Defending Ron Howard | TigerDroppings.com
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Baloo
LSU Fan
Formerly MDGeaux
Member since Sep 2003
45354 posts

Defending Ron Howard

With the release of Rush and the high praise it has received, there’s been a recent uptick in Ron Howard think pieces. Here are two recent examples:

LINK /
LINK

Look, it’s cool to bag on Ron Howard. He is a technician and a “studio director”. He does make middlebrow films for suburban dads. But I AM a suburban dad, so he’s pretty much right in my wheelhouse. And while it’s pretty rare for someone to say Ron Howard is their favorite director, I rarely see someone say he’s terrible.

Look at his filmography:
LINK

That’s a solid list of singles and doubles. One of our big gripes with Hollywood is the blockbuster culture in which everyone swings for the fences but usually strikes out, then we turn around and criticize the guy who keeps turning out quality entertainments.

But what I like best about Ron Howard is this: the guy can tell a story. So many guys working today are so adept with deconstruction and symbolism and all that. But they can’t do something as simple as tell a friggin’ story. It’s such a basic, foundational skill that even some great directors lack (I love David Lynch, but that guy couldn’t tell a coherent story if his life depended on it). And at the end of the day, film is just another method of storytelling.

He is not re-inventing the wheel, he’s just one of the guys who realizes the wheel is a great f’n invention. And if you look at our highways, no one else has come up with a better wheel just yet.

Sure, he's not an "artist". He's a professional. It's probably why many of his best films deal with professional competency: The Paper, Apollo 13, Gung Ho, Backdraft, even Cinderella Man. The world needs artists... it needs professionals, too. We need stories to deconstruct.



craigbiggio
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Dec 2009
13948 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
People don't like Ron Howard?

Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies of all time. I watched it probably 20-30 times when I was a little kid...watched it 15 years later and still enjoy it immensely.


alajones
LSU Fan
Hell
Member since Oct 2005
23170 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
To my knowledge I've never seen a bad Ron Howard film.

I thought Apollo 13 was full of "artistry" for lack of a better word.

Plus he pumps out great movies without needing to be gritty or edgy. Like you said, he just tells great stories.


xenythx
Florida Fan
Member since Dec 2007
21709 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
I said in a previous thread that I see him as a poor man's Spielberg, which is actually not a bad thing to be.


Hugo Stiglitz
USA Fan
Germany
Member since Oct 2010
60696 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
Splash and Parenthood



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TigerRad
LSU Fan
Columbia, SC
Member since Jan 2007
4736 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
I think his reputation as an "artsy" director suffers a bit from the fact that he was so well known and important as a TV star. Big thinkers and "filmy" types have a harder time taking him seriously because their assessment starts from a place of Opie and Richie.


mister_sportzz
Member since Aug 2013
801 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
Ron Howard was a very skilled child actor.


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Jim Rockford
LSU Fan
Member since May 2011
41071 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
Looking forward to this one LINK


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alajones
LSU Fan
Hell
Member since Oct 2005
23170 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

Spielberg
I cannot emphasize how much I really mean this when I say ...meh.

At least since Catch Me if you Can anyway.

(I haven't seen Lincoln)


Sorry for the hijack.

Carry on.
This post was edited on 10/3 at 11:55 am


AmosMosesAndTwins
New Orleans Saints Fan
Lake Charles
Member since Apr 2010
12812 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

I thought Apollo 13 was full of "artistry" for lack of a better word.


The closeups during the launch are awesome, especially so back when the movie came out.


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Algerian
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2011
642 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
I really liked Cinderella Man, I loved the book and really liked his adaption on the screen.


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Cherokee Chinstrap
Georgia Fan
Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Member since Nov 2012
2062 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
You must have missed Angels and Demons...consider yourself lucky



LSUBCILUVTHEM
LSU Fan
The BIGBR
Member since Oct 2005
659 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

he just tells great stories


I love great stories made into movies when they are done well!


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Ace Midnight
LSU Fan
Currently asymptomatic
Member since Dec 2006
37300 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies of all time.


Even going as far back as Night Shift (probably the first film we noticed Michael Keaton or glimpsed Kevin Costner in), which is underrated, Splash, Cocoon and Willow are all excellent.

Apollo 13 is truly outstanding, one of the best movies of the last 20 years.

I don't get the hate for Opie.


TheFolker
Kentucky Fan
Member since Aug 2011
3426 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
Everybody loves little Opie Cunningham.


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Wally Sparks
Georgia Tech Fan
Atlanta
Member since Feb 2013
9476 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

Apollo 13 is truly outstanding, one of the best movies of the last 20 years.


Agree. Only flaw with it was that it made Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon's character) look slightly incompetent (which is definitely false)


Pilot Tiger
Georgetown Fan
Washington DC
Member since Nov 2005
65131 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

Look, it’s cool to bag on Ron Howard
I wasn't aware that it was


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RollTide1987
Alabama Fan
Aurora, CO
Member since Nov 2009
27393 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

Only flaw with it was that it made Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon's character) look slightly incompetent (which is definitely false)


For a movie it was a good sub-plot. Jack Swigert, in reality, pretty much wrote the astronaut's guide to the Command Service Module for project Apollo. No one knew that capsule better than him.

Apollo 13 is definitely in my Top 10 All-Time list. The film features solid performances, a great story, and visuals that look incredible to this day.


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LoveThatMoney
LSU Fan
Who knows where?
Member since Jan 2008
7282 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

But what I like best about Ron Howard is this: the guy can tell a story. So many guys working today are so adept with deconstruction and symbolism and all that. But they can’t do something as simple as tell a friggin’ story. It’s such a basic, foundational skill that even some great directors lack (I love David Lynch, but that guy couldn’t tell a coherent story if his life depended on it). And at the end of the day, film is just another method of storytelling.


So many people in the industry and even this board don't grasp this. They think guys like PTA or Malick are great directors, but they are painters more than anything. They create visually stunning pieces of cinema. And that's great and I can appreciate that, but a movie is, like you said, about telling a story. If what you are presenting to the audience is boring, disjointed, convoluted, or anything similar, you have probably failed as a director.

Ron Howard is the Stephen King of filmmaking. He has produced some really pretty great pieces, but he doesn't always blow your doors off. He's just solid. There is brilliance in his steadiness and consistency.

His movies have all the hallmarks of what makes good movies: rich characters, engaging plots, well thought out settings.

And then some of his movies have all the hallmarks of what makes great movies: deep meaning, an absorbing recreation of moments in time, symbolism and themes that resonate, cinematography that moves you.

Anyone that thinks Ron Howard isn't a good director, to me, doesn't understand what a good director is supposed to do.



Blue Velvet
Colorado State Fan
Apple butter toast is nice
Member since Nov 2009
18185 posts

re: Defending Ron Howard
quote:

but a movie is, like you said, about telling a story
Subjective


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