Posts from the ‘Movies’ Category

How To Kill Any Further Desire I Have To See Films On The Big Screen, Part 2

As a follow-up to my previous post ….

This will effectively kill any future desire I have to see any films in a modern cinema:

http://www.darkhorizons.com/news/42445/amc-to-allow-texting-at-the-cinema

I am *VERY* satisfied with my personal home theatre setup.  I don’t have to spend any time travelling to/from a cinema, I don’t have to pay for parking, I can eat whatever food I like without having to pay out the yin/yang for it, I can drink whatever drinks I like likewise, the bathroom is as clean as my family defines cleanliness, nobody behind me is kicking my seat, if any people around me are talking I won’t get the cops called on me if I smack ’em upside the head, and … for the love of all that you might consider holy … nobody around me is FUCKING WITH THEIR GODDAMNED PHONES!!!

The only thing that might interrupt my home theatre experience is one single angry conure … but that can easily be appropriately dealt with.

“When you tell a 22-year-old to turn off the phone, don’t ruin the movie, they hear please cut off your left arm above the elbow.”

If you … honestly … believe that, there is no way you should *EVER* be in charge of any company that runs movie theatres.  Mr. Aron, with all due respect, please do whatever you need to do in order to go fuck yourself.  Repeatedly.  Preferably with a sandpaper-coated dildo, which I will gladly provide should you be unable to obtain one on your own.

Just sayin’.  Rant over.  Thanks for listening.  Love y’all.

 

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Spectre

I’m going to preface this by saying, long time James Bond fan here.  I’ve loved 007 movies ever since I was a kid.  Hell, I can even find redeeming features in such steaming piles of poo as A View To A Kill.

With all that in mind ….

This isn’t truly a review of Spectre, cuz I couldn’t bleedin’ make it through the movie.

I tried watching it today.  I really did try.

The halfway spectacular pre-credits sequence was completely ruined by the horrible song and tentacle-porn-infused opening credits.  I gave up at that point.

I do have to admit that I was pleased to see a return to Goldfinger/Thunderball era green screen work during the helicopter sequence, and I laughed out loud when the title sequence started flashing back to Craig’s previous Bond films.  Made me seriously wish I was watching Casino Royale instead.  That’s a very very bad feeling to have fourteen minutes into the movie.

Honestly, Sam Smith’s choice of inflections and vocal range are what I would expect out of a 30-something-year-old neckbeard’s wailing lamentations that his mother just punched him square in the nutsack.

I’ll revisit this and watch it all the way through at some point … but I really feel the need to rewatch A View To A Kill first.

 

How To Kill Any Further Desire I Have To See Films On The Big Screen

I used to go to the movies all the time. I grew up in the era back when there were little neighborhood cinemas all over the place. The Chelten Theatre was minutes away from the house I grew up in. The Colony and the Marquette were about a half hour drive away. The four Evergreen screens were pretty nice (although I remember when it was just two screens), but my all time favorite was River Oaks 1. I have a LOT of fond memories of seeing films in these now-closed cinemas.

This continued through my college years. My personal best for the most movies I saw in as short a time as possible was one weekend in the early ’80s when I saw seven films in a single weekend (two Friday, three Saturday, two more on Sunday).

Not any more. I hardly ever go anymore. Why?

1) Cost. If I have to pay exorbitant prices just to get into your cinema, I demand to have an enjoyable experience.

2) Further cost. The concession prices are outrageous. But the kids want their snacks, so the price of concessions drives the moviegoing cost up to the point where my demand has shifted. I now demand to be guaranteed an enjoyable experience.

3) Idiots who insist on using their phones after the movie has started. If you’ve paid as much as I’ve paid to be here watching this film, why aren’t you bothering to pay attention to it? And are you really dumb enough that you don’t understand how much your phone screen lights up a darkened auditorium?

4) Idiots who insist on talking after the movie has started. Shut up. Just. Shut. Up. If you need to say something, whisper. If you need to talk (or worse yet, take a phone call), then do us the favor of leaving the auditorium and come back after you’re done. This is just common sense, and I remember learning to behave this appropriately all the way back in grade school.

5) Idiots who have not properly trained their crotchfruit. The two examples that I encounter most often are moronic spawn who will not shut up or who continue to put their feet on and/or kick the back of my chair. There are occasional parents and guardians out there who demand (and force) an end to this behavior as soon as it happens. Bless their souls. But alas, there are far too many more who are either proud of their little brats’ incessant drool-filled yammering or just too bloody scared to publicly dress down their precious snowflakes when the snot goblins truly deserve it.

I’m rather proud of the home theatre system I have in my living room. It’s not any ground-breaking top of the line system, but it’s good enough for me and my family. The MSRP of a new blu-ray is comparable to what I would pay to get the family into a decent modern cinema. If I find it on sale, it costs even less than the cinema. We can eat whatever food we want without having to pay wallet-busting prices. And the only other ignorant or rude audience members that could interfere with our enjoyment of the film would be the ones that I invite to watch it with us.

Ever since I set that home theatre system up, I’ve been going to fewer and fewer movies every year. I hardly see anything on the big screen anymore.

And now … here’s the nail in the coffin, and the motivation for me to rant about this tonight:

Staff at cinemas owned by the Regal Entertainment Group will now be searching backpacks, packages and bags. The exact quote on their notice is, “To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission.”

No. Fuck that shit. When I showed that page to my son, he hung his head in disbelief and muttered foul epithets as he walked away.

I will willingly go through a security screening at an airport. If you are now going to add a security screening to my moviegoing experience, you can go fuck yourself. So I will never go to a Regal Theatre again. And if the other chains are stupid enough to follow suit, then I’ll keep on enjoying my own home theatre and the only things I will be missing out on are frustration, annoyances, and overpriced mediocre food.

Mission: Impossible III

My boys have never seen the Mission: Impossible films, so we are slowly working our way through all of them prior to seeing Rogue Nation. I saw the first two in the cinema way back when and my daughter swears up and down that I also saw Mission: Impossible III. Um, nope. I would’ve remembered it based on the beautifully tense pre-credits sequence alone.

Wow. Awesome. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays a wonderfully insidious son of a bitch, the exact level of baddie that was missing from the first two films. The first film got a little too caught up in confusing people with convoluted pseudo-espionage, and as much as I love John Woo the second film focused a little too heavily on overly stylized action set pieces. J. J. Abrams caught the perfect combination of both in this film. Normally I despise flashback-based storytelling and hand-held shakycams, but both worked extremely well here. And the cinematography in this film was gorgeous.

Now I’m really looking forward to finally seeing Ghost Protocol.

RIP Rowdy Roddy Piper

Rowdy Roddy Piper.  Damn.  In my college years, back in the good ol’ ’80s, I never really got into wrestling, but I did have a fair number of roommates who just ate it up.  And I have to say that the two characters that I actually did enjoy watching were Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper.

61.  Damn.

I was stoked when I heard that John Carpenter had cast Rowdy Roddy Piper as the lead in They Live.  It wasn’t a great film, but it was a whole lot of fun.  Now I have to make the time to sit the kids down and have them watch this.  Especially since they’re also fans of Duke Nukem.

 

Jurassic World

Sigh.  The few reviews I read about this ahead of time were pretty mixed, so this is yet another film that I went into with lowered expectations.

Oh dear.  That is one big pile of shit.

I’m convinced that two more script revisions and some extra thought given to the casting process is all they would’ve needed to turn this into a fantastic piece of moviemaking.  Alas, no.  Most of it is crap.  Watching this on the big screen was a major waste of time and money for me.

Where do I start?  The script: stupid people doing stupid things, with too many blatant attempts at homages to classic scenes from the first film.  Every time I hit one of those moments, it pulled me out of the story.  With the exception of Owen and Barry, the characters weren’t characters; they were caricatures at best, completely cardboard at worst.  (And I had to actually look up the name of Omar Sy’s character, because I don’t even remember anyone ever calling him by name in the film.)  I’m also convinced that Owen and Barry were as good as they were entirely because of Chris Pratt’s and Omar Sy’s acting abilities and personalities, not because of how the screenwriters depicted them.

The cast: Chris Pratt and Omar Sy were excellent.  Everyone else could be flushed down the toilet for all I care.  Especially the two lead kids.  For the love of all you consider holy, if you are going to have kids carry two of the lead roles, you have to make sure that the child actors are able to make us care enough about the kids to carry us along for the emotional ride.  Rooting for the dinos to rip people apart here is like rooting for the zombies to rip people apart on The Walking Dead.  I desperately wanted these two kids to be shredded and eaten alive, and was tremendously disappointed when that didn’t happen.

Likewise for Bryce Dallas Howard.  Are you telling me that Claire *REALLY* can run all over the place like that in those shoes?!?  Plus, earlier in the film she is in a near panic, desperately forcing Owen to take her out into the park to rescue the two boys.  Then what happens?  They stop.  For a long time.  To have a pseudo-emotional moment with a dying apatosaurus.  What the fuck?!?  From a character standpoint, that makes *NO* sense!  It does make sense for Pratt’s character, but not for Howard, at least not in the sequence of moments leading up to that scene.

And I’m sorry, but the mosasaurus moments were all blatantly telegraphed in advance.  What could have been two really cool bits were spoiled by foreshadowing heavy enough to slap you in the face.

Lastly, are you telling me that, after laying completely dormant for 20ish years, there is still enough juice in the batteries to power that pair of night vision goggles and to get one of those jeeps started?  I really don’t think so.

I’ve had enough.  This is the worst of the Jurassic Park series.  I’ll rewatch The Lost World again before I’ll rewatch this one.

But … in the meantime … this is FANTASTIC:

 

 

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Sigh.  Word of mouth told me going into this that it wasn’t quite as good as the first one, so this is another film that I went into with lowered expectations.  Apparently I didn’t lower them low enough.  It was good, and bits of it were excellent, but it could’ve been so much better.

(Incidentally, I almost did not bother seeing this in the cinema.  The quickest way to kill my desire to see something on the big screen is to tell me that an extended cut will be released later on disc.  In retrospect, considering how choppy some of the storytelling was here, I should’ve stayed home and waited for the blu-ray.)

I would’ve loved to have seen Whedon’s original cut of the film.  First of all it would’ve fleshed out Thor’s silly cave sequence.  Hopefully it would also provide a better explanation for Quicksilver and his sister flip-flopping allegiances so quickly and how Nick Fury was suddenly able to pull a helicarrier out of his ass.  (Okay, yes, I know there’s a throwaway line or two in Agents Of SHIELD referencing that, but it still doesn’t explain how Coulson & Fury were able to cobble it together get it on station to help the Avengers that fast.  Consider it a suspension of disbelief problem for me here.)

Do I have good things to say about it?  Yeah.  It was fun.  The early scenes of the Avengers just hanging out were the best bits in the film.  I would love Marvel to make an Avengers film that consists entirely of them spending time together in their off time.  Avengers: Downtime, maybe?  And James Spader frakkin’ nailed it as Ultron – I adored his level of snarkiness.

So … yeah, worth watching, could’ve been a lot better, hopefully the rumored forthcoming extended cut will make up for it.