For many, 1982 is a big year for movies – but has the industry been changed (between streaming and COVID) so a year like 1982 won’t ever happen again? Plus more letters from fans and viewers.

What’s happened to the movie business and will we ever see a year like 1982 again?

Hi Rob and the PGS,

Thanks for your answer on my letter on remakes. This got me thinking of two things.

First, we all know that the decision makers in Hollywood, are suits that have for the most part come from Ivy League schools that studied business. They like to look at spreadsheet to see what will work and what won’t, they are also averse to taking risks. Basically they want to play it safe.

E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL hit theaters on June 11, 1982

Yet in the 70’s and 80’s the suits that were running the studios were willing to take risk. Especially with the filmmakers that where coming out of University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts among others. This is why so many films that came out in that era and I would include the 90’s as well, are so iconic. They also pushed the boundaries of film making.

So what happened? Why did the suits stop taking risks? The excuses that Hollywood is a business won’t fly with me, it has been a business since the first studios formed.

Is it because films were getting more expensive to make? I don’t think so, because that has always been the case.

If a film is good, it will make it money back and then some. It may not always do it with at the Box Office, but it will make it money back. We know that BLADERUNNER and THE THING were flops when they came out in 82. But they have become cult classics. Since hitting Physical Media, both films has been released multiple time and have not really gone out of production. If they were not making money why keep putting them back out.

Yes I know other factors have to be consider such as the penny pusher in the studio adding costs to a film that was never part of it production ala STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE. But even with that in mind, I find it very hard to believe that even with these added costs that BLADERUNNER and THE THING are not now making a profit.

Now I don’t know if the studio head of the 70’s and 80’s where passionate about film or just looking to make a quick buck. But they were willing to take risks. Which bring back to my question what changed? And with the way things are currently changing with theatrical releases and everything up in the air. Could we see the studio start to take risks again?

The other thing I was thinking about. Was the golden year of Cinema, 1982.

I think we can all agree, this was the greatest year for film seen to date. With such great releases as:

Balderunner
The Thing
Star Trek: The Warth of Khan
E.T
First Blood
Poltergeist
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
48 hrs
Tootise
The Dark Crystal
Tron
Conan The Barbarian
Rocky III
An Officer and a Gentleman

And that just some of the great film that came out. We never seen a year like it since.
Rob do you think we will ever see a year like 1982 to again?

Peace and Long Life
-Dean M.

#  #  #

 

We’ve made it … The Burnettwork now has its own fan fic.

The Teller of Tales [A proposed intro for the book]

Robert Meyer Burnett, the Duke of Dope Discourse, Sultan of Star Trek, Existential Mr. Rogers and about a thousand other honorary titles.

After the great pandemic, with so much gone, the people struggled to find meaning. As their forefathers had for millennia, they took comfort in great stories well told. Most evenings a crowd congregated at the Beckman Auditorium to listen to the teller of tales.

“Which will he choose tonight?”, they asked each other as they filed in, wondering from which epic he would select his tale.

The teller, a caped figure, stood alone at the center of the stage, the acoustics of the packed theater carrying his voice all the way to the back row.

“Greetings Imagination Connoisseurs, tonight, a tale from DS9,” and a murmur of “Deep Space Nine” rippled through the crowd.

“I present” he paused for effect and surveying the hall announced, “ ‘Once More into the Breach’” and a roar of approval followed. With that, bowing slightly, he cleared his throat and began.

“Come, on” he started and the crowd in unison responded, “Santa Anna didn’t care about the rules of war” and then it was the storyteller alone again, “if he’d executed Davey Crockett at the Alamo he would have considered it a point of pride..”

For the next two hours, with a goblet of wine in one hand, kept filled by his lovely Elysabeth, he spun his tale, his audience hanging on every word. At points they whistled, cheered, even hissed and joined him as he spoke their favorite lines.

Their Scheherazade, this Homer, whom they simply called “RMB”, grew more passionate the deeper he plunged into the story, a fiery concentration on his face, gesticulating with his arms, his rising voice reverberating through the now silent hall.

Before the final line, he paused to raise his glass and all rose, mimicking his gesture, a joint toast to the heroic Kor. Together, they recited the Klingon, “QI ro’qa ro’qa ro’qa ro’qa,” creating a brutal shard of sound and then broke into a cheer.

He took a final bow and as his moderators walked through the crowd collecting contributions, the audience, as was tradition, shook hands with one another and led by the storyteller recited, “Everyone has a story to tell, you just have to listen.”
-Jared S.

#  #  #

 

A word of thanks to The Burnettwork

Hello Rob.

Long-time viewer and first-time writer. Your various shows and overall attitude to creativity speak to me in a profound way. We are different in many ways but those differences don’t really matter.

I am a lifelong fan of the original Star Trek, The Prisoner, Blake’s 7, UFO, etc. and love science fiction and mystery literature. I am an artist who has had my work exhibited in local art galleries and small press publications.

While Jaws is my favorite film and I am conversant in many films up to around 1990, the medium of motion pictures as a whole is not a passion of mine; I have probably gone to see five movies in the cinema in the last ten years.

Having said that, I love “Let’s Get Physical” and “Elysaviews.” I am a collector, but not of action figures, but I really enjoy “Fully Articulated.” Part of the appeal is the chemistry you share with your various co-hosts, and, on a more fundamental level, I truly relate to people who are passionate about something, who are moved to celebrate their interests in a way that is personal and meaningful to them.

Sometimes I meet people who have no passionate interests or hobbies, and while I don’t judge them, I just cannot relate. Conversely, I can (and do) listen to people talk for hours about things that are important to their lives.

To be fair, you and I have enough crossover of interests to invest me in your channel, but I also learn a lot about topics I am not necessarily into, and the results are always fascinating.

It is astonishing and alarming that some folks view people with different interests and opinions as enemies who need to be taken down via nasty online diatribes. We don’t have to all love exactly the same things to enjoy one another, and your channel is proof positive of that.

Keep up the great work, you have inspired me to write something for your short story competition. The Burnettwork is constantly entertaining and informative.

Keep the fires of those passions burning.
-David K.

#  #  #

 

Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to complain about non-LGBTQ actors playing LGBTQ roles.

Greetings Rob,

The topic of actors playing roles that don’t match their background seems to be a topic that comes up every so often. This topic is mostly in regard to non-LGBT persons playing LGBT roles. I’ve said in the past my take, that as a trans person myself, I’m fine with a non- trans person in a trans role.

However, I’ve thought into more detail about it as the conversion continued. I actually hold stronger conviction that leaving the casting unrestricted is actually a benefit to the LGBT community in many ways.

The biggest point comes from the role Scarlet Johansen had to back out of, playing a trans male. We NEEDED Scarlet to play that role.

You asked the question if Tom Hanks should have never starred in PHILADELPHIA, and I truly think his Star Power added an important milestone to the Gay community. Why? It humanized a taboo people. It brought people in wanting to see a Tom Hanks movie, and let people out with questions and thoughts about his character and life.

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon starred in BEHIND THE CANDELABRA

If that movie was played by a gay actor of less renown, it probably wouldn’t have gotten the attention it deserved. I think the exact same thing could be said of Scarlet. I think the same could be said about Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in BEHIND THE CANDELABRA. Sometimes it’s more important to get eyes on the screen, normalizing other lifestyles, rather than just trying force those roles to be filled by people who live the lifestyle and simply telling prospective audiences, “this is the way. I have spoken.” It doesn’t exactly win hearts and minds.

I will say, legitimate representation is very important, and this has been pointed out a number of times with African-American actors. The cast of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air stated that they had to frequently throw lines back to the writers, stating that there are certain things that would never be allowed to be spoken in a Black household. I hear that Avery Brooks was constantly on the battlefront against the writers in regard to his character Captain Benjamin Sisco, and I believe this was his devotion to keeping true to how he felt Sisco was as a Captain, a father, and even with the heritage of a person of color.

There is a certain insight into a person and a community that many cannot simply pretend to understand for an authentic portrayal.

I actually had a short argument with my co-driver, because he couldn’t believe I never heard of the Darwin Islands, despite knowing Charles Darwin and Origin of Species. He argued that I HAD to know about those islands because we went similar schools, since went to a Fresno school, and he went to Clovis, the neighboring city. I had to explain to him that my education was different, because I went to a county school, which wasn’t in the same school district, nor was it funded as adequately.

In fact, my only formal educational experience regarding Darwin was when we learned about the Scopes-Monkey trial. Certainly I took biology classes that discussed evolution, but Darwin was absent. The point I’m trying to make regarding this discussion about Darwin is that we can sometimes take for granted another person’s experience. Some of us got a good formal education, while some of us just happened to watch a lot of Nova.

So if authenticity is important, but so is star power to sell a movie, what do we do? It’s not like there is no such thing as consultants and coaches. Get people on board to review the script, and be available for the actors and directors if portrayal becomes a bit questionable. I know this adds more cooks to the kitchen, but if everyone understands who the head chef is on set, hopefully we can get a great film to represent the culture.

But if I had to choose between either Star Power or Authenticity for trans roles, I’m voting Star Power. I want people to accept the idea of a trans person being normal first. Then we can hopefully see more of these roles appear organically.

I plan to follow up soon with a letter regarding New Trek. I finally finished JJ’s first movie and two episodes of Picard. It’s difficult, and it makes my head hurt. On the bright side, HBO Max has Babylon 5 now, so I can always cleanse my pallete with that. Although something tells me I should see if there’s an audio book for Darwin’s Origin of Species.

Stay safe everyone, don’t let the stars collapse on you.
-Electron Star Collapse

#  #  #

 

How do you classify multi-genre movies?

Hi Rob, moderators, and Post Geek Singularity,

GHOST, with co-stars Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze.

Something I sometimes have a hard time narrowing down, is when movies have a variety of different genres, where it is hard for me to say what type of movie it is, like if it was a comedy, or a crime film for example.

The 1990 Jerry Zucker movie, GHOST, starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, and Whoopi Goldberg, is like that. There is the fantasy element since ghosts appear, but there are also genres like romance with Swayze and Moore, a thriller aspect with the murdering angle, and some comedy with Goldberg’s character. Despite my difficulty narrowing down what type of movie it is, I do still like the film and find it impressive for successfully combining several different genres into one movie fluidly.

Unfortunately, I do not share the same sentiment for another movie, which combined several different genres. That movie is the 1986 Ivan Reitman movie, LEGAL EAGLES, starring Robert Redford, Debra Winger, Daryl Hannah, Brian Dennehy, and Terrence Stamp. Unlike GHOST, which fluidly combined different genres, LEGAL EAGLES tried but struggled as I felt it was a bit disjointed, since there was too much happening.

There’s a mystery/thriller aspect with Daryl Hannah’s character and some piece of artwork, a romantic comedy aspect between Redford and Winger, and legal drama since Redford’s character is an Assistant D.A and Winger’s character is a lawyer.

Anyways, that was just something I thought about, as GHOST and LEGAL EAGLES are just a few examples of movies where I have hard time narrowing down what types of movies they are, since there are several different genres combined.

Thanks, live long and prosper.
-Omar

#  #  #

 

How will Disney integrate the FOX library into Disney+?

Hi From Australia!

Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) pose with Etta Place (played by Katherine Ross).

With D+ new STAR offering launching Feb 23 here in Australia, Disney have announced the “starting line up” for launch day. Some notable titles include classics like ALIEN and DIE HARD, to “old cinema” greats like CLEOPATRA and BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID.

There is also a plethora of TV series as well being added from the FOX library like 24, Alias, Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy and The X-Files.

Being an international subscriber is going to pay big rewards moving forward. Are you aware of what Disney will be doing to integrate the FOX library in North America?
-Andrew C

#  #  #