Film Franchises Could Ruin Hollywood Movies

FoodInc

Courtesy: AP News. From the documentary “Food, Inc.”, a food processing production line. Are Hollywood films becoming no different?

by Legendary Lew

Friend of The Underground Multiplex and contributor to Mediatrocities, Dominick Suzanne-Mayer comes up with an astute write-up of Warner Brothers’ decision to produce more DC Comics-based movies. His views parallel mine in discussion of what I’ve termed Imitation Movie Products.

You should head over to Consequence of Sound and give it a read. It’s yet another movie lover’s concern for how movies are being made and distributed to the detriment of those who can never have their films projected on the big screen.

Saturday Night Funnies

by Legendary Lew

It’s time to put this meme I created up here, since it seems to be getting some attention on Facebook. This was created in response to the news that Bernie Sanders will be speaking to an audience at The Vatican next week.

hillaryphonepope

US Copyright Office Wants to Hear from You About DMCA Abuses (But You Have to Contact Them TODAY)

DMCA-abuseby Legendary Lew

I recently posted here about the non-enforcement of The Fair Use clause for media producers and how their works (and careers) in were jeopardy. Overzealous entertainment labels and outright thieves plop down DMCA takedown notices on YouTube when the alleged violations were highly questionable. Making matters worse, the claimants could legally take ad money meant for the original video creator after the takedown and never be required to give it back, even if the claims are proven false.

Now I’ve learned from Fight for the Future(.org) that the U.S. Copyright Office wants to hear from those who have a concern with these violations.  Click on this link to register your concerns about the misuse of DMCA takedowns and the violation of free speech these actions incur.

The only catch is that you must contact them by 11:59pm tonight!

So contact them now and tell others. We can flood the US Copyright Office the same way the FCC was flooded regarding a free and open internet.

UPDATE: There’s already a report that the massive response is crashing the government servers on their site. Keep trying! This is very positive!

Here’s the Nostalgia Critic speaking about the abuse of DMCA takedowns:

Mediatrocities Podcast #22: Ben Hicks of Fandependent Films and the State of Indie Films Today

fandependentby Legendary Lew

Ben Hicks, co-founder of Fandependent Films, joins me in the latest podcast to talk about his site, the state of independent films and whether it’s possible to have cottage industries of film.

Check out Fandependent Films, where you can watch a brand new movie every day and become a fan of your favorite ones. Becoming a fan supports the site and the filmmakers.

Listen to the podcast:

BenHicks

Ben Hicks (l) of Fandenpendent Films with Legendary Lew

CLOSING NIGHT: “Incendium” by Chicago Slam Works

Incendium_Goldstar

~ by Ty Pi

March 4th, 2016 was the closing night of the world premiere of the Chicago Slam Works production of Incendium.  I had a chance to see their previous show, Handsome Animals, which explored the social construction of body image and gender.  The production was directed by J.W. Basillo and the writing team was led by Teagan Walsh-Davis.  I enjoyed that production quite a bit and eagerly awaited the chance to see their followup production, Incendium.  I attended on their closing night and I was not disappointed.

The structure of the two Chicago Slam Works productions mentioned here are rooted in poetry.  Handsome Animals delivered its content through a series of poems and short scenes.  Basillo once again helms Incendium (written by the performers), which presents itself more like a cabaret set on a black box stage at Stage 773.  The show comes equipped with not just poetry, but also songs, juggling, acrobatics, a burlesque number, and the occasional breaking of the fourth wall, going as far as to have the audience directly involved.  It goes against the norms of theatre and is performed with a great sense of fun.  Within this abstract circus lies one central theme: Death.  The concept of death is explored throughout most of the play, if not all of it.

For this theatre patron, their presentation of that theme is what not only made this ride worthwhile, but also necessary.  The production makes a heavy emphasis on how life is temporary, memories fade, life can be miserable, and death is inevitable.  Although these points are repeated, it works because these are all too true.  These theme are supported by the show’s examinations of time, individual identity, one’s sense of purpose in the world, and even the feeling of boredom.  The more I think about it, Incendium does not just make death a theme, but also more of a statement.  In a person’s lifetime, one will experience hardships, feelings of boredom, contemplate their sense of purpose in the world, memories of their life will fade, and until someone discovers the cure for mortality, death is inevitable.  Life is a temporary experience and we only get to do it once.

I am reminded of a quote from Orson Welles in his documentary, F for Fake.  “Our songs will all be silenced.  But what of it?  Go on singing!  Maybe a man’s name doesn’t matter all that much.”  Although such themes can be seen as too downbeat or morose, the show has a sense of fun about it, and at times becomes self-deprecating.  The play explores that when one of the performers named Noob (Joseph Ramski) tries to bring optimism into the situation, only to be crushed by everyone in a fashion that can be described as humorous cynicism.  My takeaway from that is that it’s easy to be cynical about life and death, but it does not change anything.  Instead of remaining pessimistic about it all, I felt the play encouraged me to become more optimistic and happy that I even get to experience life at all.

I extend my congratulations to the Chicago Slam Works cast and crew for their efforts to bring Incendium to life.  Although the run of the show has ended, their next production will premiere at Stage 773 on May 6th, 2016.  It is called This Great Nation, Much Enduring.  I was informed that this production will be about America.  Already, I am looking forward to seeing it, and I encourage you to head to their website to learn more about the poetry-forward company.

BREAKING: Hollywood Believes Abe Vigoda Still Alive

Abe Vigoda from "Fish"

Abe Vigoda from “Fish”

by Ty Pi

During the In Memoriam tribute at last night’s 88th Annual Academy Awards, Abe Vigoda (The Godfather, Barney Miller, Fish, and Good Burger) was notably absent.  For many years, Hollywood believed he had already passed away.  Since January 26th, 2016, the day Vigoda passed on, Hollywood now believes he is still alive.  Oops!

Hey, nobody’s perfect…

Legendary Lew’s Oscar Predictions

by Legendary Lew

2016OscarsLogo0114Oscars 2016:

Best Actor:  Some Guy
Best Actress:  Some Gal
Best Supporting Actor:  Some Other Guy
Best Supporting Actress:  Some Other Gal
Best Original Song:  Some Generic Tune You’ll Despise After Hearing It for the Tenth Time
Best Special Effects/Visual Effects:  Some Billion-Dollar Budgeted Slam Bang Movie Designed to do Well in China
Best Makeup, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Effects: See Best Special Effects…
Best Adapted Screenplay:  Some Script from an Original Source That’s Probably Much Better than the Film Adaptation
Best Original Screenplay:  Some Morsel Tossed to a Film That’s Probably the Truly Best Film of the Lot, But Won’t Win Best Picture, Because the Studios Can’t Make Enough Money on It
Best Director:  Some Poor Sod Who Actually Thinks the Oscar Will Bring Him/Her the Clout He Needs to Make “Important” Films and Change Hollywood, But Will End Up Either Becoming a Hack or a Mental Patient When Reality Sets In.
Best Picture: A Future $3.99 Special at Wal-Mart. LOW, LOW PRICES!!

The above choices and opinions are those of Legendary Lew ONLY and do not necessarily reflect those of the rest of The Underground Multiplex.

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