This week on End Credits, we deal with the culture clash, and not just one culture clash, but many culture clashes. We got Hollywood wanting Chinese cash clashing with China wanting to keep their own cash. We’ve got a very famous director clashing with the changing face of the movie business. And we’ve got time clashing with the fact we’re getting older. Most importantly, our movie of the week might be clashing with itself, not to mention the dreaded “A” word considering our woke time when we talk about culture.
This Wednesday, March 28, at 2 pm, Adam A. Donaldson and Tim Phillips will discuss:
1) Chinese Take-over. Pacific Rim: Uprising opened in theatres everywhere last weekend, a movie that would not exist if it hadn’t been a bigger hit in China than North America. China’s money has been a big incentive for a lot of Hollywood’s decision making in the last couple of years, but to what effect? In order to appeal to the Chinese market, movies have had to focus on bigger action, bigger explosions, and less character, but now it seems like even China’s getting sick of Hollywood’s games and is making their own hits (Wolf Warrior 2 for example). So what’s next for Chinese/Hollywood relations?
2) The Director Approach. Steven Spielberg’s got a new movie coming out (more on that next week), which means the usual pre-release interviews and hot takes. For Spielberg, that means calling a moratorium on digitally altering his movies (like he did with E.T. in 2002), and then he screwed up by suggesting that movies released on Netflix should not be eligible for Oscars. There’s something to be said about Netflix policy of a proforma release of their movies in a few theatres to make them awards eligible, but Netflix buys movies meant for big screen release like Mudbound, as well as funding their own flicks like Bright. So is Spielberg right or wrong?
3) Betelgeuse at 30. Yes, this Thursday it will have been exactly three decades since the release of Tim Burton’s second movie about a bio-exorcist and the young dead couple that reach out to him to clear their house of some annoying yuppies. (Kids, ask you parents about yuppies!) Revisiting the film, it’s funny how you used to be able to push the envelope so far with a simple PG rating, and it’s fun to see the early work of people like Michael Keaton and Alec Baldwin, but here’s a big question: What happened to the zany, creative Tim Burton that made Beetlejuice?
REVIEW: Isle of Dogs (2018). Director Wes Anderson returns to stop-motion animation to have free reign in a world where all dogs from Japan are rounded up and exiled to Trash Island, and everyone’s cool with that except one boy who risks it all to save his beloved protector, Spots. Sounds cute, doesn’t it? Except Anderson may have opened up a can of worms called “cultural appropriation”, critics saying that Anderson is co-opting Japanese culture for no real reason and in a stereotypical way. It makes you wonder if Isle of Dogs, a sterling example of Anderson’s quirk and creativity, can escape the perhaps unintended implications of its setting and story?
End Credits is on CFRU 93.3 fm and cfru.ca Wednesday at 2 pm.