Due to the history of the industry, it’s rare for a great film of classic Hollywood to be directed by a woman. Thanks to our friends at Miami Beach Cinematheque, a screening of Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker (1953) is just around the corner. As one of the few true classic noir films, The Hitch-Hiker provides a quintessential noir experience while still having a different story to tell.
This is the second in a two-part exploration of the Disney-Fox deal. You can read part one here.
Though the Disney Company’s $71.3 billion bid to acquire 21st Century Fox has been met by pop-culture fans with rapturous glee, the threat of Disney establishing a modern monopoly on the entertainment industry may become a reality in this deal. There’s a logic to Disney purchasing the company that owns major stock in the streaming market plus intellectual properties closely tied to them, such as James Cameron’s Avatar (2009). The deal, however, will lead to Disney owning an estimated 30% of the film industry. Many may not mind a company like Disney owning so much stake in one industry, but there’s major concern when one considers the mediocre quality of the art Disney has produced in the last decade.
This is the first in a two-part exploration of the Disney-Fox deal. Part two can be found here.
In July of 2018, the Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox, as well as its many assets in film, television, and streaming services, for a reported $71.3 billion. This should be no surprise, as Disney has been a face for cold American corporatism for decades. The squeaky clean façade Disney desperately upholds in the face of their relentless pursuit of capital has made them an easy target for both harmless lampooning and legitimate criticism. Unfortunately, conversations about media are swamped by a nostalgia-fueled pop-culture, further amplified by social media echo chambers. Whereas many fans will worship Disney’s purchase in hopes of the Fox-owned X-Men getting name dropped in Avengers 7: The Quest for More Money (2026), this acquisition should instead be met with grave concern about the effect a modern monopoly may have on the quality of future art across the entertainment industry.
As Netflix tries to climb its way into the world of film legitimacy through theatrically-released Netflix originals, fans rush to defend the quality of the company’s works as on-par with other production companies. While Netflix has produced a handful of great shows and movies, like any new production company, they have a hefty number of unwatchable disappointments, and still have to prove themselves to go toe to toe with their larger competitors. In releasing David Mackenzie’s Outlaw King (2018), though this film is more watchable than most Netflix originals, the experience isn’t worth getting off the couch and buying a ticket at the theater.
Whenever a remake of a classic film is announced, fans have reason to be skeptical. Though there’s been great remakes in the past, it’s hard to trust a film one loves in the hands of someone new. Having previously reviewed Dario Argento’s Suspiria (1977), I can say that though Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria (2018) literally drains the color that made Argento’s original film iconic, this remake provides an interesting and different experience from its source material which is produced well enough to warrant intrigue.
When it was announced we’d receive a new entry in the Halloween franchise on behalf of Blumhouse Productions, I was highly skeptical. While many were excited, knowing that Blumhouse is responsible for the phenomenal films Split (2016) and Get Out (2017), I was too aware they were equally responsible for movies of pitiful quality such as Sinister (2012), Unfriended (2015), and Truth or Dare (2018). Being a massive fan of John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), I entered the screening of the latest Halloween film with low expectations. Leaving the theater, I was both impressed by the quality of the latest in a long line of sequels, and equally feeling the sting of knowing how close Blumhouse’s Halloween (2018) came to matching if not surpassing the quality of the original film.
In the spirit of Halloween, our film club, Film Initiative Underground, and the English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, are teaming up to bring a free screening of David Fincher’s heart pumping crime-thriller, Zodiac (2007), to FIU’s MMC Campus. Based on the real-life murders of the Zodiac Killer, Zodiac is a brilliant and meticulously assembled story about obsession, and features great performances by a talented cast.