAYS TO HINT AND JOKE AROUND WITH PRODUCT PLACEMENT ALREADY USED UP. AND FIGHTING THE SYSTEM AT LARGE? IMPOSSIBLE. FILMMAKING COST TOO MUCH MONEY. AND THERE NO WAY TO TRULY MAKE AND MARKET INDEPENDENT MOVIES ANYMORE… SO… QUITE FRANKLY HULK NOT SURE. PERHAPS FIGHTING THE BEAN COUNTERS CREATE THE NOTION OF SUBVERSION. HULK THINK IT IMPORTANT TO ALWAYS REMEMBER THE PERIOD OF THE 60/70’S THAT SAW CREATIVE TYPES TAKE OVER THE STUDIO SYSTEM WHEN THEY WERE ON HUGE UPSWING OF POPULARITY. THEY WENT ON TO CREATE A FEW MORE GOOD MOVIES, GREEN LIT A WHOLE BUNCH OF SHIT (WE JUST REMEMBER THE GOOD ONES), AND THE WHOLE THING COLLAPSED VERY, VERY QUICKLY. THE CREATIVE TYPES HAD NO IDEA HOW MANAGE MONEY.

HULK NOT SURE HULK ANSWERED QUESTION RIGHT.

<3 HULK

QUESTION #8:

Hulk, I have a question that I hope you can answer for me. Why does the camera add ten pounds to the actors? I used to think it was just figure-obsessed actresses finding fault with the reality of their appearance as opposed to their mental picture of it (says the lady who hates every photo ever taken of her), but I heard someone talking about how different lenses can actually cause this. Do you know why? Or even why they continue to be used if the picture is distorted that much? And why do we never seem to notice with male actors? This is confusing me and I feel like I should know more about it.

-Bevin

AWESOME QUESTION.

HULK HERE TO TELL YOU THAT IT ABSOLUTELY TRUE: THE CAMERA DOES ADD WEIGHT (MOST OF THE TIME) DEPENDING ON THE LENS.

TO SORT OF EXPLAIN: THIS REALLY NO HAVE DO WITH CAMERA LENS BEING DIFFERENT, BUT THE LENS OF OUR EYE BEING DIFFERENT. THE EYE SEE SO MUCH OF PERIPHERY AND YET HAS AMAZING ABILITY TO FOCUS ON CENTRAL AREA IN FRONT OF IT. THAT MAKE THE EYE A COMPLETELY UNIQUE LENS. MORE THAN THAT IT, IT HAVE ABILITY TO LOOK AT REAL LIFE 3D SPACE AND APPROXIMATE SIZE CORRECTLY (OR AT LEAST WHAT WE DEEM “CORRECT”). MEANWHILE, MOVIE SCREENS NO WORK THAT WAY. FOR ONE THEY BIG RECTANGULAR 2:35 : 1. THE ONLY SCREEN THAT “OBSERVE” LIKE OUR EYEBALLS = THE OMNI THEATER IN BOSTON. HERE LINK: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25729481@N03/2784467950/ BUT KEEP IN MIND THERE SO MUCH ON THE PERIPHERY TO SEE SO IT “IMMERSIVE” JUST LIKE REAL LIFE VISION.

HERE THE PROBLEM: WE NO WANT MOVIES BE LIKE REAL LIFE VISION. ANY ATTEMPTS TO DO SO NOT WORK CORRECTLY ON SCREEN. WE MUST BE ABLE TO CONTAIN THE WHOLE FRAME IN ORDER PROCESS THE ACTION AND SPACE. WHICH MEANS THAT IN ORDER FOR THE SPACE TO LOOK “REAL” ON SCREEN, THE LENSES OF THE CAMERAS MUST SLIGHTLY AFFECT THE PERCEIVED MASS OF THE CENTER POINTS (READ: THE ACTORS OR OBJECTS) IN ORDER TO GET THE SURROUNDING SPACE TO LOOK CORRECT. OTHER WISE EVERYTHING ELSE ON SCREEN LOOK LIKE WALL EYE VISION. http://www.espn.go.com/photo/2006/0410/nhl_g_kings_275.jpg.  WHICH OBVIOUSLY NOT LOOK RIGHT CAUSE OUR EYES ALREADY FOCUSING ON PERIPHERY. SO WE HAVE USE LENSES THAT CREATE MORE FOCUSED CENTRAL OBJECT.

NOW, EVEN WITH THE “SCREEN APPROPRIATE” LENSES, THERE STILL ONES THAT MORE SLIMMING THAN OTHERS. THE GREAT DIRECTOR ROBERT BRESSON TRIED TO ONLY USE THE 50MM LENS CAUSE HE THOUGHT IT CAME CLOSEST TO APPROXIMATING THE ‘CENTER” POINT OF THE HUMAN EYE, AND AS RESULT IT KIND OF SLIMMING.

BUT YES: THE CAMERA USUALLY ADDS TEN POUNDS. IF IT DID NOT, THE REST OF MOVIES WOULD NO “LOOK RIGHT.” AND YES AGAIN, IT ULTIMATELY SPURS ON COMPLEXES IN ACTRESSES EVERYWHERE. HULK MET A GOOD DEAL OF POPULAR ACTRESSES IN REAL LIFE. THE SO-CALLED-LARGER ONES LOOK PERFECTLY NORMAL IF NOT AMAZING. THE NORMAL ONES LOOK VERY SKINNY. THE SKINNY ONES = CRAZY SKINNY. AND THE SAME TRUE OF MALE ACTORS. YOU BE SURPRISED TO SEE HOW SKINNY THEY ARE IN REAL LIFE.

ANYWHO THERE MORE OPTICAL DETAILS THAT GO INTO IT, BUT THIS ANSWER WORK?

This answer works, thank you very much… Does this apply to still-shot cameras as well, or is it only motion picture ones? It seems like it must, given what you said here, but I’m curious.

-Bevin

IT DEPEND, MOST HIGH LEVEL STILL-SHOT CAMERAS USE A ZOOM LENS THAT RANGE FROM ABOUT 28MM-135MM. LOWER QUALITY CAN HOVER BETWEEN 30-55MM. MEANING THAT IT CAN RUN THE GAMUT BUT DEPENDING ON HOW MUCH ONE “ZOOMING” IT EFFECT HOW SOMEONE LOOK IN THE PICTURE. THAT LARGELY WHY THERE “FLATTERING PICTURES” AND “NOT FLATTERING WHATSOEVER PICTURES.” THINGS TO REMEMBER 1) A ZOOM LENS NOT A “TRUE” LENS, MEANING IT MORE SIMULATING THE EFFECTS OF USING THAT SIZE A LENS AND NOT GIVING THE SAME IMAGE QUALITY. THAT WHY CAMERA CREWS USE LIKE 20 DIFFERENT LENSES AND NOT JUST ONE ZOOM LENS. THEY JUST NOT AS GOOD. AND 2) IT NOT LIKE THERE SOME IDEAL LENS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING PEOPLE IN ORDER MAKE LOOK GOOD. IT DEPEND ON HOW FAR AWAY PERSON IS, THE SURROUNDING SPACE, THE SHAPE OF PERSON/PERSON’S FACE, THE LIGHTING, EVERYTHING. YOU CAN SORT OF MAKE ANYONE LOOK GOOD WITH ANY LENS AT ANY DISTANCE, THINGS JUST NEED BE ADJUST TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED CORRECTLY.

NATURALLY MOST PEOPLE JUST POINT AND SHOOT AND TRY TO GET THE CAMERA TO DO AS MUCH OF THE WORK AS POSSIBLE. HONESTLY, CAMERAS ADJUST PRETTY WELL NOWADAYS, BUT STILL IT NOT MAGIC AND IT REASON LOTS OF PHOTOGRAPHS NO COME OUT FLATTERING. MEANWHILE, GREAT PHOTOGRAPHERS ARE EXPERTS OF NUANCE…. WELL… TECHNICALLY ALL GREATLY SKILLED PEOPLE ARE EXPERTS OF NUANCE.

<3 HULK

QUESTION #9

How my fist taste?

-Abomination

HULK THINK THERE MANY PROBLEMS WITH ARGUMENT SIR.

FIRST OFF, WHEN YOU EVER BEAT HULK? NEVER.

SECOND OFF, YOU ONCE BEAT BY NAMOR… FUCKING NAMOR.

THIRD OFF, YOU LOOK LIKE KILLER CROC HAD SEX WITH A MUPPET.

FOURTH OFF, YOU ONCE PAID MONEY FOR “WITLESS PROTECTION

FIFTH OFF, THAT MOVIE SO BAD IT ONCE GAVE SOMEONE CANCER. TRUE FACT.

LAST OFF, SHUTYOURSTUPIDFACE.

NO <3 HULK

THAT END THE QUESTIONS!

HULK GOT LOADS MORE QUESTIONS. THEY COMING MAILBAG PART 2. KEEP EM COMING!

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15 Responses to “HULK ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS – PART 1”

  1. Thanks for answering my question. I’m more than satisfied with your response. Sometimes I forget it’s a business. Personally I can’t even imagine how someone can look at a film the same way a coed at Forever 21 looks at jeans, but that doesn’t change the reality.

    As for books about film making, I also recommend “Making Movies” by the late and great Sidney Lumet and “Rebel without a crew” by a young Robert Rodriguez released right around the time his career was starting to explode but still early enough to remember when it didn’t exist.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      HULK ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE HULK DID BAD JOB GETTING TO HEART OF YOUR QUESTION AND SORT OF JUST TALKED AROUND IT. HULK WILL FIGURE OUT HOW ANSWER IT BETTER.

      YEAH, “MAKING MOVIES” FANTASTIC.

  2. Michael Soh said

    Thanks for the response on “Sucker Punch”. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie that I’ve viscerally hated. And since you’re the only movie reviewer I actually follow, I wanted to get your take.

    I can kind of see what he was going for, but the execution was terrible. I know Baby Doll is escaping into this fantasy world (of course I have to question why one would escape into a fantasy brothel), but I as a viewer can’t forget the real situation they’re in.

    And not since the Matrix sequels, have I seen so many pointless, ballets of violence. They have no impact because you know they are fantasy metaphors for what’s happening in the real world. From the first fantasy fight when Baby Doll gets hit with the shaft of a naginata and she gets up and shakes it off, you realize that none of these fights really matter.

    Can’t help but wonder how it would have been handled by someone else who has a thing for highly sexualized, strong female characters – Joss Whedon.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      YEAH, WEIGHTLESS BATTLES ANNOY HULK TOO. ONE OF THINGS HULK LIKED ABOUT INCEPTION THAT IT CAME UP WITH SOMETHING, THAT WHILE TECHNICALLY A SILLY A DEVICE, STILL A DEVICE THAT GIVE THE ACTION WEIGHT AND CONSEQUENCE. (THE GETTING STUCK IN LIMBO PART)

  3. John said

    Reading your first mailbag- specifically, the question regarding the studio system and product placement and audiences- made me wonder. Do you think we’ll ever see something like PUTNEY SWOPE again? Or maybe a better question that ties two of your answers together- do you think we’ll ever see another revolutionary movement- as described in “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls”- again? It seems like there’s a lot of fertile territory for filmmakers to revolt against a lot of what you mentioned and the independent genre feels like it could use the jolt.

    Thanks for taking the time to do this mailbag format. Like everything else here, it’s extraordinarily informative.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      GREAT QUESTION. HULK WILL DEFINITELY ANSWER IT. PUTNEY SWOPE SUCH GREAT MOVIE. THE INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT OF 90S WAS REALLY THE ANSWER TO THE EASY RIDERS ERA. THEN THAT SYSTEM AND STYLE GOT ASSIMILATED INTO THE “STUDIO-INDIE” MOVIES WHICH FOX SEARCHLIGHT, MIRAMAX, ETC. WHICH, REALLY, THE SAME EXACT THING AS STUDIOS JUST A LITTLE MORE HIGH-BROW OR ALTERNATIVE LEANING. BUT THEY BEHAVE EXACT SAME WAY JUST WITH LOWER BUDGETS/RISKS. BUT HULK GETTING AHEAD OF HULK SELF. HULK WILL ANSWER LATER!

  4. rubi-kun said

    LOL, you’re actually pretty right on with FLCL, because it DOES contain robots, a corporation, and confused feelings about puberty!

    Well, that, and the greatest Japanese garage band soundtrack ever. And an extended South Park reference. And generally insane animation. And an amazing soundtrack. And a hot alien girl. And did I mention the soundtrack?

    If you’re actually checking out anime, definitely check out Grave of the Fireflies. One of Roger Ebert’s “Great Movies.” If it doesn’t make Hulk cry, Hulk may not have soul.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      SERIOUSLY? IT HAVE THOSE THINGS? HULK WAS BASICALLY MAKING AKIRA JOKE. STILL, HULK GUESS THAT SOMETHING.

      HULK FORGET MENTION THAT HULK VERY MUCH LIKE MIYAZAKI, BUT THAT NOT REALLY “LIKING ANIME.” THAT LIKE SAYING YOU INTO GRUNGE BACK IN THE DAY WHEN REALLY YOU JUST SAW A FEW OF NIRVANA’S VIDEOS.

      HULK WILL CHECK THAT MOVIE OUT.

    • I would add ‘Millennium Actress’ to the list of ‘anime I would adore seeing Hulk crit for us.’ Satoshi Kon’s body of work is generally good, but that movie is the one I always, always recommend to people who love movies but think that they can’t ‘get’ anime.

  5. Hulk rule! Thanks for answering my question. I epically liked your answer to questions #7. Made me think of this article I read about how the brainstorm for the action movie of paradise lost must have gone.

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-brainstorm-that-led-to-hollywoods-most-unlikely-remake/

  6. Lara said

    I was wondering, what is your opinion (if any) on Jackson Murphy, the “kid film critic”? Do we need somebody like him for the sake of a different perspective on things? Or is it possible that, since he’s obviously too young to have seen most of the milestones of cinema history, giving somebody like him so much exposure can do more harm than good?

    The reason I’m asking is I’ve seen this kid on Ebert Presents and have found him to be so incredibly annoying that I was surprised at myself. I think of him as a “film criticism” version of Rebecca Black. But more creepy.

  7. not eb said

    I ask this because you willy-nilly threw ‘The Philadelphia Story’ into an answer, and since ‘The Philadelphia Story’ is my favorite movie, I have a few questions for you surrounding: ‘The Philadelphia Story.’

    1) Why is ‘The Philadelphia Story’ such a great movie? If you can’t answer this per the terms of the question, I’ll be satisfied with your opinion of ‘The Philadelphia Story.’

    2) I think ‘The Philadelphia Story’ is a shining example of how great of an actor Cary Grant is (and specifically how ‘gracious’ of an actor he is. He’s a scene-stealer, but he knows how to get off of the floor and let someone else take over. Just look at how many co-stars he’s had (specifically his female co-stars, but Jimmy Stewart included) who’ve had some of their best roles standing next to him.) Anyway. This beside point. The real question is that Cary Grant is derided by know-nothings for being a one-note actor. He essentially play the role of ‘Cary Grant’ in his movies, they say. (And they may very well be right, and I forgive him because man, what a great character to be constantly playing.) And, unfortunately, I think this is the same fate that’s befalling cats like Jesse Eisenberg and Michael Cera. They essentially play themselves and yes, that can be tiring, but I believe history will reflect very well on them, without the context of sitting through every single movie they’ve made and rather just ‘remembering the good ones.’ So I ask your opinion of these ‘one-note’ actors, and whether they are ‘bad actors’ or just actors that we get tired of.

    3) The other side to ‘the suits fuck everything up’ is that sometimes they’re able to actually make things better. A lot of those great Cary Grant movies. ‘Casablanca,’ is I believe to be a shining example. Thoughts? Maybe artists need someone to help them get their own vision across?

    4) George Cukor has made a handful of truly great movies, but I don’t really see his name thrown out in that list of great directors. Any thoughts as to why?

    Thank you and I love your blog.

  8. ABOMINATION! said

    THIS NOT OVER HULK!!

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