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  1. #1
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    MGM Throws in the Towel, Sends Aretha Franklin Biopic “Respect” to Streaming

    This report makes me incredibly sad. I don't really respect or agree with Friedman [[he's mainly pi$$ed off that the movie is not all about him ...) but his report is worth a read. I'm sad because Aretha deserved a successful film, if not a blockbuster. I'm sad because it's a really good, and entertaining film. I'm sad because most likely Liesl Tommy, a rare woman of color given a big-budget movie to direct, may be written off. And I'm sad that the soul music ... 'community' ... has so little interest in the film. C'est la vie. I loved the film, Ms. Franklin, and miss you daily.

    https://www.showbiz411.com/2021/08/2...-mil-write-off

  2. #2
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    I think “Respect” should have BEEN released on streaming. Making it a theater only release was an awful move IMO. Many like myself, prefer having the option to enjoy theatrical release at the comforts of home. Rather than laying out $15 for tickets and $30 for popcorn/snacks. Added bonus, if you need a bathroom break, you can pause the film and not miss anything.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jboy88 View Post
    I think “Respect” should have BEEN released on streaming. Making it a theater only release was an awful move IMO. Many like myself, prefer having the option to enjoy theatrical release at the comforts of home. Rather than laying out $15 for tickets and $30 for popcorn/snacks. Added bonus, if you need a bathroom break, you can pause the film and not miss anything.
    I hope you are correct and the film gets great streaming attendance! We'll see. But ... I saw the film at an AMC theatre here in NJ, on a huge screen with great sound, after paying $7.45 for a senior-discounted early evening screening [and I never, ever, would eat anything from a movie theatre! A little bit of self-control puts that problem at rest!) The streaming for Respect seems to cost $19.99. Please let me [[and us!) know what you think of the film after watching. [[A random ps: Why does the community claim to hate the concept of streaming music but embrace streaming films? Not a rhetorical question - I really don't get it)
    Last edited by PeaceNHarmony; 08-28-2021 at 07:36 AM.

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    In one of Aretha's Facebook groups, I read quite a few comments re people not feeling safe venturing to a theater with the Covid-19 situation. Some hoped for a streaming option.

  5. #5
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    Well this just sucks muskrat booty, doesn't it?

    As far as the streaming music vs movies I'll say this:

    The music I most enjoy I want to possess in some form and control when and
    how often I listen to it and in what order.
    The films I see I usually watch one time and if I'm that impressed I'll get them
    when they become available on DVD or check them out of my public library....

    Otherwise for music I still have a public radio station, I'll mention
    Last edited by splanky; 08-28-2021 at 02:06 PM.

  6. #6
    I'm not really surprised with the quick decision to move it to streaming. I'm sure it will make a solid amount of revenue via digital platforms. I also don't feel comfortable going to a theater with the ongoing pandemic, so I have been waiting to watch it at home. I was never a lover of movie theaters anyway. I would rather watch a movie at home than risk sitting near an inconsiderate person that insists on talking through the whole movie or using the top of my seat as a foot rest.

    Also, Roger Friedman's articles are always generally written in a pissy tone, at the expense of wanting to assert his own egotistical view of himself as being the ultimate diva connoisseur.
    Last edited by carlo; 08-28-2021 at 02:27 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlo View Post
    I'm not really surprised with the quick decision to move it to streaming. I'm sure it will make a solid amount of revenue via digital platforms. I also don't feel comfortable going to a theater with the ongoing pandemic, so I have been waiting to watch it at home. I was never a lover of movie theaters anyway. I would rather watch a movie at home than risk sitting near an inconsiderate person that insists on talking through the whole movie or using the top of my seat as a foot rest.

    Also, Roger Friedman's articles are always generally written in a pissy tone, at the expense of wanting to assert his own egotistical view of himself as being the ultimate diva connoisseur.
    You are SO right about Friedman. He seems to do 'good work' but it's always, ALWAYS, all about him. I SO hope that 'Respect' gets well-deserved respect. It just irks me that we in the soul music community so frequently talk the talk but don't walk the walk. The mere mention of a Flo-bio sends members into a tizzy; we harp and carp about this album or that tv special not being released or available. Yet ... when a major studio makes a major movie about one of the top 5 figures [[a guess!) in our beloved music genre with lots of big name stars and a female director color ... crickets. I hope you see the film, Carlo, and I look forward to hearing your opinion. I SO want to discuss many aspects of the movie, but it seems no one is interested. However ... I see the 4,763rd thread recently started about Diana & Marvin. So be it.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    You are SO right about Friedman. He seems to do 'good work' but it's always, ALWAYS, all about him. I SO hope that 'Respect' gets well-deserved respect. It just irks me that we in the soul music community so frequently talk the talk but don't walk the walk. The mere mention of a Flo-bio sends members into a tizzy; we harp and carp about this album or that tv special not being released or available. Yet ... when a major studio makes a major movie about one of the top 5 figures [[a guess!) in our beloved music genre with lots of big name stars and a female director color ... crickets. I hope you see the film, Carlo, and I look forward to hearing your opinion. I SO want to discuss many aspects of the movie, but it seems no one is interested. However ... I see the 4,763rd thread recently started about Diana & Marvin. So be it.
    Yes I agree, Peace. He does seem to make his articles all about him. The latest one he wrote about Diana's new music comes to my mind, where he randomly goes into detail about being at the same event as her and her family, some years ago. As Phyllis Hyman once shouted, "Save that for the bio pic, honey!!"

    I also hope more people will support and discuss the film. I do think [[and this is only my own humble opinion), that some of the recent relative lack of discussion here concerning this movie, and other soul music topics, can be attributed to a couple of things. One reason is I do think many regular members who used to participate in more serious soul music discussions on this forum have been driven away by the ridiculousness of the Supremes discussions over the years. They invaded and overtook the forum for far too long, before a separate Supremes section was made. I know this to be the case because I've heard from members who are no longer active and who have expressed these feelings to me in recent years. The second reason is that I think a handful of regular forum participants have also passed on, during the last several years. I can think of three just off of the top of my head, but I am sure there are many more I'm forgetting or that we sadly do not know about. Also, I should be fair and not just single out the dramatics of some Supremes fans, as the internet in general has become a much more toxic environment lately. For these reasons, I think many are staying away from these discussions. Some have also just naturally moved on to other discussion sites and platforms, like Facebook. We are still here though!

    With that being said, I look forward to watching the movie and sharing my review! I've been ignoring the other thread containing reviews of the movie, in order to avoid any spoilers I realize that it is already available for digital viewing in the States, but strangely does not seem to be available in Canada yet, likely due to the different distribution companies involved [[United Artists for US and Universal Pictures for international).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    I hope you are correct and the film gets great streaming attendance! We'll see. But ... I saw the film at an AMC theatre here in NJ, on a huge screen with great sound, after paying $7.45 for a senior-discounted early evening screening [and I never, ever, would eat anything from a movie theatre! A little bit of self-control puts that problem at rest!) The streaming for Respect seems to cost $19.99. Please let me [[and us!) know what you think of the film after watching. [[A random ps: Why does the community claim to hate the concept of streaming music but embrace streaming films? Not a rhetorical question - I really don't get it)
    I also saw it in AMC in NJ with senior discount. First time in a theatre since pandemic. Price of admission for two was cheaper than streaming and at the time no masks were required. If there is a failure to the theatrical release's success. it is probably because many of us are not ready to sit in a theatre. I went to an afternoon matinee and the audience was sparse.

    I saw the Genius and Respect and enjoyed both. Now that they are both available at home, I would suggest watching both of them. They compliment each other and you walk away with a fuller story of Aretha if you see both of them

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    Obviously, I am not alone in my feelings, but I would not walk across the street to see it even with a senior discount. I liked some of her songs, but never had an interest in her as a person.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Circa 1824 View Post
    Obviously, I am not alone in my feelings, but I would not walk across the street to see it even with a senior discount. I liked some of her songs, but never had an interest in her as a person.
    Yikes, Circa...was that comment really necessary? I liked Aretha's music more than I liked Aretha, and I liked early Aretha the best, but she was a legend after all.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth View Post
    Yikes, Circa...was that comment really necessary? I liked Aretha's music more than I liked Aretha, and I liked early Aretha the best, but she was a legend after all.
    No, it wasn't necessary, or even informative.

  13. #13
    We watched the film last night and it was a pricey $25 [[Canadian $) for the 4K digital rental, but when you compare it to the price of two movie tickets these days, and the convenience of watching at home, it was worth it. Plus, I was happy to support the movie. Jennifer Hudson was the perfect choice to play Aretha, as her tremendous acting and singing talents were the highlight. We noticed the effort she went through to take on Aretha's mannerisms, facial expressions, speaking voice and singing style. She really did prepare for this role. The challenge with depicting the life of someone so legendary is fitting in their history into a two hour film. I think they did do a decent job with the story and the script but I still walked away feeling like they had only scratched the surface...but they did hit all of the main landmarks of her career, while also showing her family history and struggles. The other challenge was also the fact that Aretha was always very private and never entirely open or forthcoming about her personal experiences and challenges, so that in itself poses a challenge to a movie script that requires approval and cooperation from her estate. You have to walk a fine line between being truthful and authentic in the depiction of her life, and also remaining true and respectful to Aretha's wishes and her family's wishes to not cross a certain line. It was a very Hollywood-ized interpretation of her life but I didn't expect anything different. I was not disappointed. I loved that they recreated certain moments very authentically, like her concert in Amsterdam in 1968 and the recording of her Amazing Grace album and film. Jennifer deserves an Oscar nom at the very least and I don't doubt that she will get one.
    Last edited by carlo; 09-04-2021 at 11:02 AM.

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    I decided to take in a 12:55 viewing of Respect this afternoon in Vancouver, Canada. Masks in the theatre are of course compulsory, and I decided to take this in now, because as of mid month, a "COVID Passport" proving vaccinations are necessary for entrance to many indoor venues. I was a tad worried when entering the theatre that the box office was closed, but a ticket could be purchased at the concession stand. All told, the theatre only had 8 patrons, and all seats were sold prearranged. I will certainly eventually purchase a DVD copy, but I HAD to see this film on a large screen and I do NOT regret my decision. Jennifer Hudson renders a very sympathetic portrayal of Aretha Franklin, and the musical performances are mighty impressive, to the point I will obtain the soundtrack recording. At almost 2/12 hours in length and concluding with the "Amazing Grace" session, covering all of Aretha's tremendous career run would have been a four hour plus opus. Having had the good luck to see all the eight episodes of the Aretha Genius series, I feel that both tributes tell a complete story. Plus, I recently re-read the David Ritz's Respect book, after seeing Genius, and I got a LOT more out of this detailed account than after my first reading. Frankly, NO amount of tributes will ever bring Aretha back, but I thank my lucky stars I grew to her music, saw her perform musical numbers from two different attempts to complete a television special in Edmonton, Canada [[check out youtube) and even got to dance briefly with Aretha on stage. May she rest in peace forever, as she has more than deserved that sweet sleep.

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