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    • When you put enough clicks on the body odometer, you are bound to accumulate many psuedo-cultural underpinnings based on memories.

      I am young enough to not have been apart of voting during the Cold War that began in the late 1940's and really tapered off in the late 80's. As I remember it as a young guy, Gorbachev seemed to be a political moderate opening the door to communicating with Western ideology. For the next 20 years it seems that between a pretty bullish economy and the radical cocaine wealth that permeated just about everywhere, the Cold War no longer had the individual sense of ownership and paranoia if you met someone from China or Russia or other Eastern Bloc countries.

      Sooooo....I was surprised to read how this new movie The MEG with Jason Stathom as the blockbuster anchor was actually doing pretty good at the box office despite the obvious expectations of bad dialogue and acting.

      About 10 minutes into the movie it dawned on me that basically this is a huge cultural product placement for China with a sexy chinese woman attracted to Jason's character, the woman's brat-dorable young daughter and understandably the chinese text graphics and logostuff for the underwater research station. And, then, I started getting a little nervous.

      My reference was to be aligned with seeing the movie JAWS as a teenager and seeing it multiple times on television. JAWS was as American as hot dogs and baseball.

      So, now I am feeling conflicted because this movie is obviously some sort of homage x1000 to Jaws and then you start to wonder if this is bigger than product placement and more about a subversive "moviement" that China can buy into the oblivious minds of the average pretty clueless American.

      It would almost be like Jackie Chan in his 1st Rush Hour movie if he tried to deliver Clint Eastwood's "make my day" line. Nothing against the Chinese personally but with all the chaos the White House is generating, it definitely seems like there is some version of a Cold War v4.5 that now includes Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Israel brewing and I am somewhat concerned. China definitely has the financial resources and human capabilities to really be the #1 superpower and without any real scrutiny of their human rights violations, I sense they could put a "call" on all the money they have loaned the USA and basically put us out of business.

      Yes, I got all of that by watching this movie. I better stick to the classic like the new Predator movie coming out next month. hahahahah

    • The actual explanation is slightly less nefarious. 😛

      As of this year, China is the top film market in the world. But the Chinese government only allows 34 foreign films per year to be released in Chinese cinemas. This is a big deal for Hollywood studios: some American movies have bigger box office returns in China than they do in the US, so studios want to do everything they can to make sure their biggest movies get released in China.

      Look closely at almost any big Hollywood blockbuster made in the last ten years and you'll see a lot of Chinese characters and story elements. Sometimes they're major characters, sometimes only bit parts seemingly wedged in for no reason, but in either case they tend to be played by actors who are huge in China. If you pay attention to the distributor credits at the beginning of a Hollywood blockbuster, you might also notice a title card for Alibaba Pictures or another big Chinese distributor.

      These things are all Hollywood doing their best to make sure their movies get released in China, since that could mean double the box office (or more!).

    • What's also interesting is that Star Wars bombs in China. I mean, tank-ola.

      The reason is that the original trilogy, the spark for the franchise and the source of much nostalgia, never played in China. Despite Nixon, it was still a closed-off country.

      So the sequels and tag-along movies aren't drawing from an established mythology for Chinese viewers. And apparently they're not good enough to make it on their own.

    • Hollywood is catering to eastern viewers and The Meg is just a giant movie (no pun intended) intended to appeal to both western and Chinese audiences. There's a version of Iron Man (something) where entire scenes were filmed and released for Chinese audiences only. I have no problems with movies like The Meg having international casts as long as it's related to story arc, but to just throw people in for the sake of appealing to a demographic is trite, in my opinion.