To inform entertain and excite my kids, Jamie, Patrick, Aaron & Sarah Middleburgh, our family and friends.

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Middleburgh and the Movie Critics

Two weeks ago, I decided to experiment with link baiting by placing a link to my previous post in a forum thread "Did scorsese dumb down IA for US audiences" since I had argued that all US remakes tend to sanitize the original for US home market (ie is neither a Scorsese thing only nor specific to "The Departed").

The link generated an unprecedented amount of traffic, and provoked hostile posts on the forum objecting to comparisons of "The Departed" to "Infernal Affairs" (silly considering the theme of the thread) , proclaiming that "The Departed" merits Bst Film Oscar this year and Scorsese, Best Director Oscar, citing a fistful of favorable critics reports from London and suggesting that, those holding a contrary view clearly had not even seen "The Departed", that, worldwide audience attendance were phenomenal and adverse critics reports were the exception.

Now I haven't got a problem with anyone holding and stating their opinions on either Scorsese or "The Departed" nor if they actively pursue an agenda to talk these up in hope of influencing the Academy. Every one is entitled to their own opinions.

It does strike me however, as extremely childish, for someone who posts their opinions in a public forum to take exception when others

It's a personal thing, but I take pride in the fact that when I post information in support of an argument, the argument is properly constructed and carefully thought through and I have exercised due diligence to find and verify the supporting facts and I can (and do) cite references.

Doesn't mean I get it "right" always and because I accept errors happen I frequently check 'facts" presented by others, test whether they may be interpreted in ways other than presented and whether their arguments are sound.

An example would be.....

"you cannot compare a The Devil Wears Prada and the Departed ...The Departed has a R or Over-18 certificate.....its not a film for example that children will see, so that obviously limits its chances at the box office."

This argument was put forward in relation to fact that "The Departed" box office takings in HK for the first 10 days of release were about the same for the equivalent 10 days for TDWP (which was released about 3 weeks earlier in HK).

Effectively it is suggested that if you discount children going to TDWP in HK "The Departed" actually did better. Interesting point - but argument hinges on whether more children in HK actually went to see TDWP?

In HK "The Departed" was classified IIB (not suitable for young persons or children) and TDWP was classified as IIA (not suitable for children) Both films are shown with English dialogue and Chinese subtitles. source

In HK Category IIA and IIB are advisory in nature and the age restriction (over 18 years old) is strictly and legally enforced for Category III films only . Film Censorship Ordinance sect 12 part V

This means that children and young persons are not prevented from seeing either film and the question comes down to how many children (as opposed to young persons) went to see TDWP.

Hong Kong children overwhelmingly have Cantonese as first language not English and I don't think it is credible to suggest the TDWP figures were significantly inflated by children going to this film. Subtitles are a barrier to attendances even for adults and it's not as if TDWP subject matter is particularly appealing to children as compared to Pirates of the Carribean which has the same classification.

But this is only my opinion, so today I emailed the HK Central Statistics Office (md9@censtatd.gov.hk)and asked if they have any relevent figures since they do an "Annual Survey of Box Office Receipts of Cinemas and Theatres"

And for the crack I also emailed customer services at William Hill for current odds for Scorsese and "The Departed" in the Oscars.......

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