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HughesReviews Special Report: The Disposability of Modern Movies

| June 7th, 2024

The Friday column will return to football next week! 


There has been a growing conversation on various social media platforms about the decline of modern cinema, but much of that conversation centers around the box office returns of various “failed” studio pictures, i.e. The Fall Guy and Furiosa. But there is a far more serious development than the changing patterns of movie consumption. Movies, through the misguided behavior of studios, streamers and distributors, have been rendered disposable.

For the sake of discussing the lack of cultural impact being made by modern cinema, we will need a film around which to center that discussion. As a nod to Seinfeld, a sitcom responsible for creating some of the most magnificent fake films in history, we will use its crowning achievement, Rochelle, Rochelle, a young girl’s strange, erotic journey from Milan to Minsk.

We start with Entertainment Weekly.

In the 1990s, the seasonal preview issues of EW were the Holy Bible for film fans. These issues laid out, week-by-week, every movie release expected over the coming months. Many, me included, would create our own calendars with a listing of the films we wanted to/expected to see. When I picked up the fall preview issue, I would identify that Rochelle, Rochelle was releasing in New York and Los Angeles on September 17. That moment, it’s listing in that issue, was the inception point, the beginning of Rochelle, Rochelle‘s cultural impact.

A release on September 17th in limited cities would not be limited to strictly New York City and Los Angeles, but also the New York City suburbs, which included Montclair, New Jersey, where I would have likely seen it at the Clairidge (pictured above). The film would be reviewed by all of the major critics and seen by all the serious film fans in those areas. If the reviews were good, and it did decent business, the film would expand to more theaters by around mid-October.

Rochelle, Rochelle is a small film so it wouldn’t be expected to gross hundreds of millions of dollars, but it could have a life in a few hundred theaters (or more) for those few months. Then it would fade as more titles emerged, and likely be out of theaters by the time the big Christmas releases. In early January, if it received Oscar nominations, Rochelle, Rochelle would return to cinemas with a new advertising campaign focused on those nominations. Again, it wouldn’t be expected to make a fortune, but it could play for a month or so before fading out again.

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Week One Game Preview, Volume II: Nagy, Dalton, LA Movies & Predictions!

| September 10th, 2021


Yesterday was the breakdown of what the Bears must do to beat the Rams, a team superior to them at almost every facet of the game. The Bears don’t run it better. The Bears don’t throw it better. The Bears don’t stop the run better. The Bears don’t stop the pass better. The 2020 Bears were better in the return game but their kick returner has left town. It is not difficult, at all, to see why the Bears are opening as more than a touchdown underdog on the road.

But hope is not lost.


Why Do I Like the Chicago Bears This Week?

I always like the Chicago Bears.

But they’re testing me right now. And I’m failing.


Big Night For Nagy, Dalton

To paraphrase the great Hyman Roth, “This is the life they’ve chosen.”

By not giving Justin Fields even so much as the opportunity to win the starting job, Nagy has effectively forced the NBC cameras to cut to Fields with every three-and-out, every Dalton blunder, every quarter that goes by with the offense flailing. No, this group shouldn’t be expected to flourish against unquestionably one of the league’s best defenses, but that doesn’t matter.

Because every time Dalton gets sacked, fans will wonder if Fields could have avoided it.

Every time Dalton checks down, fans will wonder if Fields could have extended the play a few seconds with his mobility and made a big gain down the field.

Every time Dalton throws a ball into the fourth row, fans will wonder if Fields could have used that 4.4 speed to race by the sticks and extend the drive.

Matt Nagy and Andy Dalton don’t need to win Sunday night. But they need a tight, clean performance. They need to look like this offense is heading the right direction. Because the eyes of the football world will be upon them.

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Three Questions with a Bears Fan, Episode VIII: The Multifaceted Maciej Kasperowicz

| July 13th, 2020

Maciej Kasperowicz is one of the most interesting people I know. He makes his money in the coffee game. He’s a DJ. He was single-handedly keeping several movie theater chains afloat pre-pandemic. He’s a passionate sports fan. He is also awaiting trial on The People Versus Pearl Jam, where he’ll argue the popular grunge outfit sucks in front of a jury of his peers. If you missed it, here’s Maciej’s guest column on the movies of 2019. And be sure to give him a follow on Twitter, if that’s your thing.


DBB: You are in the rare group of people whose movie opinions I respect and cherish. So I ask you this. Who is the Alfred Hitchcock in Bears history? (I am providing no further explanation for that question. It’s on you now.)

Maciej: Look, there’s an easy answer to this. An undeniable, legendary talent through multiple phases of a long career, but a fucking asshole in real life? It’s Ditka. But I wanted a more interesting, if less direct answer, so I started thinking of Mike Brown staring into the backfield from the secondary like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, Singletary bearing down on a ball carrier like the airplane in North by Northwest, the 2018 Bears swarming Jared Goff and his receivers like the birds in The Birds, and Hitchcock’s real time experiment in Rope as a metaphor for that half season of Kordell Stewart (that’s admittedly unfair to both Rope, which I like better than Hitchcock did, and Slash, who at least was an incredibly fun video game quarterback, in different ways).

And then Jay Cutler, fresh off his divorce to a woman whose character on The Hills wasn’t that far from a Hitchcock blonde, started making a crime film on his Instagram stories. Granted, with a line like “Thelma there, while she looks nice and sweet, is a savage with loose morals,” Jay seems to be aiming more for early John Huston than Hitchcock. But who knows where his new art may take him.


DBB: First, what do we laymen coffee drinkers not know about the coffee industry that we should? Second, compare the experiences of a perfect cup of coffee to a exhilarating Bears win.

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