The Business Of Movies
Jun 25 2012

Good movies provide such wonderful and safe escapes from our daily worlds into world’s dreamed up by others or into accelerated views of someone else’s “true events.”  They speed up the mundane and let you experience a gamut of emotions that people typically experience over decades in a couple of hours.  A friend of mine who has been writing scripts for years in Los Angeles recently sent out an explanation as to why the movie John Carter, which I didn’t see, flopped after much anticipation that it would do really well at the box office.  The reasons had a lot to do with marketing and business execution.  No matter what industry you are in, you can’t escape the fundamentals of business, timing, and a little luck.  Now for a quick review on some movies I’ve seen recently:

Rock of Ages.  It’s based on a Broadway musical, and I liked this more for the music than the actual storyline.  It was fun to see famous actors (Tom Cruise reinvents himself again) and actresses playing the parts of rock singers and their groupies.  The songs were from my teenage years. I knew all of them and they triggering an array of memories and feelings.

Hysteria. A really good, somewhat comedic take on the guys who invented the first electric vibrator for women after determining that manual stimulation was just too cumbersome to “cure” women of alleged hysteria.  It wasn’t until 1952 that the “hysterical” diagnoses for women was removed from the medical field.  It’s hilarious what they labeled as women’s symptoms of hysteria (i.e., wandering womb)!

Madagascar 3 – Europe’s Most Wanted. I love most animated movies.  This one was good, but still not as great as the first one.  Polka dot, afro, polka dot…

Brokeback Mountain. I rented this because I had never seen it during it’s big hype period.  I was expecting the relationship between the two cowboys to be more subtle but it was right there in your face.  It was an interesting story but mostly irritated me at how selfish they were given the other people in their lives.  I’m glad it lost to Crash for best picture that year.

New Year’s Eve.  I also rented this one and it was as I expected.  Full of stars.  Not great acting.  Sappy, unrealistic ending, but good for a few smirks.

Men in Black 3. Great movie.  Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, and Josh Brolin are great actors.  Will Smith is one very talented dude.

The Raven. Named after one of Edgar Allen Poe’s poems.  This was a morbid and dark movie and very much like Poe’s poems and writings.  It was a bit too morbidly uncomfortable and depressing for my taste.

Casa de Mi Padre.  A Spanish cowboy movie starring Will Ferrell.  A strangely funny, yet awkward movie.  Very cheesy, but many scenes made me laugh out loud.

Sliding Doors.  I watched this on Netflix.  It stars Gwyneth Paltrow and shows two different timelines of her life based on whether she caught a certain subway train or not.  It reminded me of how gullible most of us women are when it comes to what men do, say, and don’t say.  It was a little Woody Allen-ish.

I’ve seen a few others this year and rented some more as well, but I can’t really recall what they are right now.  The next movie I want to see is Brave.  I think that one will be a box office hit…they have marketed it very well so far!

Author: | Filed under: movie reviews, music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

What’s So Funny?
Aug 1 2010

To me, a sense of humor is really important.  But funny enough what some people think is funny others don’t.  The best comedians appeal to a majority of people with their jokes because usually they pick on the insecurities many of us have.  If you can’t laugh at yourself, your mistakes, or even others from time to time, you’ll go insane.  In my opinion, a good sense of humor is important with friends, family, and in the workplace.  I like to laugh and I like to make others laugh.  I’m certainly not a comedian by any stretch of the imagination, but I tend to show my humor much more off blog than on blog because I really don’t know what will resonate with you hundreds upon hundreds  of readers out there. (Are you still there? Feedburner, Google Analytics and WordPress stats say you are. :-))

There are two cartoons that I think are hilarious that my kids watch.  I like to watch them too and my kids ask me (while they are laughing) why I think they are so funny and I tell them “I just do.”  They are Penguins of Madagascar (based on the DreamWorks movie series Madagascar) and Emmy award winning Disney channel’s Phineas and Ferb.  King Julien, the ring-tailed lemur, cracks me up in his self absorbed ways in Penguins of Madagascar.  The crafty penguins with their dry wit, make me laugh out loud.

The creativity (and obliviousness) of the two little step brothers in Phineas and Ferb, their older classically teenage sister (Candace) who is always trying to BUST them in their over-the-top, dangerous projects, and Perry the Platypus who is always busting the evil Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, are so well ‘cast’ together.  The brother’s Firecamp Girl (play on Girl Scouts) friend Isabella helps them with their projects and always greets them with a “Watcha doing?” when she sees them.  According to the Wikipedia link, the creators of Phineas and Ferb pitched the concept for 16 freaking long years before Disney picked it up.  Wow!  To me, it’s pure genius.

I also just rented Monty Python’s Meaning of Life, Life of Brian, and The Holy Grail because a friend (Earl Lundquist – soccer blogger) mentioned that he and the family were watching Monty Python on one of his facebook updates.  It reminded me that I hadn’t seen those movies in a really long time, and I think Monty Python is classic British wit that pokes fun of many sensitive subjects (religion, politics, personal relationships, gender) at its finest.  I re-watched Meaning of Life last night and it still is so funny.  The scene where Death comes to visit, or the scene where the professor is trying to teach sex-ed to a seemingly uninterested group of boys by going through the mechanical acts of procreation with his wife, or the scene where the Catholic mother is doing the dishes and gives birth to her 30th child and they sing about not being able to use protection, or the scene where they come to harvest a liver from a live donor are just classic.

I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to watch them with me.  I think if they can laugh at themselves or find the humor in things, they will hopefully be happier individuals overall.  [Although I do have a limit to the bodily functions humor they both seem to like.]  I hope they find Monty Python funny too and don’t roll their eyes at me and think how embarrassing their mother is, but I’m prepared for the worst.  Well, maybe my sense of humor is odd, but hey at least I can laugh at something (some people are so serious they can’t see the lighter side of things).  Plus they say laughter is the best medicine and it can be just what you need to make a breakthrough in a tough project at home or work. 😀 <— that’s me Laughing Out Loud (LOL).

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, parenting, TV | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »