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Fan Of British Movies?......Don't Read This Thread Then!!!!

Discussion in 'TV Show Forum' started by Apocalypse, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. Apocalypse

    Apocalypse
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    Please heed the thread title if you like Brit movies because I genuinely don't want to offend anyone :(

    Why oh why can't British made films be as good as our Hollywood counterparts, don't throw the money angle at me because classics like Reservoir Dogs or Star war etc cost next to nothing. I'll tell you my reasoning then maybe you can state your thoughts.

    The British establishment is inherently snobbish when it comes to films, they seem to frown upon Hollywood blockbusters with their beautiful/handsome stars or the special effects used. That is why we are treated to samey samey period dramas time and time again, it's like telling the world "we value acting over razzmatazz", the films are an extension of boring boring theatre. If a British production company were given £100 million to make a movie they'd probably adapt a Bronte sister novel. They'd fill the cast with greasy ugly actors like we see in our soap operas, under no circumstances would any special effects be allowed and Judi Dench MUST be in the film :rolleyes:

    Now I know some of you are thinking "so all movies should be like Armageddon you ignoramus", well no that's not what I'm saying. British actors and effects guys are top of their game but they are hired to work on Hollywood movies, I don't think that's solely because of money, it's more to do with the fact that boring typical Brit filcks are only moderate box office pullers.....at best. I look at brilliant films like Shawshank Redemption, Panic Room, Crazy Beautifull, American Pie etc, these are understated movies that rely on good scripts and hardly any expensive effects, these could so easily have been British films but the establishment seems so set in it's way. The sheer number of blockbusters made in this country but controlled by Hollywood only proves that we are capable of big hits but we seem to lack the vision...........and money granted.

    As always there exceptions to the rule, I have great respect for films like Snatch or East Is East, Full Monty was ok but it was set in my city so I would say that.

    I'm not one to criticise something I haven't seen so below are British films I watched all the way through but was very dissapointed :

    Trainspotting, Dog Soldiers (think it's British made), Secret Garden, Room With A View, Mrs Brown, Howards End, The Leading Man and the multitude of derisable gangster flicks like Gangster No1 and Essex Boys.

    I have about 170 DVDs now and only 3 are British made I think, coming from somebody who likes understated movies that's quite damning and a bit sad. I hope this doesn't turn into a patriotic thread because that is just silly. I'd like nothing more than to see the British film industry make films that are popular with people other than pensioners, that way they may get the needed funds they always complain about. You know that feeling you get when you know you are about to get flamed but you click "Submit New Thread" anyway, I'm feeling it right now :zonked:

    P.S - Yes I am British born and bred :cool:
     
  2. Garrett

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    I think you do want British Film Fans to read.:D

    Well in short you mention derisible gangster flicks, but what about The Long Good Friday and Get Carter, not seeing the last one in the American version, but from all reports they made a right pig’s ear of it.:thumbsdow

    I will admit we do not seem able to make films like we use to but over the Christmas period the 3 biggest films had very British roots Die an Other Day, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings:smashin:
     
  3. Felix Ferrigamo

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    The only two things that Britain probably can't do are to raise the level of funding required for a S/FX bonanza and consistently break US box office records with British stars but the latter has more to do with the insularity of American audiences.

    What is a British film anyway. Is it one that is made in Britain, funded by Brits, produced and/or directed by Brits or starring Brits.
     
  4. Stuart Wright

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    Good point. Apocalypse you say that 'we' are capable of big hits but we seem to lack the vision. Who is that, exactly?
    The financial backers AND director, I would suggest.

    Was 3 Weddings backed with UK money? How about Notting Hill?
    I think your definition of Blockbuster is an effects filled action movie. I think the Brits are too cerebral to make a film like this.

    And I think part of the isse if the size of a local audience. If a film bombs in America, it will still be seen by hundreds of thousands of people. But may not get distributed abroad because it's seen as a failure. (E.g. Soldier - $75m budget recouped, English director). A Bomb in the UK gets seen by a tiny audience. So perhaps the argument against making a film is greater since a failure won't make anywhere near as much money here as a failure in America.

    Garrett - LOTR was written by a South African, directed by a New Zealand director in New Zealand and starring some UK actors.

    I don't think we have a shortage of directors.
    Ridly and Tony Scott, Sam Mendes, Guy Ritchie come to mind immediately.
    But we have a smaller pool of human resources to take from compared to the Americans. They have well over 4.5 times the population to us.
    So your not comparing like with like.
     
  5. Shoka

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    I would say that it has to have british actors in it and at least be set in the UK to be classed as a british film.

    Star wars cost loads to make???
     
  6. James45

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    but surely using Dog Soldiers as an example kind of cancels your argument?! a werewolf based horror movie! isn't that the sort of anti-art film you're suggesting we make more of?
    and gangster no.1 is an example where a bit of UK art kicks the ass of US equivalents, fantastic film. films like that deserve more box office but the brit origins put off the cinema going masses.
    I too am sick of derivitive comedies poking funnies at how silly us Brits are with our quant little ways.
    It will be a slow process but I feel films like Dog Soldiers and Gangster no.1 are shining a light in the right direction. Although a one off break through UK mega blockbuster would certainly speed up the process no end. I honestly don't think it would be that hard what with lottery money and the number of important Brits in the industry although I suspect there has been a concerted effort by those in charge of the british film industry not to go down that path as it may in the long run prove too expensive.
     
  7. Confucius

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    Star Wars' budget was $11 million.

    Close Encounters.... for example, had a budget of $20 million.


    Not sure what that 'proves' mind.
     
  8. Timmy B

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    How could any1 of liked Dog Soldiers - the acting was so bad and the story was so unoriginal:(

    If you did like Dog Soldiers (and god help you), watch something like BrainDead by Pete Jackson - its funnier, has better acting, and alot more blood and gets:) Infact watch any zombie film, they are all better than Dog Soldiers. People say it is a good werewolf movie, but it is not a werewolf movie, its a "lets replace the zombies for ppl with dog suites on" movie.
     
  9. damtom1

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    I must admit i love a good Brit flick,but i do think i view them differently to a Hollywood blockbuster.Most ,if not all ,of the British films i own or enjoy have a realism,or earthiness about them.I think it is this factor that make them more appealing to british audience than an American one.
    What do we want from watching a film?Is the Hollywood blockbuster is escapism,fantasy,excitment?Is the brit flick more of a realistic,emotional,thought provoking experience?...Obviously not all the time,but i am just generalising.Look at the way we have portrayed horror over the years as opposed to the Americans.I think it shows the differences in history and culture that are a major part of how a film is written/made for the target audience.
    What about the popularity of the Bollywood genre,these films make tons of cash,but i doubt if they have the mass appeal to Brits and Americans alike.The same can be said for the Australian/European/Chinese etc.. films,you'll always find something you like but on the whole you wont always relate to the film the same way a native of that particular country will.
    Some of my own favourites This years Love,Love Honour and Obey,Snatch,Shallow Grave all contain humour ,that i like to think is distinctly British....which i enjoy.
    Personally,i think the Americans cater for the wider audience with their films,they have to thats where the money is....global appeal.But,i love the good old Brit Flick......just my opinion;)
     
  10. Felix Ferrigamo

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    Are you fiddling the quotes as I didn't say that :mad:
     
  11. Shoka

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    Sorry m8, put the wrong name in the quote, changed it
     
  12. Garrett

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    Probably was a bad example :suicide: which facts I knew, but on the point of JRR Tolkien. Even though he was born in South African, in 1892 his mother was English and his father considered himself to be English, and returned to England in 1896 and he had been living in this country since then when he wrote The Lord Of The Rings 1954.
    To paraphrase someone: if he had been born in a stable it would not made him a horse.:rotfl:
     
  13. Apocalypse

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    First off, I'm gratefull that this thread has been kept civil as it could so easily have gone off the rails, thanks to you all.

    Some good points were raised, to clarify what I meant by a British movie would be a British funded film, a good example is the Film4 company.

    Shoka - If you look into the making of Star Wars you'll see they had cut corners and be very inventive to make Star Wars due to the small budget, that is why G Lucas is so rich now........he put up his own money for a slice of the box office returns I believe.

    Spectre listed some talented directors, it's my guess they would like nothing more than to make a box office hit where the profits could be churned back into more British productions. The lack of vision I mentioned IMO seems to come from companies like Film4 which always seem to make films that are an extension of a soap. Modern cinemas have these fantastic screens and amazing sound, do we want to see a soap opera on it?

    James45 - Dog Soldiers I know has it's fans but to me it just came across as a quickly made cheap effort, perhaps Brits should not attempt a horror movie because "Long Time Dead" is even worse...........I can't believe I paid £5 to see that at the flicks :thumbsdow

    Garret - You named The Long Good Friday as a good example of a British ganster flick and guess what, it's one of the 3 Brit DVDs I own :smashin:

    Someone mentioned a Bond film, aren't John Cleese and Judi Dench the only real English/British actors left, even his car is German now :)

    Whatever our opinions are it's obvious we would all like to see the British film industry flourish..............it's in what direction that we may differ on.

    Regards
    Phil
     
  14. Confucius

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    Well, it's American, as Aston Martin is owned by Ford (and therefore funded by them). Though certainly their cars are designed and built in Britain - but as discussed with movies, that doesn't necessarily make them British).

    That dreadful liason with BMW is at an end; good cars though many of them are, they are NOT Bondmobiles.
     
  15. BadAss

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    The core element to a movie, any movie getting on the big screen is not down to the writer, director, actor but the producer. Every movie ever made has started with this one person, his vision, resourcfullness and his ability to raise the money to put into the project. He picks the script, the Director, between them pick the actors, etc, etc. This is the biggest downfall to the British Film Industry. No one (producer) in this country can put together a total package to see a multi million pound project through from start to finish. Most of us could pick a script, a Director, the actors but there is no way on earth wed raise the funds to go out and do it. The fact is in HollyWood if you make a low budget movie that becomes a hit you become an instant millionaire, not that way in this country. So in HollyWood you have many more millionaire producers with egos as big as Texas itching to make another megabucks blockbuster.

    One other thing which is a must, you must have an American lead. So if your a stiff upperclass brit producer, how you gonna purswade the likes of Tom cruise to appear in your second movie if your firsts something hes never even heard of? It just aint gonna happen.
     
  16. Matinee

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    I think I agree with that. A film is certainly not made British by being filmed in Britain as Shoka suggested - it'd be good to film as much as possible in Britain, but there may be some scenarios which require foreign scenary.

    I think using mostly English actors makes a movie English also.

    I dont agree with american lead actors being required - X Men is a good counter argument - two English lead actors and a lot of unknown actors from various countries. That succeeded because it was a good film, although the comic book legacy helped to some extent.

    PK
     
  17. Dom H

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    when watching English films I always feel I'm watching some ITV drama. For some unknown reason to me I HATE seeing every day actors (those in soaps, drams etc.) in films...hate it!
     
  18. BadAss

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    When ever I see a film with certain actors in the lead role I successfully predict that film will be a flop, mostly British, Bond movie seem to be exempt from this theory as they sell the film.

    I would say Hugh Jackman who comes from Sydney, Australia was the lead in X-Men. And it may of made money but it was only an average movie. If you had of put an all American actor there instead, it may of done better. But a better script would of helped also. This is where IMO the producer is to blame. See even the Americans can get it wrong, but they get the second chance where as a British producer would not.
     
  19. Sgt.Colon

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    Well said Apocalypse :clap: I find that 99.9% of British films are tripe and yes that includes Lock, Stock and Two smoking Barrells. We either do period drama's or films full of swearing, sex and violence. :rolleyes:
     
  20. Apocalypse

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    Another thing that gets my goat is British film critics, 99% of Hollywood movies are given an average rating but 99% of Brit movies automatically get a high rating, these are supposed to be educated people but it's the most blatant patriotism imaginable. I mean who here actually agrees with Barry Norman's opinions of films, if it has subtitles or is British you just know it's gonna be his cup of tea. American reviewers like Ebert however have a very open mind and give credit to all sorts of genres.

    And what in the frilly eck was the News of The World thinking when it hired Ronay and Ross as critics, what is a reader supposed to make of a film when one gives it 2 stars and the other gives it 5 :rolleyes:

    Time I took a chill pill methinks :smoke: :zonked:

    Phil
     
  21. Confucius

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    I found Barry Norman's reviews to be pretty much spot on when he was at the Beeb.
     
  22. Dr.Magus

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    I'd like to see a big budget british film about the american war of independence, from a british perspective and starring british actors. If only to counteract the bull**** fantasies in Mel Gibson's 'historical' epics, particularly the portrayal of us brits.

    Gladiator - starring an australian faking an english accent to play a spaniard! That's a bit silly now isn't it:rolleyes:

    Amen.
     
  23. Apocalypse

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    Agreed, watching the Ch4 series "Empire" the other week as they talked about the war of independence was very enlightning. In The Patriot they talk about the high taxes demanded from George III but infact colonials were paying 1 shilling per year as opposed to 25 shillings per year for UK residents. Another sad fact that seems to be left out of the so called land of the free is the massive surge in slavery which began with the Independence. I once read that the real Benjamin Martin was a sadistic slave owner who forced his female slaves into sex.............well history is written by the victors I guess :nono:
     
  24. Ian J

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    Transatlantic history does tend to get changed over the years. There was a rumour that American servicemen stationed in England during the last war slept with all of our women. That was actually an exaggeration as they didn't manage to sleep with all of them
     
  25. Dr.Magus

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    Do you think if Hollywood made a film about The Beatles it would be billed as 'the emergence of four young americans from liverpool that changed the history of popular music:rolleyes:

    The thing about the war of independence was it was british civilians fighting british soldiers! We would have quelled it easily had we not been fighting wars against the spanish, french, prussians, indians, turks etc.

    That U571 film really did it for me though, i'm never going to watch that film ever, just on principal. The sheer arrogance of the yanks is enough to make anyone vomit blood!
     
  26. Apocalypse

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    Memphis Belle too was a British story that was turned into an American one, forgot what the original plane was called.
     
  27. Gambit

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    Film4 were behind Dogma which I think is an ace film, but the ideas and actors are American, so that must be some reflection. Not sure which way though, because I like Lock Stock and Snatch.
     
  28. Len

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    I think one of the problems is scale. We just don't have the back drop...

    For example SWINGERS great indie film... low budget... but they could still film in the Nevada desert and Las Vegas... What do we get? Margate on a wet windy weekend.

    Also guns... They don't look right in Brit Films... as of course we do not have a gun culture... Therefore any crime / action adventure films just don't have an edge... Lock Stock only worked because it was funny... If it was trying to be serious it would have been awful [ of course all action/adventure films have tongue firmly in cheek most of the time.

    So ultimately the Americans [and to an extent HK films] will always do action films better than we do.

    Therefore it probably comes down to taste...

    Withnail And I
    Lawrence Of Arabia
    Saturday Night Sunday Morning
    This Sporting Life
    Clockwork Orange [Watch it then watch any Tarrantino film and see what he learnt]
    Ghandi
    Long Good Friday [As already mentioned]
    Trainspotting [I think it's great]
    Shallow Grave
    Get Carter
    If
    The Offence
    Mr Bean

    ... are all good films

    [OK the last one was a joke.]

    Shame most of them were made decades ago.
     
  29. Squirrel God

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    Watch 'Gangster No.1' then, if you haven't already seen it. Another first-rate British movie :clap:




    I can't be bothered to scroll through all this thread, but 'Sexy Beast' needs to be added to the list of top British flicks if it hasn't already. Absolutely great stuff. Watch it straight after 'Gandhi' and let Ben Kingsley scare the **** out of you!! :smashin:



    If people don't like British movies then it has to be attributed to the fact that they feel too close to home. Watching movies set in another country starring non-natives can be fun because the illusion comes easier as we are far removed from those locations.

    That is the only reason why anyone can fail to like British movies however. It is certainly not because of the lack of British talent.
     
  30. Confucius

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    I think you'll find that the film is based on the true story of an American aircraft & crew.
     

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