No Shock There

As any fule kno, I have little time for “awards” shows for anything show business, but the headlines are pretty much unavoidable, e.g.

The first part (about Barbie):  yeah, whatever.  But the second part?

As I see it, any time the brilliant Paul Giamatti wins an award, it cannot be called a “shock”.  Simply put, he’s one of the greatest character actors ever, and the only reason he’s not won every acting award is because he is a character actor and not a leading man.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just watch Sideways (on Amazon Prime) — itself an absolute gem of a movie, and for which Giamatti was robbed blind of an Oscar, although that year he did win several non-Oscar awards for his role.

A movie for grownups, an actor likewise.  And absolutely no “shock” winner.

Disturbing News

Following on from the above post:  I can see why someone at age 86 might not be interested in sex… but youngins?

A new poll found that Gen Z isn’t very interested in steamy sex scenes in their entertainment.

The survey of 1,500 respondents was conducted by researchers at UCLA. It found that almost half of Gen Zers aged 13 to 24 (47.5%) said sex “isn’t needed” for most TV shows and movies. A significant amount (44%) also said romance is “overused” as a plot device.

So what do they want instead? A majority of the respondents (51.5%) say they would like to see more stories about platonic friendship.

I can see why this is, though.  Back in the day soon after the wheel was invented (i.e. when I was at the age of the Gen Z group), if you wanted to see sex, you’d have to watch movies where a couple would kiss and the scene would cut to the next morning, showing them fully dressed and having coffee.

Or you could read a Jilly Cooper novel.

Nowadays, of course, PornHub or xHamster are but a mouse-click away for anyone to watch not just a single sex scene, but dozens upon dozens, until you are heartily sick of the whole thing.  (Or so I’m told.)

Under those circumstances, I can quite see why Gen Z doesn’t care about sex scenes in movies, and would prefer to see movies about platonic relationships.  They can have video sex anytime they want;  what they can’t get on any Internet channel is how to handle a friendship.

But platonic relationships? That’s almost as bad as “Young mother, who has just lost her only child to a terrible illness / car accident, goes back to her home town to rebuild her soured relationship with her aging father.”  Great Caesar’s bleeding eyeballs, that’s enough to make me venture over to yet another true-crime show on Discovery+.  Kill me now.

On the other hand, though, I have to defer to the late and brilliant novelist Alistair MacLean, none of whose popular novels had so much as a passionate grope in the story, let alone a full-ahead bonking.  MacLean put it quite simply:  “Sex scenes slow the story down.”  And he was quite right, of course, and the same is true for the movies.

Anyway, most sex scenes in movies are soft-core thrustings, which I’ve always found somewhat insulting.  And the ones that are “courageous” [/pretentious movie critic]  end up being horribly depressing, as though the director can’t get himself/herself to show sex as being actual fun, or loving.

And it’s still true that doing an explicit sex scene most often spells the end of the actor’s career (anyone seen a decent movie with Chloë Sevigny since Brown Bunny  was released?), so the best one can hope for is some wannabe / usetabe actor doing the dirty.

And who cares about that?  Not I and, it definitely seems, not Gen Z.

Cutting Out The Middle Man

I have to admit that I’ve never listened to a Taylor Swift song all the way through — when I’ve tried to do so, the first couple of minutes have been sufficient for me to get the message that while’s she’s reasonably attractive:

…her music sucks.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that I’m very much in the minority when it comes to appreciation of the Plastic Princess’s output.

So this article at Breitbart got me thinking:

Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour broke box office records last weekend, and left-wing Hollywood didn’t make a dime. Not one red cent. Nothing. Nil. Nada.

Ha ha.

Swift Inc. knew it had a hot property on its hands with this concert film, and rather than work through a Hollywood studio to distribute this hot property, Swift Inc. made a deal directly with theater chains like AMC. The result was astonishing. Eras Tour opened like a Marvel movie — well, like Marvel movies used to open before Marvel went woketard: $93 million domestic, $124 million worldwide. That is the second-best October debut in history. After three days, Swift Inc. already captured the title of the highest-grossing concert film in history.

Eras Tour was and is, by any measurement, a smashing success, and Hollywood was shut out completely.

Did I mention ha ha?

After the theaters took their cut, Swift Inc. got all the money. Hollywood got zippo. Had Swift Inc. gone through a studio for distribution — which is how things are supposed to be done —the studio would have eaten up anywhere from 10 to 25 percent of whatever was left over after paying theaters as a distribution fee.

The message this success sends is obvious. Why not go the Swift Inc. route if you have a no-brainer box office hit? Why not produce it yourself and cut a deal with theaters to distribute it? That way, the producer keeps all the money.

I feel the same way about Hollywood as I feel about the music recording studios — “exploitative scum who should suffer a daily mass scourging” would be a decent summary — although it must be said that Hollywood’s wokism has only been a recent reason for my loathing, which goes back decades.

Aside:  I should also mention that the Eagles did the same thing with one of their albums, striking a distribution deal with Wal-Mart and cutting out the foul studio, although I seem to recall that the album sucked green donkey dicks compared with their earlier albums.


So as soon as the Taylor Swift movie appears on a streaming channel, I’ll give it a look.  Maybe I’ve been wrong — hell, there has to be some reason why TS is so immensely popular worldwide — and she’s the new Beatles or something (although I seriously doubt it).

Open-minded, that’s me though;  and I’m willing to learn.

(A baby-blue Gibson?  Oy vey.  It’s not a promising start.)

Writer Loses Balls

…and to his own daughter, no less:

Four Weddings and a Funeral writer Richard Curtis says he was ‘stupid and wrong’ for the way he wrote about women and joked about people’s size in his films after he was confronted by his own daughter.

Curtis, 66, says he regrets much of his work and he was ‘unobservant’ and ‘not as clever’ as he should have been.

The comedy screenwriter poured scorn over many of his films and said he would never use the words ‘fat’ and ‘chubby’ again.

Oh FFS.  One of the best parts about the achingly-funny Four Weddings  movie was that I could recognize every single one of those appalling female characters in girls of my own acquaintance.  I had also been to weddings of similar ilk several times — okay, nobody actually died of a heart attack during any of them, but someone in the bridal party did noisily puke her guts out during the groom’s speech, which surely qualifies.

Also, one of the main attractions of Four Weddings  was the realistic dialogue — once again, I’ve heard people say things precisely as they were uttered in the movie, only with a South African accent.

Four Weddings And A Funeral  was of its time, people actually spoke, thought and behaved like that, and it saddens me to no end to think that its creator has forgotten the whole point of the satire he so wonderfully wrote.

All because his pissy little woke daughter objected.

Reader Recommendation

From Reader and Commenter ChaddInFl comes this:

I recently finished the first and only series of a German Netflix series called Kleo. It’s set in late ‘80s/early ‘90s Berlin. The title character is a young Stasi assassin who is denounced and imprisoned after completing an important assassination in West Berlin. She is released from her East German prison in 1990, during the time between the fall of the Berlin Wall and German reunification… and boy is she pissed. It turns out that all the GDR big wigs have taken their ill-gotten millions and fled for balmier climes.

It’s a well-produced and well-written show. The main character and her primary antagonist (a West German cop) are both relatable and well developed. I’ve recommended this to everyone in my daily life, so I thought I’d send it to the author of my favorite blog.

Thankee Chadd for the kind words.  As it happens, I’ve seen the show and it’s as good as he says it is.  Please note, however, that it is more of a black comedy (cf. Tarantino) than realistic, and often veers into near-fantasy, especially in the flashbacks.

And tell me that Jella Haase is not an inspired bit of casting as the assassin Kleo:

Dead eyes, if ever I’ve seen them.