Ask 411 Movies for 09.02.13: Two Weddings and a Column
Posted by Chad Webb on 09.02.2013
Is Office Space the best film to watch on Labor Day? Does The Big Bang Theory get paid by DC to advertise their properties on the show? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Movies!
An "Ask 411 Movies" column would be nothing without questions, so please toss them my way. Why should you ask me instead of using Google? Well, perhaps I'll tell you something you can't find there, or maybe you just like my conversation and soothing words. You can post any questions or thoughts below in the comments section, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a tweet using the links below:
This was another hectic week of movie watching. I saw The Frozen Ground, The Look of Love, The Butler, We're the Millers, and The World's End. Of those, I liked The World's End For more thoughts, check out the Letterboxd link below. I've also been knee deep in Breaking Bad interviews, from Charlie Rose to panels with the cast and crew on YouTube. I'm soaking up as much as I can while the series is still around. I'm getting excited as these finale draw closer though. Burn Notice and Dexter are heating up.
On a side note, sorry if the column is a bit short this week. Not only is it a holiday weekend, but I am attending two weddings as well, which means the wife and I have a full plate.
If you want to know more about my movie tastes, check out my page on Letterboxd by clicking right here. Also, make sure to look at all the great articles and writers at 411, particularly in the Movie-zone because that's where I predominantly am, but all of the zones.
Gerard Murphy passed away this past Monday at the age of 64 from prostate cancer. He was an irish film, television, and theatre actor who regularly played villains due to his imposing stature. He was on Doctor Who, but also played The Nord in Waterworld and is most well-known for his part as corrupt Judge Faden in Batman Begins.
Murray Gershenz died of a heart attack this past Wednesday at the age of 91. Gershenz was most famous for portraying the elderly Felix in The Hangover, but he appeared in numerous shows and movies such as Mad Men, Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, Raising Hope, I Love You Man, Smashed, and many more. Gershenz was previously an opera singer and synagogue canotor. He also was the subject of the documentary Music Man Murray due to his extensive record collection, which remains for sale.
Q: On the topic of what is a hit: if you were a studio, would you rather have a relatively low budget movie (like less than $50 million) and make $200 million worldwide (examples the Butler, we're the millers) OR a $200 million budget movie and possibly make $1 billion worldwide (iron man 3) or be a flop and lose $150 million (the lone ranger)?
A: Ideally, you'd want a low budget movie that makes $1 billion, but that doesn't happen very often. Of the choices you mentioned, a studio prefers a big budget movie to make a billion because well, that's more money first of all. Secondly, it is more butts in seats, more eyes, which means more money in the long run. The more people you have wanting your product, the more they are likely to buy the DVD, toys, downloads, etc. The more attention the movie gets, the better.
Q: So my wife and I watch a lot of the Big Bang Theory. During the guys' many outings to the comic book store, I was looking in the background and noticed that everything was either DC or DC/Vertigo. For one of their Halloween episodes, they dressed up as the Justice League. So my question is this. How much does DC pay to get some advertisement on the show?
A: As far as what (if any) money changes hands, I cannot say, but it breaks down like this. The Big Bang Theory is produced by Warner Bros. Television. DC Comics is owned by Warner Bros. Because the characters on the show are comic fans, should the writers need comic references, it is cheaper to use DC Comics material rather than pay a license fee to other companies. Having said that, the show has mentioned characters from other companies, such as Hellboy, so they probably have shelled out some money from time to time. I read on a forum somewhere that the comic reference are done by the writer's assistant, who is a huge fan and keeps everyone up to date on what's current.
The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady, both of whom serve as executive producers on the show along with Steven Molaro. All three also serve as head writers. It premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007. The sixth season premiered on September 27, 2012, followed by the seventh season which is scheduled to premiere on September 26, 2013.
The show is centered on five characters living in Pasadena, California: roommates Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper; Penny, a waitress and aspiring actress who lives across the hall; and Leonard and Sheldon's equally geeky and socially awkward friends and co-workers, mechanical engineer Howard Wolowitz and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali. The geekiness and intellect of the four guys is contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense.
Since this is Labor Day, I know you all want a bit of history on this holiday.
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September, that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. It was first nationally recognized in 1894 to placate unionists following the Pullman Strike. With the decline in union membership, the holiday is generally viewed as a time for barbeques and the end of summer vacations
For your reading pleasure, here are 5 Labor Day related movies to check out (in no particular order):
On the Waterfront is a 1954 American crime drama film about union violence and corruption among longshoremen. The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg. It stars Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, and, in her film debut, Eva Marie Saint. It is based on "Crime on the Waterfront", a series of articles in the New York Sun by Malcolm Johnson. The stories detailed widespread corruption, extortion and racketeering on the waterfronts of Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The Grapes of Wrath is a 1940 drama film directed by John Ford. It was based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Nunnally Johnson. The film tells the story of the Joads, an Oklahoma family, who, after losing their farm during the Great Depression in the 1930s, become migrant workers and end up in California. The motion picture details their arduous journey across the United States as they travel to California in search of work and opportunities for the family members.
Office Space is a 1999 American comedy film satirizing work life in a typical 1990s software company. Written and directed by Mike Judge, it focuses on a handful of individuals fed up with their jobs at an IT company. They are portrayed by Ron Livingston, Jennifer Aniston, Gary Cole, David Herman, Ajay Naidu, and Diedrich Bader. Shot in Las Colinas and Austin, Texas, Office Space is based on Judge's Milton cartoon series. It was his first foray into live action film and second full-length motion picture release.
F.I.S.T. is a 1978 film directed by Norman Jewison and starring Sylvester Stallone. Stallone plays Johnny Kovak, a Cleveland warehouse worker who becomes involved in the labor union leadership of the fictional "Federation of Inter State Truckers". He finds that he must sacrifice his principles as he moves up through the union and attempts to expand its influence. The movie is loosely based on the Teamsters union and their former President Jimmy Hoffa. Among the well-known actors who appear: Kevin Conway, Brian Dennehy, Rod Steiger, Melinda Dillon,Richard Herd and Peter Boyle.
Silkwood is a 1983 American drama film directed by Mike Nichols. The screenplay by Nora Ephron and Alice Arlen was inspired by the life of Karen Silkwood, a labor union activist who died in a suspicious car accident while investigating alleged wrongdoing at theKerr-McGee plutonium plant where she worked.
"The plural of Chad is Chad?"
--From the movie Recount