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best conventional hollywood movie of all time


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#1 Shaun Joye

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 07:45 PM

I just saw Wanted. Even though a lot of people were entertained by this movie, the endless cliches really make me angry. Thematically its very much like The Matrix, or Fight Club and its got some elements of Office Space, or American Beauty. The main difference is all those movies were much better than Wanted.

I think the pinnacle of the conventional hollywood movie is Ghostbusters. Brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, and quite possibly the best conventional hollywood movie ever. If they can't top Ghostbusters why aim for conventional? If I were dictator of the world I'd write a law that if you can't top Ghostbusters you have to do SOMETHING original or get sent to Siberia or something.

Maybe its just a product of me growing up in the eighties. I'd like to hear other peoples' picks of the consummate hollywood blockbuster.


***Spoiler Alert***
I heard an interview with the writer of Wanted (Jesus, I hope his script for the A-team is better) in which he says about the quite predictable plot twist, "of course I had him say 'You're my son' instead of 'I'm your father' because that's what Darth Vader says to Luke in Star Wars."
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#2 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 19 July 2008 - 10:56 PM

I just saw Wanted. Even though a lot of people were entertained by this movie, the endless cliches really make me angry. Thematically its very much like The Matrix, or Fight Club and its got some elements of Office Space, or American Beauty. The main difference is all those movies were much better than Wanted.

I think the pinnacle of the conventional hollywood movie is Ghostbusters. Brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, and quite possibly the best conventional hollywood movie ever. If they can't top Ghostbusters why aim for conventional? If I were dictator of the world I'd write a law that if you can't top Ghostbusters you have to do SOMETHING original or get sent to Siberia or something.

Maybe its just a product of me growing up in the eighties. I'd like to hear other peoples' picks of the consummate hollywood blockbuster.


***Spoiler Alert***
I heard an interview with the writer of Wanted (Jesus, I hope his script for the A-team is better) in which he says about the quite predictable plot twist, "of course I had him say 'You're my son' instead of 'I'm your father' because that's what Darth Vader says to Luke in Star Wars."



I think that one of the great aspects of what might be called a "Hollywood" film is that they're often enjoable even if they're not that great because they
can be just so watchable. Whether you want to get out of the heat and into an air conditioned theater for a couple of hours or have some laughs with your friends (often a mediocre comedy can produce a lot of fun when you go out after the movie) or if you're laying on the couch watching cable, Hollywood films often look and sound great and have people in them who are fascinating to watch, the stars about whom you often hear somebody say things like "I'd watch her read the phone book".

I saw "Ghostbusters" in the warm weather but I split before it was over. I had watched probably 80% of it and although it was easy to take I thought that it also took the audience for granted, as if here we are, your favorite SNL stars and a bunch of other stuff, that should be enough. I thought that it fell way short of its promise, and I think that I appreciated more the entertainment value that it provided to people who recalled parts of it to lighten up a day while they were working.

I appreciate your question but as a future world dictator you may not want to seem contradictory (as all the best dictators care about not being misconstrued) and so regarding your make an original film dictum, I'd like to mention that "Ghostbusters" if not a remake was definitely based on a decades earlier Bob Hope movie.

Also, are you asking what is the best "conventional" Hollywood movie or "consummatte ...blockbuster" ? Are they the same?


I asked a friend once what he thought was a good Hollywood film that anybody could enjoy. He answered instantly, "Rocky". I think that's a good choice.
Yes, "Rocky" was a lower budgeted movie than its status might indicate when people mention it but it's still pretty good looking and watchable (despite Pauline Kael writing in a review that it seemed like the camera was never in the right place.)

Just for kicks, how about "Casablanca"? Romance, intrigue, movie STARS, exotic locations (albeit on the back lot) a good story (and yes propagandic) and perhaps really Hollywood in that it is a great example of the system in which they were shooting a film without an ending yet written and when they got to shooting the first of two possible endings, they wisely saw that the first ending was the best.

"Casablanca" is a great example of the anti-auter movie, the good movie made by not one but several screenwriters starting from somebody else's material, the unpublished play "Everybody Comes to Rick's", and then moving through the hands of a bunch of other departments all adding their contributions.

Yeah, "Ghostbusters" was fun in a I'm glad I'm at the movies way and I would have stayed if I had gone with friends but by myself I felt that I could leave confident that I wouldn't be missing any big payoff.
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#3 Shaun Joye

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 09:58 AM

curiously, the Ghostbusters music video doesn't hold up nearly as well as the film.


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#4 Alex de Campi

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Posted 20 July 2008 - 10:09 AM

I really enjoyed WANTED, as a big popcorn boomfest where I could turn my brain off for two hours and watch stuff explode. The comic it was adapted from is so much worse written than the movie, the screenwriters did an amazing job actually.

But best conventional hollywood film - DIE HARD for an actioner, probably, and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE for a comedy.
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#5 Luc Allein

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Posted 21 July 2008 - 05:54 PM

Raiders of the Lost Ark. It's an almost perfect film. And it's timeless.

Edited by Luc Allein, 21 July 2008 - 05:55 PM.

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