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sewhite2000

A Wrinkle in Time

52 posts in this topic

This was my favorite childhood novel, and I'm pretty distressed by the trailers that make the film adaptation look way too clean, way too in glorious Technicolor and just way too Disney than the mysterious, atmospheric story I remember. The three "Mrs." characters now appearing to resemble a cosmic version of Destiny's Child? Meh.

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The film's director is Ava DuVernay, who has become the first black female director in history to shoot a picture with a $100 million budget. Guess she wanted to make sure the money was well placed.

Image result for ava duvernay

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It has a 3.4 rating on IMDb making it the worst film of the year. Total stink bomb by all accounts.

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I may have mentioned before that I'm an avid Disney fan, but honestly, I'm not looking forward to this film. I feel compelled to watch it only because I made a goal to watch every Disney movie in theaters until the day I die, so... 

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This looks atrocious, and from the early buzz, it is. The only DuVernay film I've seen was Selma, which I thought was pretty good...except for the direction, which was bland and flat. Terrific performance by David Oyelowo, though.

 

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Boy, it was all championed with maybe too long an ad campaign during all the MeToo and inclusion/diversity momentum. It made the cover of Time magazine in December, I think. The novel is back out front and center everywhere books are sold, which I suppose I don't mind, but of course with pictures of the movie cast on the cover, which will now be the vision the newest generations have of the story for the next 20 years. Of course, ABC, owned by Disney, ran a promo during the Oscars. Wrong for me to judge a movie from a two-minute trailer, I suppose, but it feels like its purpose is to promote Girl Empowerment and Believing in Your Own Awesomeness more so than faithfully representing the novel. Just the fact that the central hero of the novel in 1962 was a girl was startling enough, I think, but now Oprah-Disney appear to feel a need to ramp up the Girl Power factor a lot more, to the point where Charles Wallace and Calvin almost aren't even seen in the trailer. And there seems to be way too much of the father. In the book, you don't even know if he's alive until three-quarters of the way in. The trailer makes it look like he's going to be a major character. Not sure how they're going to work that in. Flashbacks, maybe. I know, you get Chris Pine to be in your movie, you want to use him, but still...

I still think there's a great movie to be made from the novel, but it looks like this isn't it.

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15 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

 ...but it feels like its purpose is to promote Girl Empowerment and Believing in Your Own Awesomeness more so than faithfully representing the novel.

This is exactly the issue mentioned in the negative reviews I've read.

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Anybody remember what the biggest flop in Disney history was? 

"The Black Cauldron" perhaps?

Image result for the black cauldron gif

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10 minutes ago, jakeem said:

Anybody remember what the biggest flop in Disney history was? 

"The Black Cauldron" perhaps?

Here's a list from an article I found:

  1. Mars Needs Moms 
  2. The Alamo (2004)
  3. Fantasia
  4. The Black Cauldron
  5. Tomorrowland
  6. The Lone Ranger (2013)
  7. John Carter
  8. Treasure Planet
  9. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
  10. Meet the Deedles
  11. Return to Oz
  12. Home on the Range
  13. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  14. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

https://screenrant.com/worst-performing-disney-movies-box-office-flops/

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19 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Here's a list from an article I found:

  1. Mars Needs Moms 
  2. The Alamo (2004)
  3. Fantasia
  4. The Black Cauldron
  5. Tomorrowland
  6. The Lone Ranger (2013)
  7. John Carter
  8. Treasure Planet
  9. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
  10. Meet the Deedles
  11. Return to Oz
  12. Home on the Range
  13. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  14. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

https://screenrant.com/worst-performing-disney-movies-box-office-flops/

I suppose "Fantasia" eventually made money through re-releases and home video sales.

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20 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Here's a list from an article I found:

  1. Mars Needs Moms 
  2. The Alamo (2004)
  3. Fantasia
  4. The Black Cauldron
  5. Tomorrowland
  6. The Lone Ranger (2013)
  7. John Carter
  8. Treasure Planet
  9. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
  10. Meet the Deedles
  11. Return to Oz
  12. Home on the Range
  13. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  14. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

https://screenrant.com/worst-performing-disney-movies-box-office-flops/

Four of those were actually quite good films (really shocked to see Fantasia here). Haven't seen most of the rest.

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I thought maybe Tomorrowland had done all right at the box office, but maybe it didn't make back its massive costs.

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7 minutes ago, jakeem said:

I suppose "Fantasia" eventually made money through re-releases and home video sales.

 

5 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

Four of those were actually quite good films (really shocked to see Fantasia here). Haven't seen most of the rest.

Yes, Fantasia later made back it's $2 million budget, and then some. But at the time of its release, it was such a resounding flop that Disney almost went out of business.

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Noticed this ad with all the female character's heads enlarged and made more prominent and the male character's heads smaller and/or obscured:

rhs-background._V501998835_.jpg

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Here's an interesting quote from that review that pretty much confirms my fears:

Believing in yourself is a valuable lesson, especially for young people, but it is delivered so heavy-handedly that it prevents viewers from discovering it for themselves. At every juncture of the story such messages are imparted to us in the most obvious way, as if they were spelled out in neon.

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Here's the part I noticed:

 I consider Oprah a fine actress, but her place in our culture (and consciousness) makes it hard to forget who she is as she portrays the wise, all-knowing Mrs. Which…all the more so because in her earliest scenes she is literally giant-sized.

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18 minutes ago, jakeem said:

Here's the part I noticed:

 I consider Oprah a fine actress, but her place in our culture (and consciousness) makes it hard to forget who she is as she portrays the wise, all-knowing Mrs. Which…all the more so because in her earliest scenes she is literally giant-sized.

Frank Sinatra had a similar problem. So that he usually just played Frank Sinatra - - but there were some films like Man with the Golden Arm and The Manchurian Candidate where you can see what a fine actor he was. For Oprah that would be the Color Purple where she easily got into another character, despite her popular acclaim.

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1 hour ago, sewhite2000 said:

Noticed this ad with all the female character's heads enlarged and made more prominent and the male character's heads smaller and/or obscured:

rhs-background._V501998835_.jpg

About time

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1 minute ago, Princess of Tap said:

Frank Sinatra had a similar problem. So that he usually just played Frank Sinatra - - but there was some films like Man with the Golden Arm and The Manchurian Candidate where you can see what a fine actor he was. For Oprah that would be the Color Purple where she easily got into another character, despite her popular acclaim.

Not to nitpick, but Oprah was pretty much an unknown when The Color Purple came out. She'd been seen locally in Chicago for a few years prior, but her nationally syndicated talk show didn't start until the year after The Color Purple came out. I thought she was phenomenal in the movie, and should have won the Oscar that year.

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7 hours ago, drednm said:

It has a 3.4 rating on IMDb making it the worst film of the year. Total stink bomb by all accounts.

I detect a little deliberate antipathy, in a one-third-old year that already gave us Peter Rabbit and Fifty Shades Freed.  <_<

So far, the audience reaction has been divided into "It looks funny!" from people who haven't read the book, "It looks funny!" from people who have read the book, and a general consensus on "Giant Oprah-zilla...Insert punchline here."  Me, I'm in that little invisible sliver of the pie chart reading "I couldn't stand the book" (even if you liked the Narnia stories' "religious allegory", clear the dance floor for Madeline L'Engle), but can accept it's at least more visually imaginative than that 00's TV-movie Disney already gave us back when they were playing with their new ABC-TV toy.

4 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Here's a list from an article I found:

  1. Mars Needs Moms 
  2. The Alamo (2004)
  3. Fantasia
  4. The Black Cauldron
  5. Tomorrowland
  6. The Lone Ranger (2013)
  7. John Carter
  8. Treasure Planet
  9. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
  10. Meet the Deedles
  11. Return to Oz
  12. Home on the Range
  13. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  14. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

https://screenrant.com/worst-performing-disney-movies-box-office-flops/

 

4 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Four of those were actually quite good films (really shocked to see Fantasia here). Haven't seen most of the rest.

Some of them ARE:

  • Walt had to sell Fantasia to RKO to pay back his big-city stereo costs, and RKO cut the small-town version into shreds and made a howling mess of the marketing.  (Eerily similar to Fantasia 2000's fate in its later non-IMAX cineplex release.)
  • John Musker and Ron Clements had wanted to make Treasure Planet literally since the days of Black Cauldron (but Eisner & Katzenberg thought it "wasn't commercial" and stuck them on Great Mouse Detective, Little Mermaid and Hercules*)--And it had the bad timing not only to be released two weeks after Harry Potter 2 and 007, but hit the new anti-Eisner sentiments from enraged Lilo & Stitch uber-fans who thought Chris Sanders should be crowned laurels and be made new Disney Czar.
  • Prince of Persia is actually a respectable version of the fan-sacred "Sands of Time" video-game, if you happen to be one of the fans who already played it, and one of the arguable points in "Why can't we have one good video-game movie?".  Not too many paying moviegoers had, though.
  • The Alamo, in addition to its Disney big-budget "Remember 'Pearl Harbor'!" historical-blockbuster image, originally had horror stories of "PC historical revisionism" during production, most of which were either toned down in rewrites or were simply inaccurate.  It's no John Wayne (except for a movie-stealing Billy Bob Thornton as Davy Crockett), but its B.O. became basically an early-00's symbol of "Disney can't do anything right, so either bury them now or kick Eisner out!"
  • I can not now, nor have I ever understood the murderous rages fans still go into fourteen years later at the very mention of "Home on the Range"--But it did come out the same month as The Alamo, when those same enraged Lilo fans couldn't understand why the studio hadn't simply dropped dead and ate dirt yet after Treasure Planet.  (Yes, Roseanne actually is funny as a cow, and judging from those ABC Oscar ads, oh, we sure want her back now, don't we?)  During the whole anti-Eisner campaign, you never once heard Range mentioned outside of the same sentence as Alamo.  Never.  Once.  EVER.
  • John Carter is...as good a version of the corny book series as you could get, and is unquestionably a labor of love--For those who love the books.  It's now remembered only for being so deliberately and willfully badly-marketed during an already risky March-madness, it lost the major Disney studio exec his job.

I had to substitute a few of the four, since no sane person on earth who was alive to have seen it in a theater would EVER call "Return to Oz" a good film (unless they were defending David Shire's score to the bitter end).  That was one of those same rare nightmarish peeks over the cliff into the dark, swirling abysses of director/studio insanity that left analysts wondering why "Lone Ranger" and "Tomorrowland" didn't succeed at the box office.  :blink:  As for "Mars Needs Moms", that, like the CGI "A Christmas Carol", was one of Robert Zemeckis's own private insanities, and Carol had already made him a dead-director-walking at the studio by that point.

And as for Sorcerer's Apprentice, Deedles and Around/80, those were merely in the "Ohhhhh....dear gods. -_- " category.

---

* - After Black Cauldron, Hercules beat the record as biggest studio-crushing animated flop of all time.  If it's considered a fan-favorite on disk today, that's because our hot audience heads have cooled somewhat in twenty years, but most of the murderous rages against it at the time may have just been the delayed-reaction confusion to sort out our feelings why Hunchback of Notre Dame hadn't really been that good a movie...The reasons why didn't hit us until a month or two after it'd left theaters, and then we all picked up a baseball bat.  It wouldn't be until after "Chicken Little", THE worst Disney animated in history, that Eisner would finally be kicked out, but it must have been the new 00's discovery of 3-D that recouped enough losses to keep Chicken off the list.

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5 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Noticed this ad with all the female character's heads enlarged and made more prominent and the male character's heads smaller and/or obscured:

rhs-background._V501998835_.jpg

I actually blogged on this at one point--
Because actors now ask for Points and salary instead of grosses, the big money for stars is Character Representation.  Meaning, that in the final poster, every actor with an agent to say so demands that they be featured in the final marketing poster, which is why every poster now looks like a class picture.  (Also why, for a big summer blockbuster, why we get six or seven lobby posters with one of the main characters EACH--It's their Award For Participating.)

As for why some are bigger than others, I made the comparison to the old days of medieval European religious art:
Before the Italians had discovered 3D perspective, the size of the flat 2D characters depicted was a symbolic representation of their social importance we were meant to be aware of:  The ginormous saint would always be just slightly bigger than the king/patron, who was bigger than the normal-size priests, who were twice the size of their churches, out of which little teeny peasants would be exiting, and so on.

Unknown.jpeg

As for why some actors in the poster happen to be closer (bigger) than the minor new ones in back (smaller), I merely quoted Grover's explanation of "Near....Fa-a-a-a-ar!!"   :lol:

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Not to nitpick, but Oprah was pretty much an unknown when The Color Purple came out. She'd been seen locally in Chicago for a few years prior, but her nationally syndicated talk show didn't start until the year after The Color Purple came out. I thought she was phenomenal in the movie, and should have won the Oscar that year.

I probably have a different Viewpoint because I lived in Chicago. 

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6 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

Here's a list from an article I found:

  1. Mars Needs Moms 
  2. The Alamo (2004)
  3. Fantasia
  4. The Black Cauldron
  5. Tomorrowland
  6. The Lone Ranger (2013)
  7. John Carter
  8. Treasure Planet
  9. Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
  10. Meet the Deedles
  11. Return to Oz
  12. Home on the Range
  13. The Sorcerer's Apprentice
  14. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

https://screenrant.com/worst-performing-disney-movies-box-office-flops/

The problem with John Carter is it's way too late to make a movie based on the old Edgar Rice Burroughs novels.  Maybe if it was made during or before the 1950's.  I have a one of his books, one "The Gods of Mars  / The Warlords of Mars", very imaginative considering what little (basically NOTHING) about Mars.

I viewed "John Carter" as if living during the 19th - early 20th century time period - not too bad even knowing Mars is a barren lifeless ball of rock.

gmwmffh4.jpg

 

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I actually liked John Carter, as well. There are a few on that flop list that I liked.

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