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GordonCole

What's wrong with actors nowadays?

74 posts in this topic

Just now, Vautrin said:

The title of this thread is bound to appear a number of times in just about every

comment section for a studio era flick on YT, along with its companion How come

they don't make movies like this anymore. It even appears on films that are on

the mediocre side, which always amuses me. They should make more films like

this rather pedestrian thing. 

Yea,  on a music forum I'm on, the topic is; they don't make music like they use to.

As you note, some people end up posting what they believe is much-better, 'old' music to make their point.   

It takes a lot of strength for me not to post;   I'm glad their not making that type of music anymore!

 

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yea,  on a music forum I'm on, the topic is; they don't make music like they use to.

As you note, some people end up posting what they believe is much-better, 'old' music to make their point.   

It takes a lot of strength for me not to post;   I'm glad their not making that type of music anymore!

 

Yes, they don't make buggie whips like they use to. And I'm talking about movies that are

pretty run of the mill stuff with no outstanding qualities, at least as I see them. It's like

any old b&w flick is better just because it is an old b&w flick. Weird.

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On 2/8/2019 at 11:04 PM, Dargo said:

I've heard a similar thought to your "opening argument" here expressed in the past Gordie, but it was about directors not actors. And, which was a similar thought to what CJ brought up, but it didn't pertain to just the Western genre, but to the directors of all genre of films.

It pretty such says that the "original master" directors of early Hollywood such as Wellman, Wyler, Ford and many others drew from their own life experiences in order to make movies that more closely resembled "real life". And, that then later the second and later generation Hollywood directors such as Scorsese and Tarantino having less of these real life experiences and being brought up in the world of cinema, were too much influenced by the those earlier directors' works that their own movies have become too derivative or non-original or more distanced from real life, and thus in some way "inferior".

I have to say I disagree with this thought, because as it often said about The Arts: "Before one can truly create a fine work of art, one must first know The Classics that were done by the Old Masters". And, which I suppose is just another way of saying what James said earlier about Jazz.

And in regard to actors here...

I guess the best way I can express my doubts about your contention that moderns actors seems to be less watchable or poorer actors than those who plied their craft during the so-called "Golden Age of Hollywood" would be to say the following:

Sure, while back in the day there certainly were great film actors such as Spencer Tracy, Fredric March and Bogart, lets not forget there were also ones like George Raft, and of whom it was said had quite a few "real life experiences" under his belt, but who really was never much of an actor.

But then taking this same thought to the present day and in sort of a reverse order, lets just say we do have Keanu Reeves(sorry Keanu) out there, but we also have Daniel Day-Lewis too!

(...and I think DD-L is as good an actor as ever was, and I also think there are actually a few others around now who occasionally come close to his on-screen brilliance)  

Right. Excellence is not limited to one era. And neither is lousiness. 

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17 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

;)

Or maybe not enough GLUTEN!  :D

Sepiatone

Or Steaks and red meats. ;) :lol: 

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14 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

Still back slapping and agreeing with Gordon Cole?

I think there are good actors and actresses working today.

I sometimes go to films with the following people because I admire their work:

Johnny Depp

Bradley Cooper

John C Reilly

Frances McDormand

Saoirse Ronan

Sally Hawkins

My favorite actor of today is probably Kyle Maclachlan.

MV5BMTg4MzIwNTI1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMjAw

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I'm really not all that familiar with ALL young actors( and actresses) work lately( last 15 or so years) and too, admiring some of their works, like with "classic" actors and actresses, is NO guarantee any movie they're in will BE any good.  But yeah, liking them does become a "draw".  One I admire too, is JAMES FRANCO who, like DEPP, shows a lot of versatility and range.  At least, IMHO.  ;)

Sepiatone

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What I think is wrong with "actors nowadays" is their refusal to properly enunciate their dialogue. Lots of slurring and mumbling requiring me to activate close caption. Maybe that is what is called "method" acting.

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14 minutes ago, Thenryb said:

What I think is wrong with "actors nowadays" is their refusal to properly enunciate their dialogue. Lots of slurring and mumbling requiring me to activate close caption. Maybe that is what is called "method" acting.

Nowadays????    I don't consider Brando a 'nowadays' actor.  (wink).

 

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I had to play the :30 Jeopardy music before the Brando thing clicked in.

My brother tells me to get over it when I complain about poor audio leveling with pretty much all TV. But then he goes and complains to me that the soundtrack is often too loud and over powers the dialog. I think some of that problem is Dolby Surround Sound. Many of us only have 2 stereo speakers of some kind for our TVs.

Many TCM movies are mono, but some are stereo and some Dolby 5.1. The 'center' channel is supposed to have a dedicated speaker.

In my case, old age is a factor for hearing and vision. I can't see the CC option.

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24 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Nowadays????    I don't consider Brando a 'nowadays' actor.  (wink).

 

I was about to say that Brando perfected the mumbling actor speak.  It's one of the reasons I mostly dislike his acting.  I did like him in A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront

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As the good Mr. Rennie notes above, a big issue with spoken dialogue now is due to the way sound is recorded and transmitted, both in theater and at home. Most are designed for 5.1 or 7.1 stereo systems, and will not sound right coming out of a TV's stereo speakers, or even a mono speaker on older televisions. Add to that the way background sound effects and music are mixed in, and things can get even more muddled. Even with a nice surround sound home system, if the levels aren't correct, the result will be muffled dialogue. And yes, some of it is more "naturalistic" speaking, as opposed to the stage enunciation of old.

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5 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

As the good Mr. Rennie notes above, a big issue with spoken dialogue now is due to the way sound is recorded and transmitted, both in theater and at home. Most are designed for 5.1 or 7.1 stereo systems, and will not sound right coming out of a TV's stereo speakers, or even a mono speaker on older televisions. Add to that the way background sound effects and music are mixed in, and things can get even more muddled. Even with a nice surround sound home system, if the levels aren't correct, the result will be muffled dialogue. And yes, some of it is more "naturalistic" speaking, as opposed to the stage enunciation of old.

I've found that my new (well new in 2017) UHD flat screen Smart TV has a great picture, but sometimes it's hard to hear the sound in older movies and TV shows.  I'm not sure if that has to do with the quality of the recording, the tv, or both.  I always assumed it was because the speakers are on the back of the TV.  My parents' old tube TV seemed to have great sound, but that's because the speakers were in the front.  We recently re-arranged our living room.  Our TV was moved from a big open wall to a location with a corner.  I've found that the TV has much better sound being in the corner, than in the open.  I assume it's because the sound can now bounce off the wall.  I have my TV hooked up to a surround sound as well and there are different settings, including a "cinema" setting.  I have found that the "night" or "loud" setting are better than "cinema." 

Sometimes though, I still have to crank the sound up to be able to hear everything clearly.

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On 2/8/2019 at 2:59 PM, GordonCole said:

Okay, maybe I'm just being an old fogie, but actors nowadays seem so boring to me onscreen. Could it be because since birth they have been planning to be actors....

Now in the olden days of films, a lot of bios of stars [besides the ones which lied about Merle Oberon and had Errol Flynn born in Australia] were actually really reflective of why the actor might actually have a real life in their past to aid in portraying people in films, due to interesting experiences, way beyond taking acting classes from the ages of 2-22 years. ....

....Now it is my belief that good acting comes from real life experiences, that translate on-screen through the actor who experienced real life, not from people who have trained themself in only being an actor from their early days. This is false acting, based on false beliefs. If one is playing a carpenter in a film, if they have had some carpentry or similar trade experiences they will probably portray the character in a more pleasing way. Not saying, every actor has to have already performed every task noted in a film, but a person with no life experience tends to not be able to really transmit something that one who has had life experiences has inherently. This is why I see few movies anymore, as everyone seems like they are robotic imitations of life.

 

It sounds like you're an admirer of method acting.  (which I have nothing against, per se.)

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On 2/8/2019 at 3:58 PM, LawrenceA said:

I find there to be just as many good actors today as there were in the past. Screen acting is not the same in many regards, and therefore it becomes an apples and oranges thing. Drop a 1930's actor in a film from the 2010's and he'll look like a fool for the most part, and the opposite is also true. Modern actors would not come off well trying to deliver 1930's style dialogue, especially with other performers from that era.

I'm not a classic movie only fan, nor a modern movie only fan. I'm a movie fan. I like films from all decades, nations, and genres. There are good films and bad films from every year. I understand that's not the most common belief around here, and I try to accept that. I try not to participate in the "Kids these days!!!" threads that wail at the perceived failures of the modern world in comparison to the "good old days". I usually just let people have at it, if if it makes them feel better. But I just couldn't resist. I'll try to in the future.

I'm in the minority in that I like to discuss movies, not just specific movies from specific eras, nations or genres. Every other movie site I perused back in the day concentrated only on modern films, with classic films made the subject of mockery or scorn, often simply dismissed outright. That's why I started posting here, as all films seemed to be embraced, much as was laid out by Robert Osborne on the first night TCM went on the air. However. I know there will always be people who are just as misguided and/or close-minded in their regard to modern films as those other sites were about classic films. I just try to avoid those topics unless I'm bored or surly.

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On 2/8/2019 at 9:55 PM, darkblue said:

Too much soy in their diets.

and not enough gluten.

edit: Sorry, Sepia, I didn't see your post where you beat me to it:

"Or maybe not enough GLUTEN!  :D

Sepiatone"

 

 (Guess it's a pretty obvious joke which neither of us could resist.)

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Dargo / TBilled sez:

Quote

lets not forget there were also ones like George Raft, and of whom it was said had quite a few "real life experiences" under his belt, but who really was never much of an actor.

Quote

Right. Excellence is not limited to one era. And neither is lousiness. 

But this is totally not an argument. What you're saying in reply here, hardly carries the same heft as the assertion being made. It's 'thin-end-of-the-wedge' being arrayed against thick; its peas placed against watermelons. A strange rationalization which I usually hear emitted from casual movie-buffs much less versed in history than you two gents are. I'm surprised you don't see the flaw in the reasoning, as soon as it passes from betwixt your lips.

Naturally we don't have omniscient enough insight to claim that every single Golden Age actor who had rich life experience, subsequently made a fine actor. But that's not what we're stating. That's not the kind of statement anyone can make.

However on the other hand, one can't make a reply based on a cherry-picked handful of examples (George Raft, etc) to form a counter-argument. That's merely making a negative rebuttal; a contradiction based on exception.

Name a hundred more examples such as Raft and the argument would still be weak. Why? Because the Golden Age of Hollywood is not marked overall, by 'lousiness'. Instead, the era exuded greatness in myriads of ways, millions of little excellences; greatness almost impossible to assess or quantify. Systemic greatness.

Basically, the argument that life-experience does help many actors is an argument towards a principle. Qualitative in nature. What you're doing is switching to a quantitative reply.

But that approach leads where? Should we try to count up the exact number of good actors and bad actors in each era? It's a poor, abstruse use of accounting science to try to put this question into numbers at all. I've seen people try to do it, and still they lose.

As I said above, we aren't omniscient enough to record every fine hand that ever worked in Hollywood. But even at a glance, the output of the studio system still staggers the imagination.

This reminds me of LawrenceA's statement a while ago, (which I declined to hash out with him). He murmured something to the effect that classic Hollywood cranked out a lot of dross as well as a lot of classics.

As I hinted then, the numbers alone--when you consider the amount of films made annually by each studio, their rentals figures, their popular appeal, their critical reception, the influence...there's no question that the ratio of "good-to-bad-product" then, dwarfs what we see in media today. The factory system was a vertically oriented atelier system, --which yielded unparalleled results no matter which way you slice it.

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Television, too: when Jerry Seinfeld (at the time just a stand-up comedian) set out to embark upon his TV show --when he was forming his ideas about how he wanted to do it--it occurred to him to study up on the production history of all his favorite sitcoms. What he found, left him awestruck. I forget what interview this was (after his own run had concluded), but he offering fascinating details about the Dick Van Dyke Show.

The schedule and the amount of shows per season, the way the series was structured; the pace; the demands on the writers, awed him. He always speaks of these factoids in very humble tones, and for good reason.

As much as he enjoyed his own success, he knew he wasn't gonna accomplish a smidgen of what Carl Reiner did during his own heyday. This interview took place after all the hoopla for his own success, had receded. He was reminiscing about how he started out. But when all was said and done, he wasn't ashamed to admit he had stood on the shoulders of giants.

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On 2/8/2019 at 11:59 AM, GordonCole said:

Now in the olden days of films, a lot of bios of stars [besides the ones which lied about Merle Oberon and had Errol Flynn born in Australia] were actually really reflective of why the actor might actually have a real life in their past to aid in portraying people in films, due to interesting experiences, way beyond taking acting classes from the ages of 2-22 years. For example, one might read something like this in an actor's bio:
 

Errol Flynn was born in Australia. 

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3 hours ago, Michael Rennie said:

I would never doubt you on this. According to his daughter Rory, he was born in Tasmania, which is part of Australia.

http://www.inlikeflynn.com/flynn.html

 

I think early in his career, the studio tried to perpetuate the idea that he was Irish.  Flynn himself tried to downplay his Australian heritage.  I don't believe he ever returned to Australia after leaving in the 1930s. But even in his own autobiography, he states that he was born in Tasmania.  There's also a copy of his Immigration paperwork floating around on the internet where he states his birthplace as "Hobart, Australia."  I believe Hobart is in Tasmania. I doubt Errol could lie about his birthplace on legal government paperwork. 

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Flynn was as tough as any bloke from that part of the world no matter which actual locale it was. On the set of 'Light Brigade' he got into a row with a stuntman and yanked the guy off his horse and pounded him. Those Aussies and Kiwis are a hardy breed of men.

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14 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I believe Hobart is in Tasmania

I am not as smart as the Internet. Yes, Hobart is part of the island of Tasmania.

Do any of the details really matter? Would anyone love his talents less?

Kind of like a studio saying, we must change this star's name, it just doesn't work.

If I had a time travel device, I'd give speedracer5 the chance to meet her man.

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18 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Errol Flynn was born in Australia. 

My grandfather as a Tasmanian always liked to split hairs over this issue, from the time he also worked in the Prairie Oyster shucking field.

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you sure he wasn't a barber too? or, he preferred to split short hairs huh?

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10 minutes ago, GordonCole said:

My grandfather as a Tasmanian always liked to split hairs over this issue, from the time he also worked in the Prairie Oyster shucking field.

clip-art-tasmanian-devil-775614.jpg

"Me like splitting hairs too! But me ESPECIALLY like rabbits."

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