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Success Too Late

Discussion in 'Pop Culture Board' started by Dr. Gonzo Esquire, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. Dr. Gonzo Esquire

    Dr. Gonzo Esquire
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    I was reading a letter that Philip K. Dick wrote raving about how amazing Blade Runner was and how it would change the landscape of film making and science fiction. How it would revolutionize the genre, become "one hell of a commercial success" and will "prove invincible." Sadly, Dick died a few months before Blade Runner premiered. Less sadly, he didn't live to see that it didn't become a huge commercial success and really only started getting its due respect years later as a cult hit.

    Focus: Which movies only received their due respect years after they premiered?

    Alternate Focus: Which movies should have been far more popular than they were, i.e., never got their due respect?
     
  2. Juice

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    Weird, I just watched Blade Runner tonight. Fantastic movie, love the techno-noir stuff.

    Id say Big Lebowski falls into this category. Probably one of the better Coen Brothers movies, and it still does not get its due. Every time I watch it I pick up on something else hilarious and it never gets old. Walter Sobchak has to be one of the best sidekicks of all time.
     
  3. KIMaster

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    Really? Of all the Coen Brothers films, that's the one you pick for not getting its due? The one that everyone raves about non-stop and picks as one of the greatest comedy ever made? The one that everyone endlessly quotes from? If anything, "The Big Lebowski" is overrated; a very good, funny film, but no masterpiece, and inferior to several other Coen Brother comedies. ("Raising Arizona" and "Burn after Reading", among others)

    This topic is going to suck if everyone chooses super-famous, successful/Oscar-winning movies that were acclaimed within, at most, a few years of their premiere. (And yes, that largely applies to "Blade Runner", too)

    Focus/Alternate Focus-

    I would say that roughly half of the really great films I have watched were never given their due. That's not me being pretentious; I couldn't care less, and it changes nothing, but for whatever reason, they didn't meet with success commensurate to their quality. My favorite film ever had decent success in the domestic Korean market, but didn't go much further beyond that, being neither a Chan-Wook Park crazy, violent spectacle, a quirky comedy like "The Good, The Bad, and the Weird", nor one of the really big South Korean commercial successes, like "My Sassy Girl".

    Sticking to English language films, since foreign ones would take forever, I was surprised "Croupier" wasn't a bigger hit, either. Yeah, it brought Clive Owen to the attention of Hollywood, and was decently successful at the box office, but goddamn it, the film is a fucking near-perfect masterpiece, a 90's stylish crime film that completely blows something like "Pulp Fiction" away.

    And it's not like British crime films haven't done really well; "Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch" were both quite successful. Strange.
     
  4. Frank

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    Focus: I don't know if it was years afterward, but didn't Office Space bomb in the box office?

    Alternate Focus: Why isn't Mongul one of the most popular movies of this decade? It's nearly flawless, told an awesome story and refrained from the emotional cheesiness that most epics fall victim to. Fantastic film if you haven't seen it yet.

    I liked Burn After reading a lot, but you really thought it was better than The Big Lebowski? I know TBL gets a TON of praise, but I think it's for a reason, the movie is awesome.
     
  5. KIMaster

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    Sort of. It made $11 million in theaters on a $10 million budget (not bad, not good), and then made an absolute fortune on DVDs after a very successful cable TV run.

    I do. The Big Lebowski is a very good comedy with a ton of things going for it; memorable characters, terrific quotes, and very high rewatch value. It's just not that entertaining of a story, and isn't super funny. "Burn after Reading" has ALL of those same things; amazing characters, great quotes, but is also a flawlessly executed satire with numerous insanely funny scenes.

    It's a significantly better movie in my mind than TBL, although the latter is more rewatchable.

    And Raising Arizona? Much better, too.
     
  6. MoreCowbell

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    But isn't that what the OP was going for? Movies that, despite obvious merits, do not initially take off, but instead get success via a slow burn? Obiously, Office Space, The Big Lebowski, and Blade Runner are all huge hits in retrospect, but they all fall in the camp of movies whose trajectory of success was measured in years rather than weeks, and whose modern revered status was in no way obvious upon their initial release.
     
  7. KIMaster

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    What you wrote above isn't entirely true; The Big Lebowski ($46.5 million on a $15 million budget) was a decent hit when it came out, and both TBL and "Blade Runner" received really good reviews immediately...although their statuses wouldn't reach "masterpiece" level until a few years after release. But that's the case for something like 60% of films we consider "classics" nowadays. It takes a few years for it to get there.

    So what's the focus? "Films that were not immediately gigantic blockbusters as soon as they came out, but received good reviews...and were then revered as amazing classics anywhere from a year to 3 years later?"

    Okay, let's also add

    "Citizen Kane", "Clockwork Orange", "2001: A Space Odyssey", "Ed Wood", "Being John Malkovich", "The Third Man", "Donnie Darko", "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "Duck Soup", "Once Upon a Time in the West", "Sherlock Jr.", etc, etc.

    Personally, I don't see the point; everyone knows these films, they ended up making enormous profits eventually, and in all cases, huge success came a few short years after their theatrical release. Is that "too late"?
     
  8. Juice

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    Well then what constitutes a late classic then? 10 years? 20? If thats the case then I dont think this is true for any movie. Just because its critically acclaimed doesnt mean anything, plently of movies that were acclaimed ended up sucking; while plently of panned movies ended up great. As for the Coen brothers, compare TBL's release to some of their movies that were immediately huge successes, like No Country for Old Men. I cant speak for the OP but I took the focus as movies that became cult classics.

    Focus: Which movies only received their due respect years after they premiered?

    Isnt that exactly what a cult classic is? Of course people know exactly what these movies are, they became successful later on, whether a few years or 10 years.

    As far as the Alt Focus, I have to go with Guy Ritchie's Revolver.
     
  9. KIMaster

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    Several movies that you quoted above DID become "cult classics" only 10+ years after release. (Sherlock Jr, Duck Soup, borderline Citizen Kane) My question is, what's the point of JUST LISTING THEM? There are countless dozens of such films, and no one disputes their status today. So what's the interest in such a focus?

    ...What?! The DEFINITION of a "cult classic" implies that the film received universal critical acclaim. If "critically acclaimed doesnt mean anything", then the focus doesn't mean anything, either. A few of the "cult classics" I mentioned above are movies I personally dislike. "Cult classic" has nothing to do with one own's opinion, and everything to do with general critical acclaim.

    So tell me then, what are the films that received their "due respect" within the same year they premiered? It's an extremely small list. Way smaller than your proposed focus.
     
  10. Dr. Gonzo Esquire

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    The Dark Knight for one. The Hurt Locker for another.

    You're right in that it is a very small list. Also, what defines "due respect?" Transformers 2 was a huge box office hit but sucked more than a hooker with a mortgage.

    In retrospect I should have refined the focus more. The context is that Philip Dick is one of my favorite authors and reading that letter made me sad because his high hopes for the film never became realized, at least not to my knowledge. Plus, give me a break, it's my first attempt at making a thread.

    Edit: Come to think of it, The Hurt Locker is debatable as far as getting its respect right away.
     
  11. miles

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    Suggestion/ slight thread hijack: Why not extend this "Success/respect Later" theme to everything pop culture: books, movies, tv shows, musicians(bound to be a lot of discussion here), comedians, whatever else...
     
  12. Dr. Gonzo Esquire

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    I have no objection.

    For comedians how about Bill Hicks? In my mind he was a genius, far ahead of his time, who didn't get his respect until after he died. If you haven't seen the documentary about him you should.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American:_The_Bill_Hicks_Story
     
  13. MoreCowbell

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Lebowski
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner
     
  14. Samr

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    Someone please tell me that I am wrong in saying that Waiting for Guffman has yet to get its due respects.

    I don't claim to be a big film dude, but that movie is fucking funny.
     
  15. Crown Royal

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    Fubar became a phenomenon. I was the only one I knew to see it in a theatre, and it quickly became a pre-gaming favourite amongst my group.

    Dazed and Confused went from limited release to the ultimate teenager/college movie. I love it as much as anybody else does.
     
  16. Dr. Gonzo Esquire

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