How to save Hollywood

With the welcome collapse of the M-She-U, I'd like to make two simple suggestions to Hollywood on how it could save the industry.
#1) Lose the idea that all you need to do is a replace the male characters of beloved movies with women and then reboot the franchise (example: Ghostbusters), or introduce Mary Sue characters into beloved franchises (example: Star Wars) and thus ruining them.
#2) Start making movies about real, historical, bad-ass women.

There is no shortage of historical examples. For instance:

1) Some of the best stories in history involve pirates. So make a movie about the most powerful and successful pirate in all of history - Zheng Yi Sao. Coming from the background of a lowly prostitute, at the height of her power she commanded 400 pirate ships and as many as 70,000 pirates. (Compare that to Blackbeard who never commanded more than 3 pirate ships and 150 men). The Chinese government went to war with her and she fought them to a draw. Eventually the government of China had to cut a deal with her - she got a keep all of her stolen booty and got a full pardon in exchange for retiring her pirate empire. One of the very few pirate success stories in history.

2) How about a war movie about one of the greatest snipes in history - Lyudmila Pavlichenko. She was nicknamed by the Nazis as Lady Death. After she had killed 309 axis troops, including at least a dozen snipers that were sent to specifically kill her, Stalin pulled her from the front lines and sent her on a goodwill tour of the U.S. where she was befriended by Elanor Roosevelt. Journalism was a boy's club back then and she got questions about makeup and was told that her uniform made her look fat (not a good idea to say that to someone who kills men for a living). Finally while visiting in Chicago she told the reporters. "Gentlemen," she said, "I am 26 years old and I have killed 309 fascist invaders by now. Don't you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?"

3) One woman not enough? How about the Night Witches. Nicknamed this by the Nazis because they often turned off the engine and glided into a bombing run, this was an all-female strategic bombing corps in the Red Army during WWII. That means the pilots, mechanics, support staff, and officers were all women. They often flew dozens of missions every night in very slow crop-dusters into combat that had a tendency to catch fire when hit by tracers. One last note, they didn't wear parachutes. They flew 22,000 missions and amazingly most of them survived the war.

4) Don't want to do a movie about foreigners? Then how about Mother Jones? This was a woman who was denounced on the floor of the Senate as "the most dangerous woman in America". Or Clara Lemlich who at just 19 years old led the 1909 Shirtwaist strike.

We don't have to limit this to just women. Consider doing the same for those awful black movies. Let's face it, Black Panther was a terrible movie, and The Woman King was even worse (not to mention getting the facts completely wrong). Instead, how about doing a movie about Toussaint Louverture. A former slave, he wound up leading the only completely successful slave revolt in history. Along the way he defeated not one, not two, but three European empires, France had to be defeated twice. It was unprecedented in all of recorded history.

Here's an idea, how about showing that not all Native Americans lived on the plains. The biggest defeat in all of the history of the United States Army happened in present-day Indiana against an army led by Little Turtle, when a full 25% of the U.S. army was wiped out.
Or maybe one of the most impressive Native American people in history that I know of - Tecumseh.

These are just a few ideas. I'm sure that there are lots more that I haven't thought of. And you never know, the public might actually learn something. As opposed to yet another Batman or Spiderman reboot, or another terrible minor superhero from MCU or Star Wars.
When you are done with your DEI quota you might want to try a few adventure movies like one about Ernest Shackelton or Álvar Núñez.

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who rose by means of politics to become a powerful and rich figure. Who used her connections to utilize insider trading to become a multi millionaire. A true Horatio Alger like story if there ever was one.

I will leave it up to you to figure out who this heroine is.

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she had @humphrey to go to
cali to find people stupid enough
to send her to congress

for decades

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Ya got to be a Spirit, cain't be no Ghost. . .

Explain Bldg #7. . . still waiting. . .

If you’ve ever wondered whether you would have complied in 1930’s Germany,
Now you know. . .
sign at protest march

snoopydawg's picture

.

and instead of casting the correct people in the same roles as in the books they were changed into different sexes that totally ruined the series for me.
The Witching Hour by Anne Rice was an incredible book with the lead woman character a very strong woman, but she became weak in the series that I refuse to watch it. Plus the ghost in the book was rarely seen by others, but in the series he’s as prominent and seen as everyone else.

Then there are the King novels that were totally ruined by not following the story. Koontz too has had his books ruined by movies that seem to have nothing to do with the book. Watchers is an excellent story, but the movie was so far from the script it was ruined. I could go on about how Hollywood has ruined series and movies…. And don’t ask my opinion about under the dome King book made into a series! Why do authors let people ruin their work?

Oh yeah and I agree about black panther…blehh!

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Which AIPAC/MIC/pharma/bank bought politician are you going to vote for? Don’t be surprised when nothing changes.

Cassiodorus's picture

Actual ideas do not coerce the funders into ponying up the enormous budgets demanded by the creators of blockbuster movies. The calculus is that they're now spending $400 million apiece to make them, and they have to make good on all of that money, so plots end up being along the lines of "you enjoyed watching this plot the last time you saw it, so watch it again!" Taking chances appears as a money-loser.

On the other hand, scams such as the Ukraine-Russia war no longer serve as theater because nobody in power can risk the howls that would ensue if ordinary people were to know the truth about them. But the Powers That Be can spend however much money they want on such scams, since all of the money is added to the US national debt tab. The banks cover that tab, and, in exchange, they get to rule the Federal government. Ask Obama about that. As with movie sequels, you get war sequels too, and so the War Against Gaza, October 7th premiere date, will end up with the slaughter of all 2.3 million Gaza residents because the parties who have the power to do anything against Israel are too thoroughly invested in Israel's puppet, the US, to lift a finger. And the war must last a long time to keep Netanyahu in power. Think of who loses if the Dollar collapses and along with it the banks and the US economy. You now have powerful parties, Russia and China at least, who don't give a sh*t, but those who haven't bailed on the buck?

My guess is that Netanyahu will eventually say: your cause is dead; we killed them all because nobody would accept them. Now shut up and go home.

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"The war on Gaza, backed by the West, is a demonstration that the West is willing to cross all lines. That it will discard any nuance of humanity. That it is willing to commit genocide" -- Moon of Alabama

@Cassiodorus

so plots end up being along the lines of "you enjoyed watching this plot the last time you saw it, so watch it again!" Taking chances appears as a money-loser.

People get bored watching the same shit over and over again. That's why so many new movies are failing.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@gjohnsit that the big movie-making corporations continue to follow that strategy even so. Take a look, for instance, at Disney, at what they're doing. Do you see the least smidgen of originality in any of it?

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"The war on Gaza, backed by the West, is a demonstration that the West is willing to cross all lines. That it will discard any nuance of humanity. That it is willing to commit genocide" -- Moon of Alabama

the consolidation of studios and vertical integration of media just led to lack of imagination and the substitution of contrivance for quality. When the people in charge look at Hollywood they see an apparatus to make them money. That's all. The only reason all those actor and producers, support and tech is there to make them money. If a film is a modest success, it's a failure because the ROI isn't enough. Then there is the whole thing where a film makes 20x over cost, but somehow loses money and actors can't get paid for residuals. You know, advertising, distribution, mumble mumble.

There are good films where female leads stand on their own "Salt", "Alita, Battle Angel", "The Wizard of Oz" and "Wandavision" pop into my head. No one said that would be better with men in the lead. I don't think Hollywood really knows what is good. Look at "Casablanca". That was just another of the 4 or 5 films a year actors were contracted to do to get paid. The studios had no idea it would be a classic.

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soryang's picture

Artist's have a duty to use their expression to protect humanity, according to Ai. The interviewer keeps trying to turn Ai's criticism of censorship in the west, to the topic of human rights violations in China.

I don't consider myself an authority on Chinese cinema by any means. Just by coincidence, this video came up in the youtube algorithm for me, because I had been watching some basic Chinese lesson. I'm posting this fwiw.

I haven't watched US cinema since the so called war on terror started because I perceived the industry to be projecting propaganda. The influence of pentagon and Cia in was evident in some of the films and tv series I tried to watch. It was insulting to the audience in a way. The exceptionalism narrative was there too, which included some other social myths that I couldn't stomach either. I just lost all interest. The same with cable tv, the news networks etc. Shut them all off personally around that time. Then my wife lost interest as well and cut the cable off. I heard an NBC producer once say, tv is for the under 35 demographic. They spend the most.

I've only watched maybe three Chinese movies (with subtitles of course) in the recent past. One about the Korean war that made no impression on me. I can't even remember the title. Another about WWII Japanese occupied Shanghai "800" which was somewhat better. Both were nationalistic war films or propaganda if you will. I think both were successful in China box office wise. In this respect not too much different than US war films, with the exception of the Vietnam era after the taste for the war in Vietnam had turned. The third movie concerned how a Buddhist monk traveled to India in the 7th Century to obtain some scriptures- XUAN ZANG 7th Century Buddhist Monk's 25,000 km journey. I enjoyed the latter. Character development was a weak point in all three movies. The special effects in the Korean war movie were below par.

Maybe this is due to cultural differences. I was very interested in the Shanghai story and the other two movies, but I did feel there was some perceptual barrier in experiencing the films. The cinematography was fairly good and didn't look too CGIish in 800. I understand 800 was a big hit in China. The heroic defense of Shanghai during the Japanese invasion was a major historical event and a matter of national pride. I understand that an Indian production company worked with the Chinese producers of Xuan Zang. It wasn't that well received in China according to the wiki.

I don't know if any of the US films mentioned in the CGN video are any good. I didn't see any.

I think the idea for making a movie about Zeng Yi Shao is a great idea, Gjohnsit. Two of my favorite movies were The Last Emperor and Apocalypse Now. I liked the South Korean movie My Way about two marathon runners one Korean, one Japanese drafted into service in WWII. The film flopped and got poor reviews but I thought the effort to portray the Eurasian panorama of WWII from Asia to Normandy beach based on the experience of two characters was remarkable. But I'm partial to historical films and dramas.

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語必忠信 行必正直

the Siege of Rhodes. The villain and loser was one Demetrius the Besieger, a fantastic role for a young Swartzenegar type. Rhodes is a fairly large island in the southern Aegean Sea off the southeast coast of Turkey. It had been a cross cultural entrepôt and melting pot for centuries, if not millennia. A diverse, non-paleskin cast would be entirely historically appropriate. An interesting aspect is that no name of any great hero or leader on the Rhodian side has come down to us. The citizens fought off everything Demetrius and his Macedonians--the best soldiers in the classical world at that time--could throw at them simply by working together, or so it would it seem. The Rhodians humbly approached the temples of their gods, explaining that they needed the treasure stored therein and faithfully promised to repay the immortals with even better once the war was won.

Demetrius kept inventing new tactics and siege engines and the Rhodians found ways to counter them. Rhodes received support from Ptolemaic Egypt. One could imagine a role for a Morgan Freeman or similar as Egyptian advisor and envoy. The siege lasted two years, as I recall, until an exasperated King Antigonus, Demetrious' father, recalled him. The citizens of Rhodes gathered all the bronze which had been left on the battlefield and from sunken ships. From that they made the famous Colossus of Rhodes, a statue of the Sun, their chief deity.

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Mary Bennett

TheOtherMaven's picture

and neither can the US comics industry - for the same reasons.

The blundering nincompoops are in charge and have gutted the golden goose in an attempt to get more eggs. Every work produced - whether on film, videotape or paper - must be heavy-heavy on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at any and all costs. There must be a preponderance of Strong Female Characters, gay and/or bisexual characters, Persons Of Color, etc. etc. etc.

The writing can be horrifically bad, the story can be absolute nonsense, the history of previously existing characters can be glassed as with a tac nuke, doesn't matter as long as those Holy-Holy DEI goals are met.

Any and all negative criticism must be written off as "racism", "sexism", "homophobia" or other "exclusionistic" buzzwords of choice.

Even "not buying" is subject to the same accusations, because the aholes in charge think they are entitled to your money and your support even if they have stomped your favorite character into the dirt, destroyed every single thing you liked about them, and offered up a straw-stuffed travesty instead.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven being criticized? I got fed up with mass market vulgarity and insipidity decades ago and stopped paying attention.

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Mary Bennett