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Think Like a Man Wins at the Box Office


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In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 7:04:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2012 7:05:53 AM PDT
Pulpman says:
I am sorry I was in to this thread until the remark about Tarantino . Django is a character from a series of Italian/Spanish westerns. I do not see the correllation between that and black film makers.
I will say that Tarantino is a no talent director/writer who proves that Hollywood cannot come up with anything original. None of his works are original but culled from other films and just used in his. Yet people claim he is genius and original.
Bill Duke is an excellent director/actor who never gets enough credit. I watch his work anytime.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 10:05:43 AM PDT
I like Tarantino, because he never said that he was making a lot of his stuff up from the getgo, he's a huge film nerd, and it shows.

Agree 100% about Bill Dukes. Dukes directs a lot of stuff that people don't even know he's directed, because it's completely mainstream stuff, 'The Cemetary Club', Nero Wolfe, etc. Oddly enough his two best films were completely ignored by mainstream America, namely, A Rage In Harlem, and Deep Cover. He's not a half bad actor either if he wasn't always stereotyped as the bad guy so often.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 10:09:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2012 10:11:16 AM PDT
Killer: On Dinklage, have you watched the series Game of Thrones yet? It is my favorite thing on television and Dinklage is absolutely delicious and vicious in it as Tyrion Lannister. It's a brutal medieval/fantasy series on HBO, lots of gratuitous sex and violence, good times.

EDIT -- I do agree with your post regarding Dinklage in the first vs. the remake. Also, James Marsden has never really done anything for me as an actor, he is pretty much the same character in every role I have seen him portray and that character is usually forgettable.

Posted on May 4, 2012 3:00:18 PM PDT
Green Meanie says:
Sukiyaki Django.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 7:22:58 PM PDT
N/A says:
I saw Bill Duke's Hoodlum and it was hardly great. Sister Act 2 wasn't great either. Pulp Fiction beats the crap out of either. It's more cinematically and culturally significant as well. I've seen nothing of Bill Duke sketched in stone anywhere. In fact, nothing Bill Duke has done is more significant cinematically or culturally than Tarantino. Spike Lee and John Singleton are the most cinematically and culturally significant black directors of the 1990s and 2000s.

As for Tarantino, yeah he pays frequent homage but no director can write with the same nonlinear, clever wit. And if he's so no talent, how come every director since has copied his techniques?

I also let you in on another secret, nothing is original. Everything you see today has been done before time and time again. Cinema has been around for over a century. Do you think there is anybody around giving you a story you have heard before in some way, some form before? The difference isn't in the story you tell but how you tell it. That's were Tarantino's originality comes from as does Christopher Nolan or David Lynch, etc. etc. etc. However, all three directors' works mirror what somebody else did in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. At least Tarantino will admit it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 7:30:20 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 4, 2012 8:18:39 PM PDT
@Alice sippin' banana daiquiri in a hammock in the South Pacific somewhere counting her stolen booty..

Yeah, I'm watching Season 1 at the moment. Thought I'd read the book before delving in (am reading the second book now). Not only is Tyrion the best character, but Dinklage is the best actor. Lovin it. Lovin him. Great actor. Very cool show.
Gawd, what a show, huh? Any form of debauchery and mayhem is pretty much on show. Also, is it wrong that I like Jaime Lannister?
And Daenery is so hot I need a cold bath after watching! Tsssssss..

Winter is coming.....

In reply to an earlier post on May 4, 2012 8:33:27 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Re: "Sister Act 2 wasn't great either"

THERE'S the understatement of the week!!!

I am no fan of the 'Kill Bill' films, but they are masterworks compared to 'Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit'.....

In reply to an earlier post on May 5, 2012 1:45:51 PM PDT
Killer Koala: Hey, I didn't still my booty, I was born with it and I shake it every chance I get. ;-)

I like Jaime Lannister as well, as conniving as he is. He and Tyrion are the only two Lannisters I care for, the rest turn my stomach. Also love that Tyrion can always be found at the whores' den. Ah, the Khaleesi, yes, she is quite beautiful...hate her brother though. But since you've read the book, I'm sure you know what's in store for him.

Wait until you get to the second season! It's only 5 or 6 episodes in now and I hate that I have to wait an entire week for the new on to begin. I am subscribing to HBO solely for this show, it's that good.

Posted on May 15, 2012 2:05:48 PM PDT
Of course nothing was going to beat The Avengers, but Think Like A Man performed admirably.

Found this article about black directors that says quite a lot. Worth a read.

http://www.pajiba.com/box_office_round-ups/how-bad-is-it-for-black-directors-in-hollywood-the-10-highest-grossing-african-american-directors-of-all-time.php

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 3:34:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 15, 2012 3:38:19 PM PDT
N/A says:
Looking at the list of the top 10 highest grossing black directors, the majority of them make garbage movies, which says a lot. Look at the top 10 highest grossing white directors (Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Robert Zemeckis, etc.), and all of them have made game-changing films inspiring new generations of filmmakers with substantive work.

I think the article does the whole "It's White Hollywood's fault for us not being represented" similar to an argument a lot of black people like to make towards white people and their opportunities for success, which even if true, what do we intend to do about it?

I'll admit that a black person in Hollywood or anywhere else for that matter will have to work harder than a white person to make an actual difference in a particular field but that raises the bar for us, yet very few black directors have come remotely close to operating at the high bar or standard. If black people want to make a big difference in Hollywood, then they need to move past the hood stories, buffoonery and sob stories, and instead make something that inspires a worthy, universal and compelling thought.

Posted on May 15, 2012 6:39:05 PM PDT
Green Meanie says:
Kony 2012.

In reply to an earlier post on May 15, 2012 8:46:57 PM PDT
Bill Mobley says:
What bothers me is how much us black people have watched films for years with all white casts and have loved them. Things like Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, The Godfather, Clint Eastwood movies have been loved by black people. We've admired many white Actors and Actresses for years also. And going back even to movies of the 30's, 40's and etc. we have been watching white people with no problem. But now we've got to make movies that appeal to all people to have major success.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 4:47:57 AM PDT
It is a bit strange isn't it, but it is what it is. For a director to truly break out, he is going to probably have to get hold of a script of some best seller (that has no blacks or ethnicities whatsoever) and film it himself, because Hollywood would probably not trust a property like that to any black director. It's a shame really, because there are so many stories of ethnic figures throughout history and even in fiction that would make wonderful films, yet the fact that either the protagonist is not white, or the director is not white will cause those films to be criticized on a much harsher level.

I honestly think it's a kind of contempt for blacks (specifically) in this country, and non european ethnicities in general until a time at which the mainstream decides they are worth attention. Rather like the love affair that mainstream America had with Hong Kong films. Then they enticed a few Chinese directors to America, and not one of them managed to do anything that surpassed their "ethnic targeted" works in their homeland. Mainstream America loves seeing Native Americans, but not in stories about or done by Native Americans.

It's funny that people can always point to the pictures by blacks that got wide release (for a black picture) as being sub-par, but never mention the independent films that are very good and every bit the equal to white independent films that never get distribution. The Hollywood distribution system so far has not been very proactive when it comes to promoting quality black directors with the same zeal they promote the Tyler Perry's. The reason so many beginning black directors start off doing hood films is because 1. It is accessible (the Robert Rodriquez model of filmmaking), but also because those are the films that Hollywood is most likely to notice and pick up from a black director.

And to be honest if every film shot in the "hood" had as good a screenplay like "Fresh". I'd be in favor of blacks starting a genre of "hood" related films just like the film noir movement

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 3:54:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 16, 2012 4:09:18 PM PDT
N/A says:
The question is why doesn't Hollywood trust a black director with a great novel? I think its because of two basic things. The first is that there are very few examples of black directorial excellence and among those that are excellent, I can name 20 white directors who have done it much better and whose very name alone will bring $30 million to the box office. Can you really say that of any black director? The second is that a lot of black directors alienate themselves from the wider audience needed to inspire any trust or confidence from the establishment.

As a black person, I notice the pattern of thought is "They don't trust us or give it to us because we're black." The truth of the matter is that to be trusted you simply must earn it and nothing is given to you. You have to earn it. I will admit the burden of proof for a black director, particularly a female one is much higher than a white director. No argument there. However, very few black people have lived up to or beyond that higher standard that many white directors have set.

In the end, very few black directors have earned the trust of the establishment, unless of course they entrusted to make buffoonery. If black people in the technical departments want a chance in Hollywood, they must prove themselves far and beyond the call of duty. I've seen very few do so. In fact, I haven't seen many come even close.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 4:06:09 PM PDT
N/A says:
You don't have to make movies that appeal to success and thats what most black directors have done since they were started out. Melvin van Peebles and Gordon Parks didn't bother to appeal to mainstream success nor did Spike Lee, John Singleton or Lee Daniels. All of them do what they want. I look at Lee and he'll do a bigger film every now and then (Inside Man, etc.) but most his work are personal pet projects that are highly un-mainstream.

The discussion here is about how black directors have not achieved great success. The argument of some is that white Hollywood won't give us a chance. My argument is that black directors/writers have not made many great works worthy of enough for the establishment to give us a chance. There is not one black director who will make a straight film about an universal subject that everyone can relate to and that does not alienate or accuse a specific group of people for our troubles (ex.: whites, Jews). Not one.

You mentioned Clint Eastwood. He's part Scottish and Dutch. How many of his films about that? You say black people enjoyed his films. Don't you think that's because Eastwood makes films with universal themes. Believe me, if Eastwood made films about the conflicts of the Dutch and Scottish, much less black people would be interested, the same way whites and other groups are less interested in our pity parties, poor us, its your fault stupidity.

Even look at Martin Scorsese, an Italian-American. Some of his films have strong Italian-American/Catholic themes, but a lot of others don't. A black director can stay true to the racial themes that are relevant to them. However, when every film you make is either an indictment of white society, a tragic pity-party of black poverty or a bunch of black people acting stupid or dressing in drag, do you really have to ask why we haven't achieved greater?

Posted on May 16, 2012 9:13:03 PM PDT
Green Meanie says:
If Oprah decided to get into movie making, I can see her type of black themed films being released in black neighborhoods.

In reply to an earlier post on May 16, 2012 9:57:53 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 16, 2012 9:59:20 PM PDT
Bill Mobley says:
I understand what you are saying. I think my comment sounded (or read) more smug than I meant it to. Your feelings about some black films remind me of my feelings toward music. I don't know why so many fellow african americans are so narrow minded when it comes to music. If songs like "My Guy" and many songs by the Supremes were released today, they'd be dismissed as too white. There are so many talented black artist today (in music and movies), but they can't only be talented, they've got to be "black" also. If it is rumored that they are acting white they can all but kiss their careers goodbye.

Posted on May 17, 2012 5:53:37 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 17, 2012 5:57:28 AM PDT
Teriek has a point, but I think he's missing the point on How Hollywood works and perception.

Check out this article.
http://www.pajiba.com/seriously_random_lists/the-best-african-american-directors.php

Now I think the article leaves out a few black directors like the Hughes Brothers for example that have shown the ability to do greater things. The thing I see is the same as the problem for Black actors. How many times do you see a breakout performance by a white actor/actress is a film and then they are in everything. Now compare that with black actors?actress that get a lot of attention in a film only to never be seen again. Think about the career of Whoopi Goldberg as a prime example. Whoopi deserved that oscar for The Color Purple. That may have been anti-Spielberg collateral damage, but still, look at the roles she's was offered after. Total Schlock and the pattern when it comes to black actors occurs again and again. A break out role for blacks in Hollywood does not mean bigger and better things like it does for whites.

Not lets look at directors. Most directors are chosen for projects. Very few directors have the clout to just say I want to do such and such a project. People like Tarantino are rare, in that he writes his own stuff, and was able to get people to believe in him. Now Teriek says that few black directors have shown the ability to be given the big projects, but let's look at that a bit closer starting with:
1. Peter Jackson. Before Lord of the Rings, there was nothing in Jackson's resume that would have suggested he could helm a film of that magnitude. The only prominent film he had done was Heavenly Creature, which showed a bit of imigination, but nothing no one had seen before, it was a competent film, bolstered by great performances from his cast. Before that he had only done B-grade horror films such as Bad Taste. Many of the black directors we've discussed have shown at least as much promise as Jackson.

2.Jon Favreau. Mostly known as an actor. Done some television work. So how does he get to do Iron Man? Favreau only had three directors credits before that film, none of which in my opinion equal some of the black directors on this list.

3.Josh Whedon. Now I know who Whedon is because I'm a fan, but most mainstream American has no clue as to who the director is behind the fastest grossing film in recent memory "The Avengers". Whedon has primarily worked in television, but he only had one film credit as director to his name prior to the Avengers, and that was on the film wrap up of his series Firefly.

Not I'm not saying that any of these directors are bad or were not qualified. I like all of them, but I'm just saying. If you're going to say that the work you've done is what qualifies you getting the big pictures that is not the case when it comes to white male directors, and I qualify that statement because white female directors have said the same thing that black directors have been saying for years. Black directors are quite possibly not even on the short list when projects like these come up.

Posted on May 17, 2012 6:02:41 AM PDT
Here is another article in the NYtimes that also talks about the inequity that black directors seem to face in Hollywood.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/movies/11seym.html?pagewanted=all

Also it should be noted, we're not just talking about the big block-buster A pictures. We're talking about just the little films that many blk and ethnic directors want to do that are constantly getting stonewalled. Many of the so-called break-out films that it is being said Black directors don't make are those films that don't get funded.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2012 7:01:17 AM PDT
N/A says:
First, look at the first few paragraphs. Some of the movies mentioned are Friday, Eve's Bayou and The Best Man. Friday was enjoyable though it was buffoonery. Eve's Bayou wasn't great though it did have some interesting aspects. The Best Man was just garbage. Other films mentioned include The Secret Life of Bees, Miracle at St. Anna and Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail. Based on that, you really wonder why black people don't get funding? They either make garbage or substandard films.

Look at The Help, by white director/writer/actor Tate Taylor. Far better than the Secret Life of Bees. It was also successful because of its multi-racial cast of very talented actresses in spite of its black-centered subject matter. Again, Hollywood will fund what seems finanically viable.

If you look at many of the films made by black directors, they tend only to be financially viable among black audiences, not many places else. Hollywood is a business and what's more profitable to fund and support? Something only relevant to one group or things that have universal value that don't squarely focus on my group's lower position in society and whose to blame for it?

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2012 7:14:34 AM PDT
N/A says:
The two of the three guys you mentioned (Jackson, Whedon) had extensive resumes prior to their big projects and both have experimented with bigger projects with special effects before taking on even larger work. They essentially worked their way up the ladder. Jon Favreau is a chance the studio took considering his film Made didn't make a lot of money. Still, between all three of these guys, they've generated close to if not $5 billion in revenue.

And you're right, black directors are not considered when it comes to big projects like this because they have universal themes and bring audiences together, which I can't say of a lot of black films. Very few if any black directors make films like that and have very few works proving their ability to direct films of that magnitude.

I don't think its impossible for a black director to make those type of films because if it is, what are complaining about? I think if a black director can come along and make a few Donnie Darko movies with visual effects and cult classic success, he can possibly make bigger films and finally the biggest film. And yes, white Hollywood is less likely to give us a chance (but based on each individuals prior work and success). But that means we have to work harder to create greater films. I have not seen that with many black directors. The Hughes Brothers tried with The Book of Eli. It didn't work.

And by the way, Hollywood is taking a big risk giving the highly coveted Oldboy remake to Spike Lee, only a few years after Steven Spielberg left the project. And yes, Whoopi deserved Best Actress.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2012 7:16:54 AM PDT
N/A says:
I think the "acting white" thing is what Lionel Richie is often accused of and I think he's at a point where he simply does care. With black artists in music and film, there is often an expectation placed on them that they must only deal within their culture. White or Hispanic people aren't nearly subjected to the same expectations.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2012 7:18:06 AM PDT
N/A says:
The thing about Oprah Winfrey is that she's been very much involved with people of all races. So I wouldn't doubt she'd make some black themed movies but I could also see her doing something outside of that from time to time. And like Whoopi Goldberg, she did deserve the Oscar for The Color Purple.

Posted on May 17, 2012 7:58:55 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 17, 2012 8:10:59 AM PDT
I can say with some mileage under my belt that we, mainstream america in general and blacks specifically expect more, and put more restrictions on black filmmakers than we do with any other group. I say this with confidence, because I used to sound like Teriek. The only difference (and this is merely a supposition) was that while trying to put a strategy into play I learned first hand that it isn't that easy. I'm now I hope a bit more objective in my comparisons and my criticisms. I also discovered there was stuff I wasn't hearing about because films that feature black stories (not "black films") and black directors are seriously marginalized. When they do work that doesn't fit into the mold Hollywood has cast them in. You often don't hear about it. For example how many people have heard of this Spike Lee Joint:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/movies/20stra.html?_r=1&fta=y

and a review of that same film in the NYtimes:

http://movies.nytimes.com/2009/08/21/movies/21passing.html

I don't know about the rest of you, but Passing Strange I'm pretty sure did not get a big push in any theaters in my hometown, and most people I've asked since I discovered it had never heard of it, or knew that Spike directed it.

I'm not using the inequities in Hollywood as an excuse for Blacks to not step up to the plate. But to fault ethnic directors for what they are "not" doing is a bit unfair. Sometimes we make it sound like Black and other ethnic directors are sub-par, when there are many white directors that have never been "great" but what I would call simply adequate, and yet they continue to chug along with nary a word said.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2012 8:10:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 17, 2012 8:13:12 AM PDT
The only films I've ever heard of Oprah being connected to are Black themed films, and not very good ones at that in my opinion.

I have to disagree with your assessment of the qualifications of Jackson or Whedon before their respective break out films. Even people in the fan base questioned Jackson's qualification to do Lord of the Rings specifically because nothing he had done previously showed that he could pull that one off. A similar thing could be said of Nolan and the first Batman film. Nolan hadn't done anything close to the budget he had to work with with Batman. On top of that he'd done no previous SFX heavy films at all.

Blacks read comics, they watch science fiction, they also know a bit about other cultures science and history. Mainstream American and Hollywood believes that blacks only know about hip hop, sports, and low level crime. As a result they are inclined to pitch an imaginative script to a white director even if that director has shown no aptitude for the material offered, and yeah many, many times that decision has come back to bite them on the assets.
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
Participants:  18
Total posts:  153
Initial post:  Apr 30, 2012
Latest post:  Sep 22, 2012

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