The Hollywood Read ep. 3

THR LogoA couple of recent franchise non-starters lead us to discuss the Hollywood franchise machine and why it mostly doesn’t work (except for Marvel). We dive into Robin Hood and The Girl in the Spider’s Web to look at why it’s so hard to launch a franchise and all the ways these movies demonstrate the dangers of franchise filmmaking. Hint: You can’t launch a franchise if your movie sucks. Also, why Robin Hood doesn’t work as a modern parable, and the variable appeal of Scandi Noir and whether or not Lisbeth Salander can be saved from Hollywood’s clutches.

Here is Sarah’s review of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, and here is Kayleigh opining on Ben Mendelsohn’s gig as Hollywood’s favorite evil bureaucrat.

One correction: Your Highness is not a Seth Rogen movie, it’s by David Gordon Green.



I liked Robin Hood more than Iron Man 2

First and foremost, it was better than I expected it to be. It’s always nice to see a movie and be surprised by it. I expected Robin Hood to be Gladiator + Braveheart and I was pleased to find that it stands on its own as an entertaining movie. Many critics accused Robin Hood of being “grim” and “dour” and while it certainly wasn’t all sunshine and daisies, I found myself chuckling at regular intervals. Robin Hood is grim like the Dark Ages were grim. I mean…they’re not called the Dark Ages for nothing. All Robin Hood was missing was an outbreak of the bubonic plague–every other medieval malady was represented. There was grinding poverty, people living in an unbreakable caste system dictated by the whim of a precocious leader, and always the brutal fighting. The history in Robin Hood is fucked when it comes to the overall story (of all the acceptable origins for Robin Hood, director Ridley Scott and screenwriter Brian Helgeland elected to create their own myth that doesn’t work nearly as well as some others), but the details of Robin Hood are all fact. Richard the Lionheart drained England dry paying for his Crusade. King John levied a tax on his noblemen for money instead of knights at court (I think it was called scutage?), and he wasn’t popular for it. John did have his marriage to his English wife annulled so he could marry Isabella of Angouleme, a French noblewoman. Of course King John did not burn the Magna Carta, but the state of England when John became king was volatile. The country was effectively bankrupt and the French were closing in. Is that grim? Yes, but it all happened. Saying that Robin Hood is grim is like saying that Schindler’s List is depressing. Continue reading “I liked Robin Hood more than Iron Man 2”

I’m dying to see these movies

Last month I took a look at some trailers that were so bad they were killing my desire to see the movies they were advertising. I truly believe cutting good trailers is a dying art, but there are still some amazing trailers out there, doing their job and selling their movies to me. Here are a few trailers that are getting me totally stoked to go to the movies. Continue reading “I’m dying to see these movies”