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Everything posted by Mladen

  1. I miss these threads... OK, here is what I remember I have watched from 2023. Will be adding more in days and weeks to come as my summer holiday began and I have time for some binge-watching. The Bear Season 2 The Diplomat Marvelous Mrs Maisel Season 5 Ted Lasso Season 3 Abbott Elementary Season 2 Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story Shadow and Bone Season 2 Honestly, The Bear will be tough to beat this year, because I adored Episodes 6 and 7 of second season. But I have some great shows to watch and will see. I binged all three seasons of Ted Lasso. The last one was disappointing, but still good. I thought Maisel ended rather nice. And yes, I have fallen yet again for the amazing Keri Russell. I missed watching her
  2. I am sorry, but I must have missed those talking about their, ahem, dodger, lubricant and mummy's lips in one train of thought And, yeah, you have a point.
  3. It got blocked again, if I understood correctly. It lasted for an hour.
  4. I have finally discovered this thread... And boy, oh, boy... Nothing much to say but in all honesty, "Spare" is the epitome of the cringe. At some point, it stops being emotional and ventures into pure telenovela shitstorm that you have to laugh at. I have no strong opinions about any of them...But, rule of a thumb for me is that if you need a public forum to deal with some personal and family issues, you may use some self-reflection.
  5. And the first big "victim" of the strikes studios refusing to pay actors and writers fairly are Emmy Awards. So far, Venice, New York, Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals go as planned. The only movie to withdraw from Venice Film Festival is "Challengers" by Luca Guadagnino, starring Zendaya. https://variety.com/2023/tv/news/emmys-airdate-actors-writers-strike-1235681067/
  6. My two cents on debate about Cruise and Iger. As for Tom Cruise, people need to understand that he is not just one of the last "movie stars", but that he is also a producer of many of his movies, which is what brings his salary to outrageous sums. Better example of "just actor" would be the case of Robert Downey Jr who earned close to $100M per movie as Iron Man (estimates are that he earned circa $350M for his entire MCU gig). Now, we can agree with Gwyneth Paltrow who said that no actor should be earning that much, or with Tarantino who said that people go to see Marvel characters not the actors playing them. Simply, mega-popular stars who earn 10-figures simply don't deserve that much money. But, it should also be noted that they are investment. You pay that much because your profit may skyrocket. You pay Di Caprio, Cruise, Pitt or Clooney because the calculation is clear: you get that money back (most of the time!). Now, is it fair that Bob Iger or any studio executives earn 10-figures? Well, same goes as with actors. No, they don't. But ultimately, it is up to them whether studio will earn billions or lose them. The big question is not whether they deserve the millions but whether the supporting actors, writers and the rest of the crew deserve more. And they most certainly do. The problem is that business model changed and that big studios are using this to take money from creative workers. We all know that Scarlett Johansson had to sue Disney for their attempt to evade paying her more money by releasing "Black Widow" early on Disney+. This case is particularly interesting because it touches on an important issue for actors who strike today - how studios use streaming services to evade paying the residuals.
  7. Yeah, we all know that. But that doesn't mean we can support big conglomerates exploiting working class. It is like telling teachers "don't strike because if schools give in, they will raise tuitions". This strike doesn't affect those A-listers we immediately think when someone says actors. Yes, they will also benefit, but the idea is to ensure the survival of over 95% of 160 000 members of acting guild. The worst part is that writers' demands for example are $500M in total for ALL the big studios of AMPTP. Someone did calculations and for example Netflix would have to pay $70-80M. Netflix earned $31,5B last year. What are they afraid? Of economic cataclysm that would happen if they earn $31,4B? Money is not the issue. Studios have enough money. They just don't want to pay.
  8. RT has two scores - the tomatometer (critics) and the audience score. The audience score is for general public (the viewers), the tomatometer is based on the reviews of professional critics (Top Critics being the reviewers for major publications). Lately, with so many film blogs, the tomatometer score is a bit generic, but still is a relatively good source. Especially, when they gather several hundreds of critics.
  9. Well, Rotten Tomatoes is just aggregator of professional critics, including top critics from American most influential medias. As far as I know, NYT writers do post their ratings on Rotten tomatoes and Metacritic. The problem with the RT score became when every blogger was given the chance to impact the critics' score.
  10. Well, I understand that, but in my experience, I doubt it will fall more than 10%. Currently, with 153 reviews, it has 92%. Which is more than good. Also, metacritic score is on 90%. Overall, the movie is not a flop with critics. We'll see about the audience. That said, at the end of the day, until I see it, I can't comment on it
  11. Ladies and gentlemen, Nolan delivered!
  12. And the worst part is that we know it is happening. The SAG-AFTRA President, Fran Drescher said that AMPTP just used the past two weeks of negotiations to make sure that "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" (and the rest of the theatrical releases the next few weeks) get enough publicity. Basically, making sure their investment is safe and just prolonging the negotiations for their own benefit.
  13. As far as I understand, that would be scraping the bottom of the barrel. I am not sure how many non-union writers and actors are there in Hollywood (SAG, the union of actors, gathers 160k people). Even the writer-directors who are still working are making quite clear they will be doing only directorial, not writing work. If the studios and actors and writers do indeed clash horns for a while, I suppose studios will have to turn to international pool of talent. It is already clear, from the shooting of "House of the Dragon" Season 2 that production houses will be able to use foreign talent. How Equity in United Kingdom will deal with situation, it remains to be seen, but if HotD is any indication, we may see more British and European actors. Studios are hoping to exhaust writers and actors. Naturally, these are people who do not earn millions, so it can be relatively easy for production houses to force them into accepting the terms by simply, as the rumor goes, "starving them". Apparently, studios work on clashing two guilds against each other. One option is to give in to writers' demands but then to play hard with actors (much cheaper tactics), pressurizing actors to end their strike. The thing is that public sees actors as overpaid, which is the biggest problem for actors. But the reality is that only handful of people earn 8/9-figures and only several dozens of actors are earning 7-figures. I don't think there are 200/300 actors earning over $1M per year in Hollywood right now. And that would be 0,001% of all actors.
  14. If people think that this entire battle against AI does not concern them, think twice. I am a medical biochemist and I have sat at international meeting when they talked how AI will change the world of medicine, starting with pharmacists and biochemists. Automatized machinery that would only need a nurse or technician to do scut work... What is happening with the actors can be translated to any industry and we will all see how unprotected we all truly are. *** We will be getting more and more of these stories. For those asking, Sean was in 137 of 154 "Gilmore Girls" episodes, plus revival.
  15. SAG-AFTRA represents some 160 000 actors from TV, film and streaming platforms. While top notch stars like Di Caprio, Downey or Cruise are paid in millions, most of them are actually paid substantially less and have troubles to make ends meet. There is also the question of health insurance etc. The business model has drastically changed with streaming platforms and the actors found themselves with less work (we went from season having 22-24 episodes to 6-10) plus the royalties from streaming the content are paid by outdated model. The worst part, IMO, is the usage of AI. I mean, paying an actor a days work to scan their face so they could use that face indefinitely without paying extra or having actors' consent? It is not just a disturbing idea because of how unfair it is, it is even making you think how AI will be used in perhaps nefarious purposes far serious than entertainment industry.
  16. After failed negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and studio executives, the biggest union of actors in America is officially going on strike. That the strike is really going on proved the cast of "Oppenheimer" who left the premiere of Christopher Nolan's new movie. Fran Derscher, the President of SAG-AFTRA gave speech announcing the fight against studios over royalties and usage of AI. Ms. Drescher's speech: Variety's piece on strike: https://variety.com/2023/biz/news/sag-aftra-double-strike-wga-amptp-1235669492/ One of the most disturbing pieces of information that came from negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP is about usage of AI instead of actors. SAG-AFTRA is the second Hollywood guild that went on strike. Previously this year, the WGA - Writer's Guild went on strike. This is the first time since 1960s that both major entertainment unions went on strike at the same time.
  17. Well, Serbia hardly influences American politics or society (save perhaps who will win the NBA championship ) which is why there isn't a lot of coverage in US media. The school shooting was something that truly rattled everyone in the country. And given the challenges Serbian society has faced the past several decades, one must understand that we are not easily shaken. But, it does seem like the tragedy opened a lot of issues about culture of violence (which does exist, only it cannot be related to Kosovo issue), political and cultural devastation and IMO, most importantly, the mental health of the entire nation. Unfortunately, the protests against the current government are like exercise in dissipating energy. People are not thrilled with the opposition leaders, and if deposing egomaniacs in recent Balkan history have taught us anything, it is that system is not so easily changed. These are the protests against entire system that was created, but I doubt it will bring any changes, as the person controlling the country is fully aware he has no real political competition. Now, Serbia may look like Wild, Wild West, but I think a lot of foreigners are actually surprised at how relatively tame and safe Serbia is. There's a TikTok account of an African-American woman from States who came to Serbia ad decided to stay because she never experienced racism here. I can't tell how many times I doubted her story, especially having in mind protests against Syrian refugees, but she seems genuine. I also have some foreign friends who live and work in Serbia, they love it. For all our problems, Serbia (like many Balkan countries) is actually a good place. I suppose it originates from communist Yugoslavia, when the country was member of Non-Aligned Movement and there were always foreign students and young people coming from African countries and eventually staying here. This is a country of truly open, welcoming people. Yes, we went through a decade-long horror and I will be the first to admit that many individuals of power at the time in Serbia had taken part in it. Nor would I ever support any war criminal just because he is of my people. But, it is good to remember that we are speaking of individuals. The same individuals whose children were accepted at European schools and universities, while most of their countrymen never got the chance to go outside the country. It is perhaps difficult for us to understand how 1990s happened to Yugoslavia and how few evil men could have led entire nations into civil war, but between modest technological development and propaganda working 24/7 with even some elements of religious involvement, one can easily understand how thousands of young people were thrown into war, while the children of our dear leaders (Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin - I don't discriminate there) enjoyed the hospitality of various European countries. I apologize for sounding harsher than I was. It wasn't my intention. But, Balkan countries are countries of truly great history and culture, some of them old 8-9 centuries, survived empires and two world wars. In WW1, Serbia lost half of male population. It is sad to be seen through the prism of what happened during the 1990s. And, while I am fully aware of the importance of those events and the wounds that are still hurting the hearts of many regardless of the nation and religion, as the time passes, I hope people, from all over the world, will get the chance to see the other side of us (in this case, Serbia).
  18. You are right. I mean, in my response to one-sided comment, I have also done the same. I agree with you, no one in Kosovo just woke up and decided to fight with someone who is far more heavily armed. More than that, it is just plainly wrong to put all these eggs in the same basket. School shooting in Serbia is unheard of, something that was until May, 3rd considered impossible. We have mass shootings. I honestly don't remember when was the last one, but I think years passed (if we don't count one in Cetinje, Montenegro). How tragic and shocking the school shooting was is proven at how rattled the entire system is. That is why posting what is happening in Kosovo in this thread as some proof of Serbian's violent nature is so wrong. Those two issues are completely separate and they cannot be connected. No more than Jan. 6th insurrection and any of the school shootings in USA.
  19. Following illegal bombing of a sovereign nation by what is being called "peacekeeping alliance": 1. Mass exodus of all non-Albanian population from southern parts of Kosovo, circa 200k Serbs, Montenegrins and other nations. 2. Illegal appropriation of all property owned by Serbian citizens, destructions of graveyards, churches from medieval times resulting those few brave non-Albanians to basically live in enclaves. 3. Under KFOR and NATO supervision, in March 2004 happened the last ethnic cleansing in Europe when 4000 Serbs have been exiled from their homes. 4. Cultural appropriation of Serbian history on Kosovo, with Albanians on Kosovo claiming that the churches and monasteries on Kosovo have been built by Albanians (just to point out that there are hundreds of historical sources across Europe that refute this attempt to cultural appropriation). Cherry on the cake, let's see how protected were those churches and monasteries under their guidance: 5. Calling Kosovo independent state is laughable by any means. If NY Times wrote about connections between Serbian governments and hooligans, I imagine they would need one whole edition to do the same for connections between Priština government and their extremist. The emigration from Kosovo is so large that sardines are packed more loosely than those buses heading towards Austria, Switzerland and Germany. 6. Now, let's talk about mayors elected to govern basically the enclaves in which Serbs on Kosovo are allowed to breathe and exist. Perhaps, in all their wisdom, NY Times has forgotten to mention that Serbs have boycotted the election. Perhaps they have forgotten to mention that forcible occupation of administrative centers was done fully aware of the resistance of people who never voted. What annoys me here the most is this uninformed and borderline offensive (scratch that borderline) off topic in which @Zorral tries to paint Serbian society as one having the problem with violence. And we have moved from two tragic events that shocked entire nation to the protests of people who simply don't recognize certain authority. I suppose we should have the same stance towards January, 6th Capitol attack. Because there is simply no difference what was being done by Albanian mayors in Kosovo and pro-Trump mob during the Jan. 6th insurrection. These mass shootings cannot and shouldn't be used as the platform to discuss what is happening right now at Kosovo. Because that particular Pandora Box that allowed Putin to do what he wants with Ukraine while the rest of the world snickers at NATO and EU lamentations. Naturally, just like Clinton didn't care when his merciful angels have been targeting hospitals and trains full of children, neither does Putin care much about the lives of Ukrainians. And neither does NY Times in reporting what Serbs on northern Kosovo has been subjected to the past two decades under "protection" of KFOR. None of us from Serbia, neither me nor @baxus, nor anyone else, negated that Serbian society has a lot to process and find some solution for the cultural and educational crisis we are all facing. Not to mention the importance of mental health of the nation. But, it is truly repulsive to put all these events in the same context and talk about "culture of violence". And talking of that "culture of violence" of Serbs on Kosovo, here is what they and KFOR soldiers have been doing the past few days:
  20. If we are going to speak about irredentism, we really have to separate Serbian issue from the likes of Putin. The problem Serbs are facing these days is that throughout the history the term Serb was not pertained to the country or state of Serbia. It was always much wider. For example, Montenegro, throughout its independence (before Yugoslavia) considered itself a "Serb state". That doesn't mean Montenegrin people considered themselves vassals to Belgrade. Au contraire, they considered themselves equal to Serbs in Serbia. Even today, Montenegrin Serbs (which are inseparable from Montenegrins themselves, as two nations share the same DNA. And I mean it literally, because in Montenegro, you have a situation that one brother claims he is Montenegrin and the other is a Serb.) Now, these people lived in unified country (various forms of Yugoslavia) since 1918. It is not about annexation, but more like desire of one nation to live in one country (perhaps the best analogy would be the destruction of Berlin Wall and the union of East and West Germany. ) Now, there is a big difference between the sentiment of people and how politicians play with those emotions. One of the greatest mistakes of Belgrade's intellectual and political elite has always been inability to understand that Belgrade can be the center of Serbs all over the world, but it cannot be Serbian Capitol (The Hunger Games reference ). And the past several political leaders have been claiming they are the "Presidents of Serbs everywhere". Which, in all honesty, is not true, as they can be only presidents to Serbs in Serbia. The discrepancy between how people see the idea of living in one country and how Belgrade's political leadership sees that has been causing problems for the past 3 decades. These shootings, I fear, have more with the psychological state of the nation, than some political-sociological issue. As someone wrote today, 90% of murders in Serbia is committed by illegally owned weapons. But, as most doctors, especially mental health experts know, Serbia has an issue with psychological state of both kids and grownups. Three wars, devastated country, economic inflation and the rise of problematic parts of society have all lead to fragile mental state of the nation. I am not saying I expect another thing like this to happen soon, but I do believe that some things need to be addressed. And yes, there is undoubtedly connection between crime organization, corrupt government, culture of violence and what is happening right now. But most importantly, we, as society, need to figure out how to solve this. We'll see how it goes.
  21. It's been a rough week here in Serbia and no one is any wiser... As the society, there will be some tough questions to ask and answer and I honestly can see certain political and intellectual circles being rather evasive about this. It will be the easiest to blame on the "little monster" and his father than to start a nation-wide conversation about violence at schools, psychological health of our children, influences within society etc. The mourning period is over and I am afraid the reaction will be limited towards the child-murderer. The Minister for Education has resigned out of moral responsibility. He won't be missed, like many of his predecessors in the past 30+ years. I have to say that, despite the horrible, horrible week Serbia had last week, this is not a country where things like this regularly happen. The school shooting is unprecedented in Serbia, and spree killing are not something we regularly see. I think almost a decade passed since the last one. I really can't remember, but someone else might. The closest one was the massacre in Cetinje last year, but that is in Montenegro. Now, as for gun culture in Serbia. It is something deeply ingrained in our mindset, but that is to be expected from a country that has had so many wars in the past 100 years, not counting a very long history and numerous struggles throughout it. As any elder in Serbia would say "we had guns displayed in every house and no one was shooting left and right". And before this, Serbia was considered a country of low risk for mass shootings. Again, time will tell whether these were 2 isolated incidents, or whether Serbian society is to be faced with much more sinister problem. I am of two minds with regard to this, but we'll see. Lastly, @Zorral, while I admit there are some many connections between the current government and several drug lords, the way you phrased it would raise quite a lot of eyebrows here. I have never heard anyone in Serbia claiming any parts of Italy or Spain. As for Kosovo, let's not forget that Serbia is a UN-recognized country with its borders. The fact that some countries like US and EU countries decided to ignore international law, well that's something they share with their pal Putin who is doing the same to Ukraine. But, that's not the point here. Serbia has its issues, that is for certain, but this is not some Wild Wild West.
  22. Exactly. I wonder whether it would have been better if they did it like in "The Crown". Giving Alcock and Carey first season and then introducing Cooke and D'Arcy in the second. I feel like all these time jumps not only affected our emotional bonds which are practically non-existant. You can't form a bond with a character in the course of one or two scenes. Separating versions by seasons would also work better with different versions of the characters. But then again, I feel like this Alicent and Alicent from two episodes ago are two characters, let alone comparing it with the one Carey played. In the murder. Which she wasn't as that murder never happened.
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