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.


‘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.


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