Film | by Shane “Good Riddance Harvey” Hnetka
Just in case you weren’t already staying home enough, Deadline Hollywood reports Paramount has teamed up with Bigscreen and several virtual reality companies — including Oculus, Samsung, HTC and Microsoft — to give people the first-ever VR movie theatre. On Dec. 3, anyone with a VR headset can log in to watch Top Gun at bigscreenvr.com. The gimmick is that the headset puts you in, yes, a virtual reality theatre, sitting in a virtual chair next to virtual people and even watching virtual trailers before the movie starts. I’m not sure all this is necessary to watch movies at home — people seem to do fine. But maybe that’s just me.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has fought criticism all year that it hurt several movies’ box office receipts by labelling the films “rotten” (that is, less than 60 per cent of their reviews were positive).
With Justice League, there was a new catch.
Rotten Tomatoes delayed its Justice League rating because the company wanted to reveal it on its new web show, See it/Skip It. Readers had to wait an extra day to see that the Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash etc. team-up had a 37 per cent “rotten” score (up to a still-crummy 40 per cent at press time). To me, it’s wrong to withhold reviews just to promote a crummy little show. Rotten Tomatoes might not actually impact a movie’s success or failure, but playing dumb promotional games probably annoys the site’s readers.
I’ve never liked Harvey Weinstein. Regular Hnetflix and movie listing readers might remember a few of my anti-Weinstein rants: about his crappy business practises, his abusive treatment of filmmakers like Julie Taymor (Frida) and how he arrogantly presumes his edits make perfectly great movies better — e.g. Cinema Paradiso, which Harvey Scissorhands sliced 30 minutes from. Don’t even get me started on Snowpiercer. But now, much more horrible behaviour has come to light. Exposing himself to actors, tricking people into coming to his motel room, unwanted masturbation … it’s all pretty evil and gross.
Hollywood has always had a reputation for sexual harassment. The casting couch cliché resonates for a reason. The Weinstein case reveals an industry where harassment and worse is the norm. Horrible Harvey’s fall has blown the lid off widespread predatory behaviour with major accusations against celebrities including Brett Ratner, Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey, who was fired from House Of Cards and whose scenes in the upcoming All The Money In The World are being re-shot at the last minute with a new actor in his role (Christopher Plummer). This for a movie scheduled to come out Dec. 8 that’s supposed to be an awards season player!
This explosion of abuse and assault allegations have shaken up the industry and that’s a good thing. Hollywood should have cleaned itself up a long time ago. Goodbye Harvey. I will not miss you.
Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.