Forgotten Film Franchises – Cinemassacre Review

Apparently, James just went to Wikipedia dot com and read some “biggest film series” list.  He clearly has no familiarity with most of these films.

Isn’t his shirt kind of tight?  The buttons are straining.  Something for the ladies, I guess.

2:00 – He talks about some Sherlock Holmes movies from the 1930s.  He clearly has never seen any.

3:00 – He talks about Carry On but emphasises the wrong word.  He clearly has absolutely no familiarity with these movies whatsoever.  It’s a long-running British film series that was popular because there were nude, large breasted women in them.  “Bawdy comedy” for the low-brow British masses.  Like Benny Hill.

He doesn’t mention any of this.  He just says that it was popular but doesn’t explain why.  He doesn’t know why.  Tits, James.  They were popular because you could see tits.

4:00 – Zatoici.  Some Japanese film series about a samurai or something.  There is absolutely no way that he watched any of these either.

What’s the point of this?  We can all read the Wikipedia article.  He’s not providing anything new.

But he always mentions the director or the actors or whatever.  He’s just reading from the fucking article.  He doesn’t know who these people are.  You think he knows who the star of the Zatoici films are?  He’s familiar with his body of work?  He’s seen all of those obscure, untranslated Japanese films?

Here’s the guy James is talking about:

Look at his filmography.  About half of them don’t even have English names.  They’re so obscure that nobody even bothered to translate the title never mind the actual dialogue in the film.  Some of them don’t even have JAPANESE names. 

So do you suppose James watched まらそん侍?  How does it compare to his later work like 二十九人の喧嘩状?

Is this shit even available?  Oh, it is.  You can get 二十九人の喧嘩状 on Amazon for 3000 yen.  It’s the DVD.  I can’t find a lot of these other films, though.  And I doubt that 二十九人の喧嘩状 has English subtitles.

4:30 – Tarzan.  He talks about these old Tarzan movies.  Have you seen any James?  Then shut the fuck up.

6:00 – Then he’s on to Jungle Jim.  “Very similar to Tarzan”.  Yeah.  At least in the sense that you never saw any of these either.

6:15 – Andy Hardy.  Same deal.  He never saw any of these.

It’s just…this is stupid.  He can’t even tell us anything about the films, other than who the actors and directors were.  He couldn’t even be bothered to look at the Wikipedia entries for these films and read the plots.

I mean, what the fuck is the Andy Hardy film series about?  I’ll have to go to Wikipedia myself.

It’s about a family in small town America.  Some kind of light-hearted, sentimental comedy, I guess.  It seems kind of like a television sitcom.  People would go to the cinema more often in days before television so they had a lot of like serials and shit.  This seems to be a similar kind of thing.  No mention of this basic cinema history insight from film curator James Rolfe.

6:30 – Lone Wolf.  “The story of a jewel thief turned private detective.”  He never watched a single one of these.  But he talks about it like he has, even though he clearly just skimmed the Wikipedia article.  You think that James was watching the 1910s silent films in this series?  Good luck.  No known prints known to exist of the first film.  One known print of the second film.  He doesn’t even mention this.  He doesn’t know about this.  He did less research on this than I did.  And I spent about 20 seconds on this.

7:00 – Bullldog Drummond.  Another film series that doesn’t have any surviving copies.  But James talks about it like he’s seen them.  At least on a very superficial level.  Is he hoarding the only copies of these films?

7:30 –  Boston Blackie.  “Sounds a lot like Lone Wolf because it’s about a jewel thief who becomes a detective.”  Yeah.  Jewel thief stories seem to have been popular back in the day.  Like the Pink Panther and whatever.  Give us some of your cinema insight to give some more examples of the phenomena.  Again, he never saw a single minute of any of these Boston Blackie films.

“I’ll let you know more when I actually watch this but it’s not going to be any time soon because there’s 25 films between 1918 and 1949.”

Just watch one, James.  Start there.  But don’t start with the first one because I can’t find any information on it.  There’s not even a Wikipedia article on it.  And the second one only exists as a single copy in a museum in New York.  The third film also has no Wikipedia article and no information on it.  Certainly no Amazon links or anything like that.  I’m not seeing anything for the fourth film either.  Just some grainy, sephia stills.  The fifth film only partially exists and you have to go to the Library of Congress to watch it.  I’m seeing nothing for the sixth film.  The seventh film again only exists in the Library of Congress and is incomplete.  No information on the eighth film.  Or the ninth film.  Again, the tenth film only exists in incomplete form at the Library of Congress.

Here we go.  You can watch the eleventh film right on Youtube.

The Return of Boston Blackie.  So don’t worry, James.  We don’t expect you to watch all 25 films.  NOBODY has seen all 25 films.  You only have to watch 15.  I assume that everything after The Return of Boston Blackie is available.

But let’s check this film out.  I’m not a film curator or anything but I’m interested.  Wikipedia describes this as a “low budget silent film”.  Interesting.  It was released in 1927.

I’m two minutes in and I’m bored out of my fucking mind.

Ooh.  A hot flapper at 20:00.  I’d give her the right to vote any day.

Ooh.  Another hottie at 55:00.  This time in a French maid outfit.  I would take her to every speakeasy in town.

Oh, by the way, the music cuts out at about the 25 minute mark.  Just ask grandma to play some rocking tunes on the piano to go for the full effect.  That’s how silent films used to be shown, right?  There was a live piano player in the cinema.

Anyway, then there was a gap of 14 years before we got the next Boston Blackie.  That was in the tumultuous year 1941.  You can watch it on Vimeo.  It’s a talkie, of course.  Does he fight Nazis or what?  No…it seems that they avoided politics.

Back to James Rolfe: Super Film Fanatic.

7:45 – Blondie.  “Blondie was a series based on a comic strip about a small time family.”

What?  I don’t think that he ever saw the comic.  It’s still produced today and I know that he read comics as a child.  Different newspapers had different comics, of course, but Blondie made some mainstream headlines in the 1990s.  She finally got a job.  She was a caterer or something.  It was big news.  Trying to bring this ancient zombie comic from the 1930s into the present.

He never saw the films either.

9:00 – Charlie Chan.  He has absolutely no familiarity with the films, never saw any, but he tells you who the actors were.

10:00 – “Who’s talking about Charlie Chan?  Nobody.”

Ummm…I’m pretty sure that the character is well known.

“I’ve never seen a single one.”

Exactly.  Or ANY of the films in this video.  Except the fucking Godzilla ones.  What a film curator.  I enjoyed Godzilla films as well.  AS A CHILD!

Then he says that he looked into the Charlie Chan films (Wikipedia dot com) and “it played up to racial stereotypes.”

Well, no shit.  James Rolfe might be the only person on earth not to know this.

The jungles of Vietnam.  Right.  “They’re everywhere, man.  Charlie is everywhere.”


How about looking at the historical context, you great film curator?  Or even just reading the fucking Wikipedia article:

Readers and moviegoers of America greeted Chan warmly, seeing him as an attractive character who is portrayed as intelligent, heroic, benevolent, and honorable in contrast to the racist depictions of evil or conniving Asians which often dominated Hollywood and national media in the early 20th century.

The character was viewed positively.  It was an early example of Asians being portrayed positively.  There were a lot of negative views on Asian people in America.  The big railroad industrialists replaced the white American workers with cheap Chinese workers to build the railroads.  This fostered resentment and lead to some riots.  The influx of Chinese workers threatened the burgeoning labour movement.  Chinese Americans were unable to vote.  They were in different schools.  There were attempts made to limit the number of Chinese immigrants that could come to the US.  Then China became a communist country.  Then Japan bombed Pearl Harbor.

Against this historical backdrop, there was a sympathetic character Charlie Chan, who was a detective in Hawaii.  He wasn’t a villain, as in so many previous Hollywood depictions of Asians.  He was the hero.

As times changed, his stereotypical accent and mannerisms fell out of favour.  That’s it.

James is such a simple-minded guy.  I mean, I know that he was in special education for seven and a half years but come on.

10:30 – “It’s hard to imagine a day when Star Wars and Marvel will be forgotten.”

Really?  People are already sick of that shit.  Even 20 years from now, nobody will want to watch fucking Avengers: Age of Ultron or whatever.  How can a film curator not know this?  Nobody wants to watch Avengers: Age of Ultron today.

Who even heard of these films?  It’s throw away culture.  This trash gets released and then people are immediately on to the next thing.  There’s no substance to these movies.  These are not classic films with riveting stories that will stand the text of time.

Same with Star Wars.  Even the original trilogy.  It had mainstream appeal when they were released but only nerds enjoy that shit today.  Once the nerds move on to the next nerdy thing, that’s it for Star Wars.  Does any non-nerd really give a shit about Battlestar Galactica?  Same thing.

A fucking film curator talking about how amazing the Marvel and Star Wars films are.  A hundred years from now, people are still going to love Marvel and Star Wars movies.  Come on.

Personally, I would rather watch The Return of Boston Blackie.  It’s at least interesting in a historical sense.  You can see the old cars and the old fashion and how none of the women had breasts because they were so malnourished from the Depression.

2 thoughts on “Forgotten Film Franchises – Cinemassacre Review

  1. i take it that in the fourth last paragraph it was supposed to read “the test of time”the host and co-owner of the cinemassacre channel is clearly desinterested in his line of work as things stand now. maybe he's got it all made by now: the comment section still abounds with mindless praise from idiotic fans, the company largely runs by itself thanks to past achievements and him having outsourced most of the grunt work to slob crew inc. now he's just coasting through, barely breaking a sweat over content or creativity. it's no longer 2006…but i wouldn't bank on it. 'internet fame' (if such a concept exists) is a rather ephemeral phenomenon to be relied on as a means to make a living. just as easily as it's attained, it can disappear almost overnight. all it takes is people starting to follow the latest fad and you're forgotten as if you had never existed. like if you were a pop music performer, only with a much smaller margin of profit and recognition. will it happen to the avgn? i'm not sure. just as i don't even know if youtube will still be around in 5 or 10 years' time. the best thing to do here is to act out of self-preservation and start to take it seriously again. get more involved in the content production, make it a habit to critically review the material before making the video, think of something your channel can offer that others still don't. this is what i'd do. better yet. get a real job. and do youtube on your spare time.

  2. Yeah, “test”.The guy must be making money if he can hire Screenwave and farm the work out to them. But does he have enough savings to live for the next 40 years? I have to assume not. He seems to have a pretty modest lifestyle. Maybe he's just putting all of the money in the bank or investing wisely. Although…James doesn't seem a particularly shrewd guy.I don't know. If I could do as little work as possible, that's what I'd do. But how long will people watch these awful AVGN episodes? It's a difficult situation.

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