Daily Film Thoughts (5/23/17): Is ‘Baywatch’ dead on arrival?

A new daily unfiltered and unedited journal of random film thoughts going through my head. No proofreading or serious analysis allowed.

5/23/17

Baywatch is opening over this long Memorial Day weekend. The Paramount film is being destroyed by critics, sitting at a just 14% on Rotten Tomatoes. In theory, it should’ve been an easy sell. Make an unaplogetic big-screen comedy out of a campy but loved TV series with charasmatic stars in the leads. That’s what the Jump Street films did. But despite the prescence of Zac Efron’s abs and Dwayne Johnson’s arms, the film doesn’t seem to have drummed up much interest. Paramount hasn’t sold the nostalgia factor. Nor have they sold it as a buddy comedy like Jump Street. I’m not entirely sure of the strategy behind the marketing. Who is this movie for? Although, the marketing folks at Paramount probably aren’t to blame. With word on the movie so bad they maybe had nothing of quality to sell.

It’s not going to have a great opening in the states. I’d be shocked if it gets anywhere close to the $45-50M number over its five-day opening weekend that early tracking suggested. Hell, $30M may be tough to beat given the reviews and competition in Disney’s latest Pirates film. The production budget for Baywatch is just $40M, but based on recent comparables and continually raising costs it’s safe to assume that at least another $40M was spent marketing the film. Maybe it’ll stay out of the red if audiences like it more than critics. Maybe. Even then, when you consider oppurtnity cost, it looks like a failure for Paramount, a studio that also saw Ghost in the Shell bomb earlier this year and the disaster that was Ben-Hur last year. It’s been a tough stretch for the studio as their only recent film that’s really out-performed expectations was Arrival. They better hope the latest Transformers hits big next month.

The Zac Efron & Dwayne Johnson fan in me is upset, as I think both are surprisng comedic talents capable of carrying studio films. Efron may be limited, but he thrived as a bro in both Neighbors films and Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates as well. Johnson is obviously a capable star, one of the biggest in the industry, but unless he’s aprt of a franchise or paired with a comedic sidekick like Kevin Hart who has their own appeal, I’m starting to wonder about his real draw.

Daily Film Thoughts (5/21/17): ‘Okja’ looks dope.

A new daily unfiltered and unedited journal of random film thoughts going through my head. No proofreading or serious analysis allowed.

5/21/17

Thanks to a well-received world premeire at Cannes (despite the anti-Netflix sentiment) and a kick-ass new trailer, buzz for Bong Joon-ho’s Okja has never been higher. The latest from the acclaimed helmer of The Host and Snowpiercer stars Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Jake Gyleenhaal, and newcomer Ahn Seo-hyun. The plot concerns a young girl named Mija (Seo-hyun) trying to prevent a large company headed by Swinton’s character from taking her best friend away, a gigantic hog/hippo-esque animal named Okja.

Here’s the trailer.

Most of my initial anticipation for the film stems from my love for Bong Joon-ho, a true auteur who seamllessly made the transition to english-language filmmaking with Snowpiercer. He has a great control of atmosphere, and his writing does a fine job bringing weighty themes into genre films. Okja looks like another homerun.

Okja comes on Netflix June 28th.

2017 NBA Mock Draft (Version 1.0)

Lottery, over. Season, pretty much over (nobody is beating Golden State). Zak and Cole (@TrashAsTweets) share their first 2017 NBA Mock Draft. Updates to come as the draft approaches.

#1) Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn)

The Pick: Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington

The ping-pong balls finally bounce the Celtics way, and there’s no reason for them to get too cute here. When you gut your team to rebuild the way the Celtics did with the Pierce/Garnett trade that netted (lol) them this pick, you do so with the hopes of landing a player like Fultz. He’s a near-perfect prospect for a modern NBA that requires everyone to play in the pick-n-roll and defend multiple spots. Defensive effort was a question for him at Washington, but he played on a helpless 9-22 team. With a 6’ 10” wingspan and great athleticism both laterally and vertically, there’s no reason to think he won’t become a great defender. Offensively, he’s there already. An elite scoring guard from all three levels, Fultz is also a capable playmaker in the pick-n-roll and terror in transition. The Celtics have Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart, and Terry Rozier; four legit NBA guards. Who cares? Fultz has a higher ceiling than all of those guys and the versatility to play with any of them. Draft the clear best player, figure out the rest later. – Zak

#2) Los Angeles Lakers

The Pick: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA

Some things are just meant to happen, it appears. The Lakers hold onto their pick and are in a position to take Lonzo Ball, the hometown kid whose father, a walking talking meme, has been saying this would happen all along. Adding Lonzo to the fold makes things a little dicey from a fit standpoint given D’Angelo Russell is on the roster; both are best playing the point yet struggle to stay in front of their guys defensively. But that matters not. If you believe Lonzo is the second best guy in this draft, which most people do, you take him here. The Lakers aren’t close enough to being good to pass on the best player available. Lonzo is a true 6’ 6” point guard with unreal passing skills. He has that LeBron-esque court vision where he’s two steps ahead of the defense, and can whip passes anywhere with accuracy from either hand. He’s also a smooth athlete who’s very effective in transition. There are some concerns with Lonzo -he needs to get a lot stronger, his individual on-ball defense is bad, his unorthodox shooting form will be easy to block for NBA guys- but there a lot of people calling him the next Jason Kidd. You’ll (obviously) take that if you’re the rebuilding Lakers. – Zak

#3) Philadelphia 76ers (via Sacramento)

The Pick: Jayson Tatum, SG/SF, Duke

This pick should come down to a choice between three players for the Sixers: Jayson Tatum, Malik Monk, and De’Aaron Fox. Do they take the best overall talent remaining relative to their needs in Tatum? Do they take the elite scorer who meshes perfectly with Ben Simmons in Monk? Or do they take De’Aaron Fox, the uber athletic slashing point guard with immense defensive skills? Ultimately, I think they will decide to take Tatum. Tatum will immediately be able to provide scoring for the Sixers and help shoulder the load that was placed on Joel Embiid last year. When the Sixers need a bucket, they can turn to Tatum and rely on his elite arsenal of back to the basket moves. Tatum can also play off ball and will be able to can threes when Simmons whips him passes along the perimeter. Along with his polished offensive game, Tatum will bring his on-ball defensive prowess and impressive rebounding ability to help the Sixers on the defensive side. No need for the 76ers to overthink this pick. – Cole

#4) Phoenix Suns

The Pick: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas

The Suns had a disappointing lottery night as it was announced that they landed the 4th overall pick, two picks later than expected. However, I don’t think the Suns will be disappointed in this situation if it comes true on draft night. In this scenario, Phoenix lucks into their ideal target, whom they would have taken had they been awarded the 2nd overall pick, in Josh Jackson, the combo forward from Kansas. The Suns need a player like Jackson in the worst way possible. Jackson will be able to immediately step into the starting 3 position, which will move T.J. Warren to the bench into a role that suits him better anyways. Jackson’s calling card is defense, and he will be able to step in and guard the opposing team’s best wing night in and night out. Along with his on-ball defense, Jackson’s instincts are impressive. Jackson has the ability to rack up a few steals and blocks per game while also rebounding well from his position. On offense, Jackson will play second fiddle to Eric Bledsoe and Devin Booker, but he will provide explosive slashing skills and playmaking ability from the forward position when need be. Josh Jackson and the Phoenix Suns are a match made in heaven. – Cole

#5) Sacramento Kings (via Philadelphia)

The Pick: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky

The Kings have long been one of the league’s laughing stocks, and doubled down on such this year by trading away DeMarcus Cousins (in an apparent ripoff, at least according to twitter) and then having to swap pick #3 with Philly. But quietly, Vlade Divac’s Kings are in their best position in a decade. They have two top-10 picks this year, a talented young frontcourt trio (Willie Cauley-Stein, Skal Labissiere, Georgios Papagiannis), and Buddy Hield. In this situation, they’d be thrilled to see De’Aaron Fox on the board at #5. Fox is an electric athlete at the point guard position, probably the best in the class. He’s a blur in transition, has great control of his body for hesitation moves in the half court, and is an impressive leaper. He needs to get a lot stronger, but Fox projects as a major dribble-drive threat. He’d probably be in the conversation for the #1 pick if he shot better from the perimeter at Kentucky. He shot under 25% from deep, but that was on just 66 attempts, a tiny sample size that would count for a simple cold streak by NBA standards. Fox’s form on his jumper both off the dribble and catch actually looks fine. He just needs to become an average shooter. Defensively, his 6’ 6” wingspan and elite quickness cause a lot of problems for opposing guards. Once he gets stronger he should be a lockdown defender. Fox’s ceiling is much higher than that of your typical #5 pick. He could develop into a much-needed franchise player for the Kings. – Zak

#6) Orlando Magic

The Pick: Lauri Markkanen, PF/C, Arizona

This is a mystery pick right now. We don’t even know who the GM of the Magic will be, or if a GM will be hired before the draft. Whoever is calling the shots is going to have to think long and hard about how he views Elfrid Payton and Mario Hezonja long-term. Both have shown flashes, but haven’t developed as consistently as fans hoped. Are they part of a young core or simply roster-filling fodder? If they’re viewed as the latter, look for Dennis Smith Jr. or Malik Monk here. For now, I have them snagging Lauri Markkanen, one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft. A true seven-footer with a sweet stroke, Markkanen hit triples at a 42% clip on over four attempts a game at Arizona. His release is high and quick, making his shot almost impossible to block. He’s weak and not explosive at all, but Markkanen is actually a pretty nimble mover for a big guy. He could reasonably develop a decent slashing game. He’s not much on the other end beyond being a good closeout defender. He’s got short arms and can’t protect the rim. Markkanen will have to work a lot to become anything more than a spot-up shooter, but today’s league values bigs who stretch the floor and Markkanen is certainly that. – Zak

#7 Minnesota Timberwolves

The Pick: Jonathan Isaac, SF/PF, Florida State

Jonathan Isaac and the Timberwolves are perfect for each other. At their end of the season press conference, Timberwolves’ heach coach and POBO Tom Thibodeau stressed the Wolves need for shooting, rim protection, and wing defense. Isaac checks every one of those boxes. The Wolves already have their core in place with Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine, granted he comes back healthy. What the Wolves desperately need are role players that can do the little things on defense and, quite frankly, stay out of the way of Towns, Wiggins, and LaVine on offense. Isaac could immediately slide into the four spot next to Towns and do a little bit of everything. He would be able to guard the opposing teams 4s, spot-up shoot, hit the glass, offer rim protection, and use his length to get in passing lanes. I think the Wolves will try to shop this pick, but will ultimately end up keeping it, especially if a talent like Isaac falls to them. – Cole

#8) New York Knicks

The Pick: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State

The Knicks roster stinks out loud. Carmelo’s future with the Knicks is in doubt, Derrick Rose is always hurt and he’s a free agent this summer, Joakim Noah is washed, and Kristaps is tweeting about the Clippers and reportedly not pleased with Phil Jackson. The Knicks just need talent. Dennis Smith would finally be able to provide some stability at the point guard position for the Knicks. And ironically enough, Smith’s stylistic comparison is Derrick Rose. Like Rose in his prime, Smith is an explosive athlete both vertically and laterally, which helps make up for his average size. Smith is best at operating in the pick and roll, where he attacks the basket and finish at the rim if switched onto a big, or he can knock down threes if the defender goes under the screen. Smith is also a capable passer out of the pick and roll, although he’s not a good decision maker at this point. The 1-5 pick and roll with Smith and Kristaps would be a treat. Smith needs to iron out his inconsistencies (effort, defense, shooting, decision making) to reach his full potential in the NBA. If he does so, he has All-Star ability. – Cole

#9) Dallas Mavericks

The Pick: Malik Monk, PG/SG, Kentucky

Considering Monk could reasonably go as high as #3 to Philly and is widely considered the best perimeter shooter in this draft, he’d be somewhat of a steal here for a Dallas team that needs an overall infusion of young talent and has publicly admitted to tanking. Monk can absolutely light it up, as evidenced by his 19.8 ppg at Kentucky, which he tossed in very efficiently. He’s deadly as a shooter in the halfcourt game. A very good cutter, Monk’s quick release and major elevation on his jumper allow him to get shots off easily. He can also create his own jumper off the bounce. Monk is one of the best vertical athletes in the draft. This helps him in transition, and if he can hone his in-between game he should develop into a nice all-around scorer. The issue with Monk is his size given that he’s a natural 2-guard. At 6’ 3” with just a 6’ 4” wingspan and sleight frame, he’s simply too little to guard wings in the NBA. Maybe a team will try to develop him into a point guard, but right now his ball-handling is too inconsistent and he doesn’t show a real ability to create for others in the PnR. Monk will probably become a solid sixth man; a lightning rod off the bench who can carry an offense for short stretches with his shooting. Think Lou Williams. – Zak

#10) Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans)

The Pick: O.G. Anunoby, SF, Indiana

With their second pick in the draft and having solved the point guard question at #5 with De’Aaron Fox, the Kings can make a bit of a luxury pick here, snagging whoever they think is the best guy on the board regardless of position. That could be Hoosiers sophomore O.G. Anunoby, who was in the discussion for the top-5 before he tore his ACL in January. Health permitting, O.G. is one of the top talents in this draft. A super strong 6’ 8” with a crazy 7’ 6” wingspan, O.G.’s quick feet will allow him to guard all five positions at the NBA level. He’s drawn some comparisons to Kawhi Leonard, and while it’s silly to compare any prospect to a top-5 player in the league, O.G. does remind me a bit of Kawhi coming out of San Diego State. He’s an elite defensive prospect. Offensively, O.G. is still a work in progress but there’s reason to be excited. His athleticism helps him a lot in transition, at the rim, and as a cutter. Working on his handle and awareness off-ball will go a long way. O.G.’s got a weird stiff release on his jumper, but it goes in at a decent rate when spotting up with time. He’ll have to fine tune the mechanics, but should become about an average 3pt shooter in time. He showed major offensive improvement all-around as a sophomore before getting hurt. NBA-ready defensively (I think he’s better there than Jackson) and with a higher offensive ceiling than most think, O.G. has a great chance to prove a steal for whatever team takes him. – Zak

#11) Charlotte Hornets

The Pick: Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga

As an IU student and fan, I love me some Cody Zeller. However, in no way should he be your starting center. Insert Zach Collins, Gonzaga’s two-way freshman star who made his impact felt even though he played less than 20 minutes per game. Collins brings a surprisingly polished low post game for someone his size, along with his ability to step out and hit mid-range Js. He won’t bring you anything from a passing perspective on offense, because if he gets the ball down low, you aren’t getting it back. On the defensive end, Collins is a spectacular rim protector without possessing great length by combining superb timing with impressive instincts. Collins is light on his feet and is capable of sliding to stay in front of bigs on the perimeter. Collins needs to add strength to reach his full potential on both ends of the court, but that should come in time. Collins might not start immediately for the Hornets, but he will immediately be able to provide quality backup minutes at the center position which will quickly vault him into the lineup over Zeller, sending him to the bench role which probably best suits him anyways. – Cole

#12) Detroit Pistons

The Pick: Frank Ntilikina, PG, France

The Pistons roster is, well, not very good! Kentavius Caldwell-Pope is the Pistons most consistent player, but he’s no star (and is a restricted free agent). Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson always seem to be rumored to be on the trading block. Frank Ntilikina can provide some youth and talent to a Pistons roster that so desperately needs it. Offensively, Ntilikina has a good handle and is best at attacking the basket and finishing at the rim. He is able to dish out passes if he’s cut off, or take advantage of a help defender over committing. Ntilikina is also a capable spot up shooter who has shown range out to the three point line. On the defensive side of the ball is where Ntilikina will make his biggest impact. Ntilikina will immediately be able to guard the opponent’s biggest threat at the 1-3 because of his extraordinary size, length and instincts. He won’t be a starter early, but Ntilikina can come off the bench and carve out a nice role early on in his rookie year with the upside of eventually overtaking the starting point guard position for the Pistons. – Cole

#13) Denver Nuggets

The Pick: Terrance Ferguson, SG/SF, Australia

Electing to play a year professionally in Australia instead of at an American college, Terrance Ferguson isn’t yet a household name but he’s been on the NBA’s radar for a minute now. A true 3-n-D wing in a league that covets those, he’d be a nice addition to a competitive Denver team that doesn’t appear to have long-term options there, and would benefit greatly from playing with Jokic. Ferguson isn’t a great ballhandler but he’s smart about it that weakness. If he catches and doesn’t have a look, he’s quick to make the right pass. His jumper is pretty when he gets in rhythm. He shoots it quickly, jumps high, and shows great ability to balance himself if getting the ball in an awkward position. He’s young and skinny so he got exposed a bit defensively this year, but there’s nothing physically that suggests he won’t be able to become a fine wing defender. He hustles on that end and is a great athlete even by NBA wing standards. Ferguson isn’t ever going to be a star. He might not even be an NBA starter. But he fits the profile of what the NBA wants in its bench wings and there aren’t many of those guys in this draft. I think he sneaks into the lottery. – Zak

#14) Miami Heat

The Pick: John Collins, PF, Wake Forest

The numbers love Collins, a relative unknown as a recruit and a guy off the NBA radar until he had an exceptional sophomore season that saw him average 19 & 10 while also leading the entire nation in PER. Miami almost snuck into the playoffs thanks to a great post-break run, but the roster still leaves a lot to be desired. Collins has played himself into lottery consideration and is certainly a fine value at #14. Collins’ lack of length (just a 6’ 11” wingspan despite 6’ 10” height) limits his defensive upside, but you’re drafting him for his scoring. He’s the best post scorer in the draft. Light on his feet, he has countless back-to-the-basket moves and nobody in the ACC could guard him down low. He also shows nice midrange touch and an improving face-up game. He’s a very fundamentally sound player; great hands, makes hard cuts, is great in the PnR, and is a great rebounder. Collins is an underrated athlete and runs the floor as well as any big in the draft. There are concerns about Collins being a black hole on offense who’ll struggled to score on longer NBA defenders, but I see his worst case scenario being a rotational big who finishes the looks he should. – Zak

#15) Portland Trail Blazers

The Pick: Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina

I’m not a big fan of Justin Jackson, but big media is, which usually means the NBA is as well. Jackson gets labeled with the term “NBA ready” since he’s an older prospect, but he has a ways to go to make an impact at the NBA level. Jackson is extremely frail (he weighs only 200 pounds), and doesn’t possess upper-level NBA athleticism. However, Jackson was a scoring phenom in his final year at UNC, scoring over 18 points per game and winning ACC player of the year. An encouraging sign for Jackson as a prospect is that his 3P% rose to 37% in his last year in college. Jackson has the ability to hang with some 2s and 3s defensively at the next level, but he will have to get significantly stronger to ever be a plus defender. The Trail Blazers are crowded at both the 2 and 3 positions, so it might be hard for Jackson to find minutes early on. Once he does get minutes though, Jackson can provide scoring and playmaking off of the bench. – Cole

#16) Chicago Bulls

The Pick: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas

I thought long and hard about Luke Kennard for this spot, but ultimately I decided to go with Jarrett Allen, the big and long center from Texas. Allen is impressive physically, measuring in at 6’10” with a 7’5” wingspan at the combine. Defensively, Allen is a good rebounder and improving shot blocker. He compensates for his lack of vertical athleticism with his length and timing. He’s not a very good lateral athlete either, which limits him to strictly guarding 5s and will have trouble in the foreseeable future when he has to travel to the perimeter to guard the PnR. But, although Allen isn’t an impressive athlete, he is very good rim runner as he uses his long strides to quickly get up the floor. Allen is pretty raw as an offensive player, but he showed flashes of low post moves at Texas, and he has the capability of stepping out and knocking down a 15 foot jumper. Robin Lopez is a good starter and Cristiano Felicio showed flashes as a first year NBA player, but it wouldn’t hurt to add depth and a player like Allen who has considerable upside on both ends of the floor. – Cole

#17) Milwaukee Bucks

The Pick: D.J. Wilson, PF, Michigan

A skilled forward with a 7’ 3” wingspan, Wilson could provide Milwaukee with some Jabari Parker insurance, and has the versatility on both ends to compete for serious minutes regardless. His length, good feet, and range should make him a valuable PnR defender; a guy capable of switching onto ballhandlers for stretches and also protecting the rim. Wilson oozes stretch-four potential offensively, thanks to his overall skill level and efficient scoring from all levels. He’s got a very good handle and even shows the ability to hit jumpers of the dribble, giving him a high ceiling as a one-on-one scorer. Wilson is far from a homerun, however. He’s all-around inconsistent, sometimes disappearing for an entire game. He also lacks toughness inside, which hurts him on both ends and will only be a bigger issue in the league. Right now he doesn’t rebound. A 6’ 10” guy with a 7’ 3” wingspan only grabbing 7 boards per 40 minutes in college is inexcusable. Wilson has a lot of potential on both ends and was a late riser this year, but there are enough flaws in his game to keep him out of the lottery. – Zak

#18) Indiana Pacers

The Pick: Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville

A riser who could sneak into the lottery, Mitchell reminds a lot of Avery Bradley. He’s a bit erratic defensively, but his potential on that end is tantalizing. A 6’ 10” wingspan, quick hands, and elite overall athleticism; it seems like Mitchell was constructed in a lab to shut down ballhandlers. He fouls too much and can get caught out of position going for steals, but those flaws are easily fixable with good coaching. He’s got some upside offensively if he can improve his shot selection. His jumper is fine and he’ll be able to make 3’s. His athleticism makes him a transition threat. And he’s an underrated passer who could develop into a nice pick-n-roll ballhandler if he improves his handle. The biggest hinderance to Mitchell’s stock is that he’s a shooting guard in a point guard’s body, but I think that concern is almost always overstated as long as you can defend, especially in today’s modern NBA that becomes more positionless every year. The Pacers have parted ways with Larry Bird and may soon part ways with Paul George. Their only foundational piece right now is Myles Turner. They need high-ceiling talent regardless of position. – Zak

#19) Atlanta Hawks

The Pick: Justin Patton, C, Creighton

Justin Patton is a very fun player to watch with a unique story. Patton was a late riser in the 2015 recruiting class who turned out to be a consensus 4 star prospect. He decided to go to Creighton and he ended up redshirting his first year, which is rare for any highly touted recruit, let alone one going to Creighton. However, Patton was impressive in his redshirt freshman year at Creighton, averaging nearly 13 points per game along with 6 rebounds. Patton is mobile for a big, both vertically and laterally. He is very good as a rim runner and possesses solid hands that help him corral any pass that comes his way. He has developable offensive skills, as he showed flashes of his post moves, jumper, passing, and ball handling ability. Patton is a rare college big that is good in the PnR on the defensive side of the ball. He does a good job of containing guards and he has quick feet that help him recover to his man. Patton will have to get considerably better as a rebounder if he wants to be more than a role player off of the bench in the NBA. He lacks toughness and lets himself get pushed around too often for a man his size. However, Patton will be able to play early minutes in the NBA due to his effort on both ends of the floor and his. With the Hawks center position as murky as it is, it would make a lot of sense for them to take a prospect as talented as Patton here, should he fall this far. – Cole

#20) Portland Trail Blazers (via Memphis)

The Pick: Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA

With their second of three picks in the first round, the Blazers can afford to take a home run swing here at a guy like Ike Anigbogu. Extremely young for his class (turns 19 in October), Anigbogu is truly a physical specimen. At the NBA Combine, Anigbogu came in at 6’10”, weighing 252 pounds with a freakish 7’6” wingspan. The first thing that sticks out with Anigbogu from a pure basketball perspective is his shot blocking ability. He combines his elite length with good timing to block shots from the weakside, or alter shots at the rim. Anigbogu also can occasionally hang out on the perimeter against quicker players, but he has a tendency to foul and will need to clean that up to reach his full potential on that end. As impressive as Anigbogu is from a defensive perspective, he is extremely limited as an offensive player at this stage of his career. He is to strictly limited putback dunks and rim running as his sole sources of offensive production. He doesn’t really know what to do when he gets the ball in the post, and he has an uncomfortable looking jump shot. Anigbogu has the upside to be a defensive anchor for the Blazers, as he can step out on the perimeter and contain guards, or hold down the line at the rim. – Cole

#21) Oklahoma City Thunder

The Pick: Luke Kennard, SG, Duke

As we saw throughout the season, Oklahoma City is in desperate need of floor-spacing to help opens things up for Westbrook. Sophomore breakout Luke Kennard isn’t just a great shooter but a player great at playing as a shooter, if that makes sense. He’s got elite footwork, moves well off screens, and even shows the ability to pull up of the dribble. This is critical for him given his short arms and general lack of athleticism. Kennard’s improved handle gives him a little extra versatility on offense, as he should be able to run some PnR’s. Defensively, you’re always going to have to hide him. Length and slow lateral movement are major issues for him. But he plays hard on that end and is generally in the right spot. If on the floor with other good defenders, Kennard should be able to not be too much of a liability. Some folks think Kennard could climb into the lottery given he’s maybe the best 3pt prospect in the draft (yes, better than Monk), but that seems like a stretch to me given his relatively low ceiling. But he’s a guy who’s going to play right away wherever he goes and make some shots. – Zak

#22) Brooklyn Nets (via Washington)

The Pick: Jonathan Jeanne, C, France

Brooklyn, without their own pick this year or next, has limited immediate options when it comes to improving the most talent-starved roster in the NBA. Why not swing for the fences? This French giant is skinny and doesn’t really know how to play yet, but is 7’ 2” with a ridiculous 7’ 7” wingspan and impressive athleticism. If you’re drafting Jeanne you’re hoping he can develop into a lob-catcher and PnR finisher to go with his tremendous defensive upside, but oft-forgotten is that he’s actually got some nice touch on his jumper. 20 years old, he’s probably a couple years away from being ready to sniff NBA minutes, but it’s easy to see why he’s jumped on the NBA radar. – Zak

#23) Toronto Raptors (via LA Clippers)

The Pick: T.J. Leaf, PF, UCLA

T.J. Leaf is your prototypical stretch 4 in today’s NBA. Leaf possess good size for the 4 position, standing at 6’10” and weighing 220 pounds. Leaf is fantastic shooting the ball in both the mid range and from behind the arc. He shot an incredible 46.6% from distance on 2 attempts per game at UCLA. He can put the ball on the floor and create for himself and use his touch to score while attacking the rim. All of Leaf’s struggles come at the defensive end of the floor. He isn’t very quick, so he’ll have trouble staying with 4s in the NBA. He’s a decent rebounder, using his above average length to compensate for his athleticism. Leaf will give you an occasional block but will never be a consistent rim protector. With the uncertainty that the Raptors have at the four position moving forward with the potential of Serge Ibaka and Patrick Patterson both leaving in free agency, it would be wise of them to take a player as talented as Leaf to give them something at the four to provide some offensive firepower should one or both of them leave. – Cole

#24) Utah Jazz

The Pick: Harry Giles, C, Duke

Armed with a deep roster and another pick at the end of the first round, the Jazz can afford to take a player like Giles, who was a consensus top 3 recruit last year while also also being mocked in the top 3 in early 2017 mock drafts. Giles’ game relies on athleticism, but unfortunately he has dealt with severe injuries to both of his knees in recent years. He tore his MCL, ACL, and meniscus in his left knee in 2013, tore his right ACL in 2015, and missed a third of his lone season at Duke last year with more knee injuries. When he’s been healthy in the past, Giles used his elite athleticism to run the floor on the break and throw down vicious highlight dunks. On defense, he used his athleticism to protect the rim and soar in for rebounds all over the court. The Jazz will hope that Giles can provide backup center minutes behind Gobert while trying to work himself back to form. If he ever returns to his previous self, the Jazz will have gotten a steal at this point in the draft. – Cole

#25) Orlando Magic (via Toronto)

The Pick: Rodions Kurucs, SG/SF, Latvia

Whoever takes Kurucs will keep him overseas for a couple years, but he’s got some real potential on both ends. He’s an impressive athlete and skilled offensive player; a capable ballhandler and distributor but also very advanced finishing at the rim for himself. The shot is a work in progress but the form looks fine when given time. His stock is held back by his dreadful defense, which doesn’t seem to have much room to improve. Kurucs is an intriguing offensive SF with more upside than you can usually find this late. Orlando is a team without a clear direction right now, making this pick impossible to project from a fit standpoint. – Zak

#26) Portland Trail Blazers (via Cleveland)

The Pick: Jordan Bell, PF, Oregon

Undersized for a big, Bell can get pushed around a bit but is still a solid, versatile defender. He can step out onto the perimeter with ease and is a great shot blocker. A 7’ 0” wingspan and impressive leaping ability, not to mention polished timing, make him a very impressive rim protector for any size. He hits the glass hard but could have a tough time in that regard in the league against bigger/stronger guys. Offensively he’s very effective around the rim, rising over people and showing the ability to finish with either hand, but not much beyond that. Bell projects as a high energy rotational big who can help bench units with his defense. Portland, a bottom-10 defensive team this year despite making the playoffs, could use the help. – Zak

#27) Brooklyn Nets (via Boston)

The Pick: Jawun Evans, PG, Oklahoma State

Juwan Evans is a fun point guard prospect. He is undersized (measured in under 6’ at the combine), but he is extremely quick. Evans ties his quickness with his impressive handle to get to where he wants on the floor. Evans is an effective scorer, averaging 19 points per game as a sophomore last year. He shot the ball at a 37% clip last year as well and can score in the midrange if he is given space. Evans is a willing passer who finds open teammates even though he falls short in the size department. Evans will always be limited on the defensive side due to his lack of size and strength, but his impressive wingspan (6’6”) relative to his size will help make up for his other physical deficiencies. The Nets have nothing behind Jeremy Lin, and he’s not even that good anyways. In taking Evans, the Nets will hope they can hit on an undersized point guard again, after finding something in Yogi Ferrell last year, then letting him go for whatever reason. Could have had Markelle Fultz, but congratulations, you played yourself. The Nets get a nice consolation prize though because if Evans was even 6’2”, he would be a lottery pick. – Cole

#28) Los Angeles Lakers (via Houston)

The Pick: Bam Adebayo, C, Kentucky

ith their first pick the Lakers took Lonzo Ball, and here, they pair him up with the big and athletic Bam Adebayo. In my personal opinion, Bam is vastly underrated by most draftniks. At the combine, Bam measured at nearly 6’10”, 243 pounds, with a 7’3” wingspan. Bam uses his size and athleticism to his advantage on both ends of the floor, as he is able to catch and finish any pass thrown to him at the basket and protect the rim and alter shots on the defensive side of the ball. Continuing on that end of the floor, Bam is a good rebounder and has good feet for a big man. His off ball awareness needs to improve for him to reach his potential on that end however. In his lone season at Kentucky, Bam improved immensely on offense throughout the course of the year. It almost seemed like he was adding post moves on the fly, and he looked impressive doing so. He has the ability to handle the ball and shoot out to about 15 feet as well. Bam will get early minutes for the Lakers because of the overall energy he plays with and his defensive ability. Bam has the upside to be a good starter as a two way player at the center position. – Cole

#29) San Antonio Spurs

The Pick: Thomas Bryant, C, Indiana

Bryant is an interesting prospect. Despite outstanding measurables (6’ 11”, 7’ 6” wingspan) he’s a major defensive liability. He can’t switch or really get off the ground. Poor footwork as well. From a mental standpoint, he seem lost. He’s always getting caught out of position and lacks the quickness to recover. He has the body to become playable on that end, but will need a lot of work. Effort isn’t a question; he plays hard, he just doesn’t seem to really understand the game defensively. He’ll be drafted for his offensive upside given his very nice perimeter shooting stroke. He’s also a really good finisher around the rim; there’s real potential as both a PnR and pick-n-pop guy. Maybe he doesn’t go in the first round. Maybe the contending Spurs aren’t the team to take a guy who’s a major project defensively. But there’s real upside here. – Zak

#30) Utah Jazz (via Golden State)

The Pick: Tyler Lydon, SF/PF, Syracuse

Lydon is a knockdown 3pt shooter and his quick release paired with his 6’ 10” makes his shot tough to block. He has deep range. He also plays within the flow of the offense; doesn’t show much off the dribble but is quick to make the right pass if his shot isn’t there. The Syracuse zone helped hide it but he’s a major liability defensively. He doesn’t protect the rim. He’s way too slow on his feet to guard the perimeter and too weak to guard NBA bigs. A combo forward, Lydon’s best bet is probably to bulk up, polish his post game, and become a true power forward. But as with some other prospects in this draft, his shooting ability combined with his height will entice teams. – Zak

Check back for updates and 2nd round mock.

 

Daily Film Thoughts (5/18/17): ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ and the Anti-Establishment ideals of 70’s Hollywood

A new daily unfiltered and unedited journal of random film thoughts going through my head. No proofreading or serious analysis allowed.

5/18/17

I wasn’t alive during the 70’s. If you need someone who was to function as a primary source, I highly recommend following my friend Shane on twitter (@Shane1Alexander). But based on what I’ve read and seen, there seemed to be a great deal of social confusion amongst Americans. After the war in Vietnam and the counterculture movement that accompanied it domestically, but before the rise of home computers and the supply-side economics of Ronald Reagan and Robert Mundell; it was a decade in American history where folks on both ends of the spectrum didn’t know what or who to believe. When certain events happened (like Watergate, for instance), people knew they were angry, but not entirely sure where that anger should be directed beyond the obvious figureheads. People were searching for leaders at all levels of society.

I think. At least that’s what I’ve seen in movies.

Many films from the New Hollywood movement in the 70’s explored this confusion. Arthur Penn’s Bonnie & Clyde and Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider were the unofficial start of the movement in the late 60’s, but it wasn’t until a new generation of directors rose that studios began to show faith in auteurism. This creative freedom granted to filmmakers who came of age during controversial wars and periods of social change in America (rather than rah-rah WWII types) brought about not only technical innovation but also a willingness to explore existentialism and anti-establishment thought through everyman characters pushed to dark psychological extremes. Some films were meant to disturb. Some were meant to satirize. Some were meant educate. Think of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Robert Altman’s Nashville, and Alan Pakula’s All the President’s Men.

I recently watched Sidney Lumet’s 1975 masterwork Dog Day Afternoon again, and spent most of the film trying to put myself into the mind of a twenty-something seeing it in a theater on its original release, and how recreated the aforementioned zeitgeist. The film, based on true events that happened in Brooklyn three years prior, tells the story of a bank robbery and hostage situation perpetrated by Sonny (Al Pacino) and Salvatore (John Cazale). Beyond working as a perfectly acted, sharply edited, pulse-pounding thriller; Dog Day Afternoon is very much about the sensationalism of the crime, seen from the perspective of the robbers and their hostages.

The film opens with the robbery, no preamble. It’s clear from the jump that Sonny and Sal are out of their element, despite Sonny having worked in a bank before and Sal having been hardened by prison sodomy. These aren’t your typical masked gunman. Once the police quickly get word of what’s going down and the robbery develops into a hostage situation, unorthodox relationships develop between the hostages and the robbers, specifically Sonny. To put it simply, he seems like a nice guy who doesn’t want to hurt anybody. The film humanizes him but refuses to paint him as some sort of hero. He’s kind to the hostages, constantly reassuring them that everything is going to be okay. The bank’s security guard suffers from asthma, so Sonny lets him go. After a few hours, he even orders pizza for everyone. In one of the film’s stranger moments, Sonny, a veteran, teaches on of the tellers how to properly flip a rifle, even letting her hold the loaded weapon as he laughs. Again, Sonny isn’t your typical bank robber.

As the police surround the bank to an excessive extent, chaos arises. The media floods in, as do crowds of pedestrians who begin to root for Sonny as they learn more. In perhaps the film’s most heavily-quoted moment, Sonny, stepping outside the bank to survey the situation, gets upset with the number of seemingly trigger-happy police locked on him. He repeatedly screams “Attica! Attica!” in reference to the infamous prison riot that occurred four years earlier and resulted in 43 deaths. The crowd goes wild for Sonny. Lumet deploys a great many extras and wisely chooses angles to shoot them from, showing their restlessness. At another point in the film, Sonny comes outside and throws some of the cash he was stealing into the air. As it blows all over the place, the crowd busts down police barriers in effort to grab some. They’re like ducks rushing to bread tossed in a lake. Sonny gets great joy from this.

Sonny’s motivations for the robbery are revealed about halfway through the film. Sonny’s spouse Leon is a pre-operative transgender woman, and the money from the robbery is meant for sexual reassignment surgery. This is, obviously, a very progressive detail given the period. We learn from a newscast in the film that Sonny is immediately praised by some of the gay community, even called a hero. And it’s not just that Brooklyn subculture that lionizes or roots for Sonny. The hostages express genuine concern for what Sonny is going to do. The crowd chants his name. For a few hours, Sonny becomes a quasi-celebrity, a tragic hero who problematically comes to represent all marginalized people. I use the word “problematic” because, well, he’s a bank robber holding innocent people hostage at gunpoint.

There are strong emotional moments throughout the film thanks to the work of Pacino, Cazale, and Chris Sarandon as Leon. This is perhaps Pacino’s strongest performance. He livens up Sonny as intelligent but cynical, paranoid but strangely amused by what’s happening. For brief moments, shown subtly through Pacino smirks and energetic body quirks, Sonny seems to actually enjoy his hopeless moment of fame. Cazale says so much despite minimal dialogue, perfectly communicating Sal’s disconnection from all basic emotions.

Despite these strong character moments, Dog Day Afternoon hits its highs when it shows how nameless masses react to the events; reporters, onlookers, unfortunate policemen who happened to be on duty at the time. In a larger historical context, the robbery means nothing. Sal is killed, Sonny is is arrested, and all the hostages make it home safely. No legislation or even mild social protest comes as a result. But the film set entirely in one location, taking place over just fourteen hours, manages to make this ultimately insignificant event seem like a microcosm of an entire decade. It’s a gem, one of the strongest American films of the 70’s and essential viewing for anyone hoping to understand Hollywood’s evolution from a by-the-textbook entertainment industry to a factory of intelligent and often progressive art.

Daily Film Thoughts (5/17/17): Top 10 Ridley Scott Movies

A new daily unfiltered and unedited journal of random film thoughts going through my head. No proofreading or serious analysis allowed.

5/17/17

Continuing my anticipation for the release of Alien: Covenant this weekend, I count down the top 10 films of Sir Ridley Scott, a visually ambitious filmmaker accomplished in multiple genres.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The cool crime romance Someone to Watch Over Me, featuring an outstanding Tom Berenger.
  • The Counselor, while critically panned, is actually a a bold and sexy attempt at something new from Scott that is immensely watchable.
  • The director’s cut of Kingdom of Heaven, a historical epic that’s arguably problematic but filled with cool visuals and strong performances, specifcally from Edward Norton.
  • Hannibal may not be Silence of the Lambs and may be a bit silly, but it’s so much fun to watch Anthony Hopkins in the title role.
  • The stylish Black Rain, an unapolegetic action film that’s one of the forgotten gems of late-80’s violent cinema.

And now for the top 10…

#10) Matchstick Men

Was this the last great Nicolas Cage performance? True to its themes, the film is always jumping around. But it’s thoroughly well-acted and always interesting with its scathing humor. It also features Sam Rockwell doing Sam Rockwell things. Easy to see why it’s become a cult classic of sorts.

#9) The Martian

Scott’s critically-acclaimed and commercially succesful *realistic* sci-fi film was funnier than anyone expected, thanks to an exceptional Matt Damon. It also features some of the best 3D photography since the tech has been invented. Maybe its optimism holds it back from being truly thought-provoking, but it;s a fun film that proves Scott still does space as well as anyone.

#8) Legend

This 80’s cult classic is arguably Scott’s most visually immersive film, thanks to some groundbreaking makeup and beauitful cinematography from Alex Thomson. Scott wanted the film to play like old fables of old, in the sense that there’s a lot of darkness to them. The film is a bit muddled, but the visuals and Tim Curry’s work in the final act make it well worth your time.

#7) Prometheus

I wrote about this film in more detail yesterday, but let me just add that this largely unheralded blockbuster, much like The Martian, proved that practical effects and sets can work well with 3D photography.

#6) Thelma & Louise

Different than any other Scott film, this tragicomedy disguised as buddy road film remains an iconic piece of cinema decades later thanks to its memorable ending and feminist over/undertones. It’s a daring work from a director too often associated with bland studio filmmaking. Oh, and Susan Sarandon is the best.

#5) Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down was arguably the first great modern war film, and not just because it’s actually about modern war. Much like Kathyrn Bigelow’s Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker years later, Scott’s film takes an apolitcal approach, focusing more on physically detailing the conflict than sending a message. It received some critique for its lack of character work, but I think the omission was intentional and fitting. Scott used his technical prowess to show the lack of personality in war.

#4) Gladiator

Scott’s most successful film, a popular best picture-winning epic, throws an awful lot at you. Enormous sets, a heavy narrative, very aggresive sound mixing. He’s able to tell a human story though and reignite the sword-and-sandals subgenre because the film has two truly great characters, played by Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. The fight scenes are perfectly edited, and the more melodramatic moments don’t come off as cheesy.

#3) American Gangster

Stylized much like gangster films of old, Scott’s film tackles corruption and ambition and race all the while remaining competent as a popcorn movie. Denzel & Crowe are both great and the film has so much fun with its period detail. Though not usually cited as a major work from Scott, American Gangster is a great crime drama that belongs right there with Scorsese’s The Departed, which won best picture the prior year.

#2) Alien

An atmsopheric sci-fi horror film that ignited a franchise and argued on behalf of slow-building tension at a time when genre films were getting more and more forceful in their pacing, Alien is probably the film Scott will be most remembered for. It’s surprisingly beautiful given its subject matter, and more concerned with character than James Cameron’s sequel. Who these people are and how they think matters. Add in iconic design elements and you’re looking at a true classic.

#1) Blade Runner

A perfect film, truly. Rife with ideas on society and humanity, equally rooted in film noir and pulp fiction, this film was so far ahead of its time that despite its classic standing today it was a box office failure and received poorly initially. Scott’s visualazation of the future has proven wildly influential, and Harrison Ford gives his strongest dramatic performance. If by some chance you haven’t seen this masterwork, make sure to get the director’s or “final” cut, just not the theatrical cut with the god-awful narration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Film Thoughts (5/16/17): Y’all are wrong, ‘Prometheus’ was great

A new daily unfiltered and unedited journal of random film thoughts going through my head. No proofreading or serious analysis allowed.

5/16/17

In defense of ‘Prometheus’

Alien: Covenant opens this week. While Ridley Scott’s latest gets its title from his 1979 sci-fi classic, its story is more closely connected to 2012’s Prometheus. This has bothered many critics, who weren’t too high on Prometheus. The film was a victim of questionable marketing and the expectations that stemmed from that. Sold as an Alien prequel, Prometheus was really its own story that just happened to be set in the same universe as Alien. It was less a horror film about monsters terrorizing those on board a spaceship and more a mystery about human origins and faith. Despite a $403M haul at the box office (a very strong number for an R-rated movie), the general consensus about Prometheus five years later is that it was a dissapointment. That is was bad, even.

I could not disagree more. Prometheus is one of the best blockbusters in recent memory; the rare film that’s visually stimulating, thematically rich, and littered with fun performances from an all-star cast.

Prometheus tells the story of the crew of the Prometheus, a spaceship that’s traveled to a distant planet seen on various star maps from primative cultures on earth, hoping to find the origins of humanity. Being a Ridley Scott film set in the Alien universe, things quickly turn sour. Gross creatures do gross things. Different characters reveal secret motivations. The crew discovers that the voyage isn’t going to be as magical as they thought. I won’t spoil anything in case you haven’t seen it.

Scott and DoP Dariusz Wolski shot the film in 3D but did so with minimal green screen use. Over 16 different sets were built, and they give Prometheus a very physical feel relative to other 3D films set in space. There’s a lot of grey coloring, a lot of gravel and rock. Prometheus finds its aesthetic beauty by not being beautiful in the classic sense. Before anything even really happens something about the planet just feels off due to how it looks. To paraphrase a line from the film, the place looks like death. Arthur Max, a production designer who created the sets with Scott, deserves a ton of credit for the finished product.

The film’s overall aesthetic is aided by a score from Marc Streitenfeld, a usual Ridley Scott collaborator, that can be both both eerie and sweeping depending on what a scene requires. As something to look at listen to, Prometheus was a great theater spectacle.

The work of the supporting cast helps elevate what are rather thin characters. Idris Elba plays the captain of the Prometheus. He’s blunt but well-intentioned. Elba manages to make the character stand out despite only having a couple scenes where he says more than one sentance. It’s a scruffy role for an actor usually reveled for his handsomeness. Also playing against type is Charlize Theron as the woman in charge of monitoring the expedition. She’s the closest thing the film has to a clear villain, but even her motivations come from a decent place. Charlize plays the part with an aura of practicality that comes off as cold. It’s a fun role for her, and signaled her shift to genre blockbuster superstar that she’d later explore with Mad Max: Fury Road and The Fate of the Furious.

But the real scene stealer is Michael Fassbender as the Lawrence of Arabia-quoting android David, a mysterious thing at the center of every important moment in the film. Fass nails the robotic movements required. Every step is efficient, and his face always completely emotionless even as carnage surrounds him (he’s back for Alien: Covenant, btw). It’s a brilliant physical performance. Everyone knows that Fassbender is one of the finest actors working today. Prometheus provides him with a different outlet though. He’s never been cooler or scarier, and he’s played some pretty cool/scary roles.

The most intense scene in Prometheus comes when Dr. Shaw (Noomi Rapace), pregnant with an alien thingy, has to go on a medical pod and have it surgically removed. It’s not for squemish folk, but will appease anyone who finds entertainment from the chest-bursters in Alien. It’s sharply edited and shows the operation in pretty gruesome detail but never reverts to drowning the lens in blood.

Prometheus caught a lot of criticism for not really answering the questions it raised (no surprise when you realize Damon Lindelof helped pen the film). That’s fair, to an extent. The film was clearly made with a sequel in mind and it’s far from the first film to leave things open for the next chapter. If you’re averse to that sort of franchise filmmaking, so be it, but don’t act like the sin is something only Prometheus is guilty of. I personally found the ending of Prometheus to be very satisfying and fitting thematically. Folks came to this planet looking for answers. Instead they got terrorized and more questions were raised. A fine tragic ending.

 

 

Daily Film Thoughts (5/15/17): Chasing Amy (Schumer); Cannes shames Netflix

A new daily unfiltered and unedited journal of random film thoughts going through my head. No proofreading or serious analysis allowed.

5/15/17

‘Snatched’ isn’t quite a Trainwreck, but it’s far from another hit for Amy Schumer.

Amy Schumer seems to have an awful lots of haters considering she’s had one of the most successful comedy shows of the decade and also wrote/starred in Trainwreck, one of 2015’s most pleasant surprises, a rare female-driven raunchy comedy that made a lot of money (there’s Bridesmaids, Bad Moms, and ummm…that’s it?). I sort of understand why. Her brand of humor is quite brash. She jokes about vaginas almost as much as Seth Rogen jokes about dicks. And she really, really likes to talk about the fact that she doesn’t have the body of a typical movie star. Her transition from up-and-coming comedy star to full-fledged movie star has not been smooth, and she can come off as very unlikable in interviews. But don’t sell her short. Her show has featured some of the sharpest satire on TV, and Trainwreck really was great.

Snatched, the latest Amy Schumer star vehicle, a Mother’s Day comedy co-starring the one and only Goldie Hawn, opened at just $17.4M domestically (barely half of what Trainwreck opened at, and below studio projections). That’s by no means a disaster given its light $42M pricetag, but it’s going to have a hard time turning a profit for Fox. Reviews haven’t been kind either. While Trainwreck proved a solid date-night movie, Snatched had a whopping 77% female audience. It’s hard for a film to make money given that percentage, as politically incorrect as the statement might seem.

I’m yet to see the film, but from what I’m reading, Schumer is by no means the one to blame for its commercial and/or creative problems. The chemistry between her and Hawn has received praise, with most of the criticsm directed towards the script (Schumer didn’t write this one). So two movies into her attempt at box office stardom, Schumer has one hit and one mild failure.

It’d be silly to stick a fork in her as a star considering how we’ve overlooked much worse bombs from folks like Eddie Murphy, Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler, etc. I’m excited to see what happens with her next (she’s got a few projects in pre-production).

Cannes changes rules when it comes to Netflix/Amazon

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival (starts this week), two of the high-profile in competition films will ultimately see distribution via Netflix; Bong Joon-ho’s Okja and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories. In response, Cannes has changed its rules starting next year. If a film hopes to compete for the prestigous Palme d’Or, it must get a French theatrical release before it is on any streaming service.

This is just the latest in a larger battle between the conventional film distribution industry and companies like Netflix and Amazon; though Amazon has been much more willing to play ball with their films, at least domestically, where the exclusively theatrical window is supposed to be 90 days (see, Manchester by the Sea). Netflix has commented “the establishment is closing ranks against us, see Okja on Netflix June 28th”. It doesn’t seem like this is going to get resolved anytime soon, with bodies like Cannes and even American collectives stuck in their ways, not to mention Netflix committing $6B to original content in 2017 alone.

My take? The industry needs to adapt. I see the value in the theatrical release, both from a financial standpoint and artistic one, but forcing Netflix to follow strict rules and lengthy windows seems silly. They’re not going to to intimidate Netflix. It’s not like Netflix is going to stop making and buying high-profile films. The music industry has finally excepted streaming as their main distribution method. We’ll probably never get there with movies (there’s always going to be desire to see movies on the big screen), but to treat Netflix like the enemy is a very dated move.

Peace.