Tag Archives: Jaws

The new disaster movie

Yup, we all have seen them, buildings on fire (Towering inferno), silly snappers with appetite (Jaws), Catching your stones (Deep Impact), shaking your love (Earthquake), warming up the neighbourhood (Dante’s Peak), or solving the greenhouse effect (The Day after tomorrow), yes we have more likely than not seen at least one of them, especially when we still have our 2012 diary set to that day in December. And we all love these movies, especially when it is a fight of man (or woman) against nature, the person becomes the automated underdog and we know the we really do not have a chance, especially those who remember Will Yun Lee in San Andreas. Nature is a bitch any given day of the week.

So what happens when we take the premise and really give you a nightmare scenario? The idea popped up when I was looking to the absolute lack of intelligence coming from the Oval Office. So when we got the quote “Well, we’ll have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster”, it was at that moment when I remember a situation in history, you might have heard of it, a guy named Nero and what he decided to do to Rome. It was at that moment when the mind started to think things through.
For your consideration

The setting is given to us in a stage where a person is opted to join Google and offers for sale all his 5G IP (let’s just pretend that is me, it is an ego thing) and it goes better than the main character ever considered. He is promptly paid the initial fee ($25,000,000 post taxation up front) and he hands over the IP, all of it and it is a winner, Google learns where they forgot to look and the main character gets a hell of a lot more than even he considered ($12B pre taxation), so as the IP becomes all Google, the main character heads for a nice early retirement with the largest golden parachute in history. Yet the people around him take notice, Russian organised crime, greed hungry bankers (a reference to HSBC) and they gang up on him, in this even American politicians and members of the CIA take care to snap up what they can and he ends up with nothing. This sets in motion a wave of rage never seen before and the silly criminals are all laughing, because they got the cash. But the creative mind goes to town and vows vengeance. He sets the stage with access to a larger NBC arsenal. Into the stage where he unleashes 13 nuclear sites, most of them near the spaces of the criminals, now suddenly everyone is crying like little bitches and how unfair it all is, but the main character is beyond caring, he sees the ultimate equaliser, it is loss, when the criminals and the corrupt are confronted with the loss of everything THEY care for, the need for a compromise by the criminals and politicians alike. He then sets on a larger binge, even as some think that they have a handle, he starts with the Nuclear bombing of Grand Coulee, Palo Verde, W. A. Parish, Monroe, Bath County, and Peach Bottom. These 6 changes the power options to the largest extent and no matter how great their protection was, having a 2 megaton bomb explode next to it renders such a place decently useless. At the same setting he sets of the 4 bombs near the goons responsible for being playing bad Santa to the main character, taking care of Chicago, San Francisco, San Antonio and Miami, the last to go off in Virginia setting the FBI and the CIA in a stage where they have nowhere to go. It is not the end, the Russian criminals are now in a stage where the law and a few hundred thousand Americans are hunting them down. As the rage in the main character goes on, we see the he had set the stage before the first nuclear bomb went off, where he had ‘liberated’ a few really nasty bedfellows. The bombs made reporting the issue a non-option, but as the nation is learning what had happened, the main character had seen everything taken away from him. He releases the diseases in Washington DC, Boston, Los Angeles and Jacksonville. The panic is now complete, as all plead for a compromise, we see the person put a gun towards his mouth, whispers ‘I will all see you soon’ whilst in the background a mustard gas bomb the size of a fuel bomb goes off, he swallows the barrel and pulls the trigger. We will vows that this will never be a reality, yet when we sit at home and we see ‘HSBC Stock Pummelled by Financial Crimes Report’ with the additional “hit by the fallout from revelations of the bank’s involvement in facilitating criminal activities” which happened three days ago. Crime and opportunity seekers tend to go after the people they think are weak, so what do you think happens when they go after the wrong person? This is not nature that you cannot stop, that opponent is still for the most predictable, it is the person that loses his or her mind, that person becomes unreasonable and unpredictable.

It becomes even more fun when we realise the HSBC was not alone, it is not. The Guardian reported three years ago ‘British banks handled vast sums of laundered Russian money’, am I still dreaming? Greed is like mother nature, it is predictable, and I do believe that insurmountable loss is the only thing the corrupt and the greed driven truly fear. The corrupt tend to think the it is for a greater good, you only have to blow away their children in front of a corrupt person to see their armour dent permanently. In that do you think that a person losing billions will listen to reason? Especially when government officials are involved? You might think that this will never happen, did you? But that is probably what you thought of banks as well. Greed has no limits, neither does rage and in this it tends to be a fight to behold, especially as unbridled rage equals a volcano or a meteorite that is on a path, neither of them ever wavers.

So yes, we can all agree with President Trump on “we’ll have to see what happens”, however do you want to be there when things go ballistic? I certainly don’t, but then this was merely a small movie idea, just like ‘How to assassinate a politician’, which I wrote about in ‘Sweden has it too’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/30/sweden-has-it-too/), I wonder if the people in the Critical Incident Analysis Group – CIAG (University of Virginia) the people who give us “But we are wrong about that. Mass shootings are not unstoppable, and there are people trying to stop them. They are not even inexplicable, because every time Trunk hears of one he understands why it happened and who did it”, I wonder where they were when Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold decided to throw a little party at the Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. 12 students and one teacher did not make it out and there is every indiction that the damage could have been much worse. So what happens when you push a person over the brink, a person that designed a solution the 114 thousand people at Google had not considered. Sundar Pichai might be one of the 100 most influential people n the planet, but no one will blame him for not considering everything. So when the person with the one original idea goes nuts, what will the impact be? I believe it could be the disaster movie of the decade, a step on the chessboard that none of the hundred think tanks in the US can consider, they are not ready for the parameters and in that meantime the most damage is incurred.

Well, that is my sense of humour satisfied, have a nice weekend and sweet dreams, don’t think too much of the power station near you, any of them have at least 4 flaws that they all forgot to report on.

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The successful and the less so

What makes success? We have always wondered that question, what makes ‘me’ a success? At times it is the drive that you have within yourself. Sometimes it is propagated through the outside factors like marketing and media. At times there is no control, it is imaging towards third parties and they make sure that you are the popular choice to make. I have been to the movies 3 times in the last two months. One I paid for, the other two was a free double pass that I converted into two tickets. So let’s take a look at the three movies. The first was Black Panther, it was awesome to watch, I was curious because it is one of the Marvel comics I never saw. I played him on Marvel: Ultimate Alliance on the Xbox 360, which was basically a comic book revamp of the legendary game Gauntlet, now with the option to evolve certain powers. Black Panther was unlocked by finding his 5 statues. So I knew that little on Black Panther and I was curious to see him in action (beside the scenes in Captain America: Civil War). It was an awesome movie and it was no surprise to see the movie become the 9th most successful movie on the planet reeling in well over a billion dollars. It is still grossing cash, so there is a chance for the movie to get to 8th place before the end of May (I reckon in 2-3 weeks). The movie has so far made $1,323,739,011. So with a budget of $200,000,000, it made well over a billion, it is making some serious real cash.

The second movie in this is Ready Player One, an absolute diamond by Steven Spielberg. It blew me away! I grew up in the world we see (partially) depicted, so every second I saw more and more references towards gaming, movies and even books. Some were clear references to other games (like JRPG) and some Manga characters I knew existed, but never watched the cartoon, so there were question marks for me in that regard. The movie had that approach that the movie Paul had (a Simon Pegg gem), part of the fun is seeing the references and I am certain that is what I will be doing for days after the Blue Ray and 4K edition is released. So here we have the legendary Steven Spielberg, who was born 36 weeks after the British government nationalised and took control of the Bank of England, after 252 years. It was in 1975 when he completed Jaws, the man became a revered god of cinema. His movies were a direct expectation of awesome film watching and his stature grew even more with the movie Close Encounters of the third kind, the movie that followed Jaws. The list would not stop for decades and he went all out in Ready Player One and it was awesome! He started the Jurassic Park, Jaws and the Indiana Jones franchise; he was involved as a producer/executive producer in so many other successes. So when I went to see Ready Player One (RP1), I expected to see a good movie and I was blown away, it was that perfect. Yet financially it merely made a little over half a billion. It surprised me that it had not caught on to such a degree. As we look at the $523,175,886 it made, we also need to realise that it merely made 25% from domestic US viewing, making it an interesting setting. The entire US culture of gaming and movies is a lot more appealing on the international field. When we consider that the production budget was $150,000,000, we see that the Domestic side does not make it a ‘success’, the international sales did that and it should be seen as a success as well.

Now, as per yesterday I saw the Avengers: Infinity War (my second free ticket), and again I was blown away, watching that movie was ‘perfection’. It was like watching a real life comic book with all the massive fights and superpowers in action. The Stan Lee medium of the now! For a second I was worried that so many super heroes and villains would clutter the screen, but it did not. Like watching a mix of goofy, cool and mental explode all at the same time worked, it made it a symphony of sorts. It gave the width of the Secret Wars (or Infinity Wars) comic books with the action of a level of heroes we have never seen before. It was overwhelming and absolutely amazing, with the mandatory extra scene at the very end that will make the people in the know (when it comes to comic books) go: ‘Are you fucking kidding me?‘ and that is how it felt, part one is a mega spectacle that is merely the introduction to the second part which will now expected to be even more overwhelming than the first part was. I have not felt that was since I had to wait for the second Lord of the rings movie (being a Tolkien fan for decades). Blown away three times in a row!

I expect that Infinity War will bring the profits in on a scale almost never seen before; it should have no issues surpassing Black Panther, upping the ante by a lot. The question is why does it matter? I never cared for how much a movie made, it was good enough that it made a real profit and since when is half a billion not a real profit? More important, both RP1 and Infinity war are extreme examples of excellence, entertainment and awesomeness. So why are we watching the numbers? I never cared for that in the past. I actually started watching that around the Dark Night. For some reason the passing of Heath Ledger, the most amazing Joker ever, made me wish that the Dark night would surpass the billion dollar mark and it did in the end, yet I am not getting any of those coins, so why would I care beside that it was a financial success? You see, why is it about the cash? For a part we know that when it is a success it will give us optionally a sequel, or optionally we will see those actors again, and whilst we know that there will be more marvel movies, Steven Spielberg is all about new and different. So why does it matter, because we know it does, we have seemingly become that Americanised. It is no longer about the art, it is about the return on investment, we set ourselves in that light, we are set upon KPI’s that demand we become a return on investment. When did we lose the need to be that awesome technical support agent, and moved into merely to become the most profitable one? Because being the most profitable one is not a scale of excellence, it is merely the rubber stamp that we are allowed in our workplace the next quarter. It is merely a sliding scale of monetary excellence. So even as we see that Avengers: Infinity War will be heading towards an easy $2 billion, optionally surpassing the present number 3, the 2015 movie Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens, who made $2,058,662,225 globally, should it not be about being the best and most awesome movie ever made? Because the RP1 results do not support that, even as it was as awesome as a movie could be, it was not heralded as such. Now we can blame that none of us are nerds, you merely have to see the 2.2 billion gamers many of them online, who could all identify the Planet doom scene, splattered with millions of avatars, groups all looking like the Master Sergeant of HALO, to see that we will identify. We will identify many characters and we should realise that they have references to the creative excellence of Atari Interactive, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda Softworks LLC, Blizzard Entertainment, Capcom , CBS Television Studios, Disney Enterprises, Electronic Arts, Gearbox Software, Hasbro, The Jim Henson Company, Kodansha, Konami Digital Entertainment, Mattel, Microsoft Corporation, Mifune Productions, Mojang AB, Nickelodeon & Viacom Media Networks, Paramount Pictures, Rare Ltd., Sanrio Company, SEGA Holdings Co., Sesame Workshop, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Columbia Pictures, Square Enix Holdings Co., Legend Pictures, Tatsunoko Production, Toho Company Limited, The Topps Company, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Valve Corporation and Wizards of the Coast. This is merely a grasp because there was so much more to see, so many more avatars and characters. A list this large and if you played anything even more than an hour, it is likely to be in the movie. A movie that is a three decade reference to gaming, gamers, movies and the buffs they have. The movie is sheer excellence and I wished everyone had watched it, merely because there is something in there for us to identify with, a mere moment when we were introduced to a moment of awesome, delight and/or amazement. So as we realise that the revenue does not reflect that, I started to wonder why that is.

One source told me that gamers do not care, but with 2.2 billion gamers and a fair amount deep into multi-player gaming, I am not able to accept that. I think we do care, we care a lot, we aren’t all into movies, so there is that, but I think that it has something to do with the marketing. Digg (at http://digg.com/2018/spielberg-carls-jr-ready-player-one-feud) gave their view and even as I have not been confronted with it, I am uncertain how it should be perceived. Yet, they are not the only source. Screen rant (at https://screenrant.com/ready-player-one-movie-trailer-marketing-wrong/) gives us “Warner Bros. Have Been Marketing Ready Player One All Wrong”, which shows it all a little better with “all set to a rousing cover of the classic song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, “Pure Imagination.” It is, in no uncertain terms, a great trailer. Why hasn’t the marketing been like this so far?“, so did marketing create a $400 million plus shortfall? If that is so, I should have been in marketing and take 10% of the optionally delivered $400 million (it would solve a few problems for myself as well). with “Proof of this lies in the second trailer, which, while a significant improvement over the first, lacks the impact it could have had because of the damage done by the initial teaser“, that would be cruel and revealing all at the same time, so the excellence of Steven Spielberg got undone by the marketeers they trusted? That would be a new level of Cruel and it required some extra life option to reset that. It does add up as the trailers of Marvel have been utter perfection in many ways and all of us expecting and seeing Stan Lee, the generalissimo himself in a cameo moment is always good for a laugh and a check-mark to make when watching any Marvel movie. There is no denying this and the fact that the one expected line missing in the first movie is still hopefully made in the second movie. The moment that Iron Man (Robert Downey JR) and/or Dr Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) state (optionally in unison) “No shit, Sherlock!” will certainly give cheers from the audience, that same audience when everyone in the cinema literally cheered when Thor entered the battle scene. People care that much, they are that connected to the movie, and as such I believe that people would be that connected to Ready Player One on near similar levels.

So ask yourself, when does the lack of revenue set the stage for ‘less successful’, it should not, but it does and that is literally a crying shame because Ready Player One is every bit a result of excellence as Black Panther is and Infinity War will prove itself to be. So I believe it should also be financially as successful (just go with it). I accept that my expectation is warped, but should it be? Art and excellence are their own platform, setting this scale to a metric dollar scale is dangerous, I accept that because true excellence is not set in $ signs, it is set in amazement, a currency of its own and we do not always get that currency depicted, it gets depicted less and less which is a shame, because we optionally deny ourselves access to truly great achievements.

That would be a much larger defeat than merely being seen as ‘less successful’.

 

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