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Readers’ reviews

The best of your comments on the latest films and music

Monkey see, monkey do, monkey spawn blockbuster movie series. And some people take a very dim view of blockbuster movie series, as we learned after Peter Bradshaw’s four-star review of Rise of the Planet of the Apes. And those people irritate the heck out of Winstone1975: “I have noticed there is a tendency among some people when commenting on popular films on this site that they feel the need to rubbish and dismiss them whether they have seen them or not purely because they are populist and designed to entertain. By all means have a go something which actually is shite … but, when you are making negative comments on a film you know nothing about because it is made, in your oh so cultured eyes, with the ‘masses’ in mind and therefore beneath you and not worthy of your time you don’t sound rarified and clever you sound like an elitist tosser.”

What roused Winstone1975′s ire was a comment from gavinscottw (himself responding to markliens‘s assertion that CGI technology made this a better film than the original Planet of the Apes). “It’s these sort of ill-informed, prosaic points of view that has got us to this sorry pass of fucking ‘prequels’ in the first place,” gavinscottw wrote. “This might be a very good film but to say it’s better than one of the most original science fiction films in the history of the cinema betrays either your age (I’d like to hazard a guess you’re under 25. If older, shame on you!) or sheer ignorance. Planet of the Apes has an ending as iconic as anything the art form has produced, a magnificent screenplay … and was of its time saying many pertinent things about war, race, colonialism, social injustice, etc. Can this film, for all its merits, claim anything similar? … I’m underwhelmed by the prospect of seeing it.”

Suspicion was one of the orders of last week. Joe Muggs wrote about the new world of music mentoring, whereby companies and organisations – including Red Bull, the Brit School and Converse – nurture young musicians, and plenty of readers looked for the catch. “These artists are the mainstream. Red Bull, Converse … it’s the new corporate music replacing the traditional record labels. Today almost every music venue, festival etc depends on corporate sponsorship and cross-promotion (ie advertising). Compare this to acts relying on fan-based funding models, self-promoting shows, and selling recordings direct – this is a genuine alternative to profit-driven music/arts funding,” reckoned ollienorthern. “In other words, everybody’s shouting out to everybody else, patting each other on the back and feeding each others egos. While nobody is making any music that is jaw-droppingly brilliant or original,” suggested ArthurTheCat. “If any single one of these programmes tried to do a single thing that harmed the parent brand they’d be held back, and that for me is the point … These means are an end to sell products … instead of being ends in themselves, as creative endeavour should always be,” added productionunit.

Joe was an active participant in the thread and offered this response: “There are so many avenues to release or perform music now, there no longer is a music industry or an underground, and what is crucial is not who people choose to interact with but how they make the decisions. One of the interviews I did for this piece that I didn’t get to put in … was with Ian from the Go! Team, and he said that it’s essentially impossible to avoid contact with corporate entities if you want to make a career from music, especially if you have a whole band to support, but what he always advises is close examination of each company’s corporate ethics, and assessing them case-by-case.”

Right, all this talk of music has made me crave an energy-boosting soft drink and some new footwear. I’m off. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds