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Anything Goes : Why so serious? by Steven Morris

Steven Morris

Why so serious?

Stage 32 is family. We're family. As writers we're consumed with being writers. Let's lighten the mood. Greatest era of movies?!!! I, personally like the old westerns. Wyatt Earp wasn't filmed with an HD camera and he was still a badass. Doc too. I vote 90s. BAD BOYS, Fight Club, Pulp Fiction, Home Alone, Jurassic Park, Forest Gump, Titanic, and Friday. I could add Toy Story, The Lion King, and The Matrix. Scream, Dumb and Dumber. Okay I'm done. I could go all day. What are your thoughts?

Izzibella Beau

I'm an 80's, early 90's girl. Love Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Adventures in Babysitting, Aliens, Back to the Future, Ferris Bueller, Ghost, Point Break, Footloose...and the list could go on and on

Linda Perkins

I would have to say 60s/70s westerns, Shaft and the 90s Matrix along with 2000s Bourne trilogy, Secretariat, Passion of the Christ and War Room.

Lee Jay Iddings

I'm gonna be difficult and say the late 70's through the 80's. It was the cinema I grew up watching, inspires me today and generated my love for the movies.

Zorrawa Emily Ann Jefferson

Your cute..

Steven Morris

Ah the 80s. Die Hard. I like new movies with that authentic old feel like Dazed and Confused.

Cherie Grant

UGH I HATE westerns. Mostly because they're sexist, racist garbage. Plus the disgraceful treatment of horses. NOPE. I can't watch it. I don't think there is a greatest era of movies. I mean i suppose you could say now because we can do so much more than in the past and the boundaries are more easily pushed, there's less censorship to go places you couldn't in the past, the special FX is out of this world and we can tell stories that we never had the technology to do in the past and morals are improving. What movies got away with in the past they wouldn't now unless being a true to the period drama. So I will go with now.

Joe Fiserano

Fx is always out of the world. Did you think that Alien, Jurassic Park or Starwars had cheesy effects? No. Because they were great for that time. Just like it is now. 10 years from now, what you think out of this world will look cheesy and cheap. On the other hand, effects hardly have anything to do with making a good movie unless the genres like sci-fi, fantasy etc. The Godfather didn't depend on effects, nor did Once upon a time in America, The Notebook, Scream, The Good The Bad and The Ugly, Sleepless In Seattle, Psycho etc. I find it really odd that you think the best era is now because we have a better technology in special effects. On the contrary, 80 percent of all the classics in the movie industry come from the era of 90's and before.

Dan Guardino

Cherie. Wow! Whatever you are on I would reduce the dosage.

Cherie Grant

Why should I? I'm not the one that's out of place. This guy is berating me for what I think. You should be telling him to reduce the dose. I talk the way I talk. I hardly think dropping the f bomb is a big deal. And I must say your post is really offensive. How dare you accuse me of being on or needing meds just for saying the f word.

Owen Mowatt

Time out people! Pretty sure this thread started out asking the question, Why so serious? I don't pretend to speak for Joe, but maybe he could have worded his reply a little differently, however I didn't see anything THAT offensive in it, Cherie. He does have a point thought, you do appear to appreciate the technology available today, which is exactly what they used 40-50-60 years ago. Suspension of disbelief is required to enjoy any movie. I don't see how you can if your level of acceptance is so low, and observation are so high.

Fiona Faith Ross

Hey you guys! So many of my faves mentioned here: Jurassic Park (love Spielberg), Sleepless in Seattle (great fan of Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan and the great writing of Norah Ephron). 1980s comedies, Beetlejuice? Sublime! Talking of Westerns, Clint Eastwood's Spaghetti Westerns really make my day...I LOVED John Carter - saw it on impulse and have watched it again on Netflix. I adore anything John Lasseter is connected with, starting with A Bug's Life. I love the Shrek franchise (brilliant script by the two Terrys) and Zootopia ticks all the boxes. Love the 90s rom coms - 10 Things I Hate About You - and in the noughties Sex in The City, A Cinderella Story (Stepmother Fiona - ha - is just priceless). More recently, Chef (John Favreau). I like supernatural thrillers too. I also still love the old Ealing comedies and the banter and rapid fire dialog in the Carry On franchise. So many of those great comedians are no longer with us. Enough. I'll end by seconding @JimJackson "I like everything".

Fiona Faith Ross

Great thread, @Steven Morris. Thanks!

Zorrawa Emily Ann Jefferson


Aray Brown

late 80's to 90's

Dan Guardino

Cherie this is a people business and it sounded like you are having some issues dealing with people who disagree with you. You can say and do whatever you want but don't be surprised if nobody will want to work with you. Actually I thought that we were supposed to watch our language here but maybe I am wrong.

Beth Fox Heisinger

Yes, we do have a community code of conduct. Healthy debate is always welcome, but personal attacks or abusive and offensive behavior is not. Those behaviors can lead to comments/posts being deleted or suspension from the site.

Ben Trebilcook

Hey 32-ers, A nice, honest, upbeat post, Steven. I was intending on posting something completely different today, regarding my take-up of the 'RB Content Challenge', however I saw your post and felt an urge to respond. First off, this a long post, so apologies. Where to begin? I'll have to break this responding post down into some sections and title them in CAPS, so readers can either read it in its entirety or skip to whatever they feel is the most relevant series of capital letters to them. ME: Briefly, as well as writing, I teach media and film and counsel disaffected teens, many of who are young offenders, in South London. I use film as one of my educational tools in the classroom. My upbringing was around law enforcement and secret intelligence, both of which feature heavily in all aspects of my writing. I love writing. I love watching films. I love switching off my mind when watching one as equally as I love to discuss a movie after I've watched it. GREATEST ERA OF MOVIES P1. Greatest era of movies... that's a tough one. We can debate and argue anything and everything, but I certainly don't believe the greatest era is now. I've become quite selective with regard to what I watch now, be it TV and film. I feel there' are so many films released that are simply bubblegum for the eyes. It should be another post, but think for a moment if you can, whether you have seen a film in the last year that has made you think about the world or made you want to buy it or keep it for always as a digital download? There are so many blockbusters being released each month, when in previous decades there would be one or two tentpole summer movies. True blockbusters. -- start dashes -- TECHNOLOGY: In a technology-sense, perhaps we're in a 'great movie era'. Filmmaking has become easier and there are more and more outlets to get your stuff out there and be seen by many different folk. Heck, one could shoot a film on a cameraphone now and I do believe in Japan there is a cameraphone movie competition / festival. I have a ballpoint pen with a camera in it. The quality and sound is amazing and I've shot some decent footage with it. However - with all tech, it is first tested and used by the military, then variations are passed to corporations and then the watered-down technology is finally handed down to the public, be it the camcorders, sound equipment, internet and drones. IN GENERAL: Films, in general, tend to depict the state of the world we're in at the time or to shape and socially condition the people. Would that be a fair assumption? If one refuses to believe or accept such a notion, then that's OK. I'm not writing to persuade or force open a person's eyes to how the world works. Of course films they serve for our entertainment, our education and awareness to 'x' 'y' or 'z', but they are also a major propaganda tool for promoting whatever agenda the elite intends to dish out next. -- end dashes -- What a statement, eh? Argue, debate or discuss that in another post or message, if you will, as it's not the main response to Steven's post. I'll come back to those dashes later on. This is where you can break down 'what is the greatest era of movies?' question. It's a brilliant question! GREATEST ERA OF MOVIES P2: 1970s. FOR ME It would have to be the 1970's and maybe one for American film in general. It was a decade of experimentation. Sex, drugs, rock n roll and of course, movies. The films were gritty, often making the audience feeling uncomfortable due to their violence and their narratives were somewhat complex at times. They were movies that were inspired by art and the independent films coming out of Europe at the time. Look at the young filmmakers of that period. Spielberg, Scorsese, Coppola, Lucas, Stallone, Tobe Hooper, Ridley Scott, Friedkin, Richard Donner, John Carpenter. Look at the movies that made a huge impact on cinema. Was 'Jaws' the first summer blockbuster? What about 'The French Connection'? It's an all-time great when it comes to crime thrillers. 'Enter The Dragon', pardon the pun, kicked off a martial-arts craze. 'Network', 'Alien' and 'Star Wars' paved the way for movie heroines (and SHOULD have continued), 'The Exorcist', 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest', 'The Godfather' Parts 1 & 2. 'Badlands', 'All The Presidents Men', 'Mean Streets' and 'Taxi Driver'. WESTERNS Steven, I too, love Westerns! I don't know where I got the liking for them as nobody in my family particular cares for them. I remember I asked my mum why or where did she think I got it from. She said her father was always reading Western comics and novelas, but he died in the sixties, a decade before I was born. Maybe we can inherit tastes and perhaps there's an 'I like Westerns and Noir movie' gene inside me. I've written two Westerns. One of them, written for Robert De Niro and Hugh Grant as they wanted to work with one another. This was about fifteen years ago and the script went to his Tribeca company. I was told De Niro found it funny. It wasn't supposed to be, but if De Niro found it amusing, then I guess it was! I'll not argue with that. Did you know that Stalin wanted to have John Wayne shot? He loved Westerns, though. My favourites: 'Rio Bravo', 'Young Guns', 'Young Guns 2', 'Open Range', 'Lonesome Dove', 'Meek's Cutoff', 'Ride the High Country', 'The Magnificent Seven', 'High Plains Drifter', 'McCabe and Mrs. Miller', 'Django' (1966). One post stated they [Westerns] were 'sexist, racist garbage'. An entitled opinion, of course, but what film isn't that? You could argue that 'Star Wars' was exactly that, but then again was 'Star Wars' just a Western set in space? There are also a load of great female characters and female-led Westerns. That will be another post. SEXIST / RACIST. They cannot be fixed to one specific genre, like a Western. There's a slew of racial stereotypes and horridly offensive representations of Japanese, Native Americans, African American people in early animated Disney features (Sunflower The Centaur in 1940's Fantastia, Indians in 1953's Peter Pan and indeed 1970's The Aristocats). How about Adam Sandler movies and Mickey Rooney in 'Breakfast At Tiffany's'? What about Paramount's 'White Dog, the racial stereotypes of the 'Skids' and 'Mudflaps' characters in 'Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen'? Ted 2' wins hands-down in every category and then there is the 'white-washing' of actors in 'Gods and Kings', the endless sexism in 'James Bond' films and the 'white saviour' movies like 'Last Samurai' and 'Avatar'. GREATEST ERA OF MOVIES P3: 1980's. I adore movies from many different decades. From 30's and 40's Noir, to Hong Kong and Japanese Ninja movies of the 60's and 70's. I've listed a bunch of faves from the 70's. The 80's films that I love are 'First Blood', 'RoboCop', 'Young Guns', 'A Better Tomorrow', 'The Breakfast Club', 'Gremlins', 'ET', 'Labyrinth', 'Back to the Future' and my favourite: 'Die Hard'. DASHES - - I could go through the decades and list so much more as we all could, but to return to those dreaded dashes from the start of my lengthy post. As I said, movies and especially television depict our times and is an incredibly powerful tool for propaganda and manipulation. PROPOGANDA: If you look at what is happening in the world, it's usually reflected in the arts and has done since year dot. Whether it is battling Nazis, Communists, Cold War, telling us that money, drugs, power and goodness knows what other materialistic nonsense is good for you, the movies have it hands-down when it comes to balancing entertainment with propaganda. Westerns: TV and movies, there were morals in Westerns. They embodied the psychology of the East-West struggle. Audiences were bombarded by stories of how their forefathers spectacularly won in their fight against anti-social forces. Tales of town law enforcers, upholding the decent way to live and hard-working cowboys and everybody had a 'don't push us around' way about them. TV-Westerns, the juvenile Western, targeted the children, giving them role models to admire. "These are your good 'ole American responsible adults, kid. They love their country, the law, their mothers and are good uncles, brothers and fathers and darn good workers who never betray anyone." Action movies: Did you know that Navy recruitment booths were set up in theatres showing Top Gun and enlistment went through the roof because of it? Rocky, namely Rocky IV. The American underdog facing off against the villainous Russian, Ivan Drago, who also killed his best friend, African American ex-champ Apollo Creed. Both real life and fictional audiences are rooting for the American to beat the Russian, even managing to get the Russians to turn on him, too! Red Dawn (both versions!) Pretty actors taking on bad Commies from Russia (or North Korea) who have invaded US soil. We in the West are outraged at the sight of the Far East or Russia parading their arsenal of weapons in squares in front of mass audiences, but we don't bat an eyelid when Michael Bay does it in.. er... every single movie of his. The go-to filmmaker if you want to show the world what America has in terms of its warships, planes and technology. It's no different, the audience is just paying to see it. How about 'The Day After Tomorrow' and Roland Emmerich's laughable, in your face global warming scenario? 'Battleship Potemkin' was revolutionary in its editing, influencing cinema from then on. Then you have your Pentagon Propaganda movies - by that I mean, film that had 'assistance' from the Pentagon and / or the CIA. 'The Sum of All Fears', 'Pearl Harbor'. 'Iron Man' - Film critic Roger Ebert wrote in his review of the film that Tony Stark is "the embodiment of the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned against in 1961 - a financial superhero for whom war is good business, and whose business interests guarantee there will always be a market for war.", 'Skyfall', highlighting the 'baddies' of cyber crime just as whistle-blowers like Asange and Snowden are outed as villains of the world. 'United 93', 'Captain Philips', 'American Sniper', 'The Interview', 'Zero Dark Thirty'. FIN: So, if you're still there and wondering: i) my goodness what a ramble ii) where has the time gone? iii) this has gone way off topic! iv) I was interest by that or v) What does all that have to do with Steven's question, what is the greatest era of movies? I'll leave it with this: Do you think the greatest era of movies is related to your life in some way? . The era or the Western; simplistic, old fashioned, hardworking people, unspoilt land, no material nonsense, freedom. . 70's experimentation, radical movement and demonstration, justice, hippie, peace-loving, investigative reporting... . 80's were cool and in-your-face brands you had to have, had the rise of video games and great effects What does each decade represent? Thank you so much for reading. Love movies, love writing, love filmmaking, love one another, be creative, be inspired and inspiring and be open-minded. Ben twitter.com/BenTrebilcook This is Day 10 of the 'RB content challenge'

Steven Morris

First, thanks everyone for your insight and responses. Yes the question is a matter of opinion and I believe we can have a constructive friendly debate. A lot of great movies were mentioned. Personally, while the special effects look good, I've seen really good movies without them i.e. all of Denzel's. I do enjoy the movies of today but I feel like they're obnoxiously repetitive. All the remakes and what not. It's possible my greatest era is related to my life. But I like the 90s because I feel it was original, in most aspects. The film industry began to step of it's comfort zone, paving the way for today. Michael Myers and Chucky use to scare the crap out of me. Now, not so much. Slightly humorous looking back on it. But during that time, they were incredible movies.

Anne Pariseau

Thank you Beth for mentioning code of conduct. Can you explain more on what healthy debate looks like? I'm seeing a lot of issues with this throughout the lounge. Thanks!

Beth Fox Heisinger

Hi Anne. :) Yes, there is a community code of conduct which can be found within the site's "Terms of Use" located at the bottom of the web page. Healthy debate is respectful even when heated. Rather than give examples here's one section (out of many) of the Stage 32 Community Code Of Conduct: (I) You shall at all times act professionally and be courteous to Members and other Users of the Website and shall not use Stage 32®, the Website or any Service provided by the Company to engage in any harassing, abusive, disruptive or offensive behavior, or to post or upload any communication or other Content that contains libelous, slanderous, abusive, defamatory, racist, obscene or offensive language or other material.

Beth Fox Heisinger

My apologies, Steven, I certainly do not wish to disrupt this discussion any further. So, please let's return to the thread topic. Thanks!

Steven Morris

No worries. Sometimes we must be reminded before it gets out of hands. Thanks for keeping the peace.

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