Wednesday, August 31, 2005

This Labour Day Long

Weekend marks not just another Jerry Lewis Telethon, but the end of the summer movie season. This year, hollywood types are lamenting that boxoffice receipts are will be down 10% from last year. I've gone over this in many posts, so I'm going to let it slide. They know what's wrong.

With the end of summer movies, this also means that this is also the start of the Fall Slate and movie geared towards trying to win awards, and therefore geared towards adults. I think that this is my favourite time of year, because this is when I can sit in a theater for days on end and get impressed time and time again. Yes, there will be Turds in pile, but you can spot them quite easily, unlike this summer where you had to slog through shit to find a movie like BROKEN FLOWERS, which in my mind is the first movie that could be up for awards.

a couple of posts back I mentioned CAPOTE, which is starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote during his "In Cold Blood Period".

This post, is a look at George Clooney's new movie GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK, which tells the story of Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow's look to bring down Senator Joseph McCarthy. This movie has a great cast, including Jeff Daniels, David Strathairn, and Robert Downey Jr. The movie is in shot in Black and White, and from the trailer, looks to be quite interesting.

The summer was for kids, and it disappointed. Now comes the fall, and we'll see if Hollywood can please the adults.

Monday, August 29, 2005

I am from the

Drive-In generation. I remember as a child waiting for my dad to come home, so we could all get in the car to see a movie at the Drive-In. There are so many memories.. The first movie I remember seeing at a drive -in was KING SOLOMON'S MINES, Then PETER PAN.

For a time I moved to a small town, and I loved going to the Drive-In. A group of people, gathering together to watch a movie, and make-out. Now, the Drive-In is all but extinct where I live, just a distant memory now, one that is lost to future generations.

I'm reminded of the Drive-In experience because this weekend, I went to a MOVIE IN THE PARK, which brought back all the memories of going to the drive-in.

Funny what triggers memories.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I saw the 40 year old

Virgin many times back in May when I walked by the line-up for the midnight showing of REVENGE OF THE SITH. Imagine my surprise when I found out that they had made a MOVIE with the same title!

The story is pretty simple. Steve Carell plays a guy that hasn't had sex yet. He tried in high school, but failed. After he admits to some guys he works with at a poker game that he "hasn't done the deed", his new friends make it their mission to get him laid.

The movie has its moments, but like the majority of the films that have come out this summer, it begins to lose steam near the end. The movie succeeds because of Steve Carrell, who should have a pretty good career lined up, if he doesn't screw it up somehow. He's already pegged to play Maxwell Smart in the Big Screen version of Get Smart, and recently signed up to star in the sequel to BRUCE ALMIGHTY, tentativly called EVAN ALMIGHTY.

40 Year Old Virgin - C

The Trailer for the first movie I'm looking forward to finally has a trailer. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is playing Truman Capote in a Biopic of Capote while he was writing IN COLD BLOOD. The cast is solid, and I thought I'd close the blog with a link to the trailer, so you can see the first nominee for this year's oscar's race in action.

Friday, August 19, 2005

In my neck of the woods, there is a

Local site that gives show times for all the theatres in town. It's easy enough to use, and I find it quite handy.

The site doesn't ask the theatre chains to advertise, it just lists the show times for the theatres, and it gets its advertising revenue in other ways. One of the major theatre chains got quite upset at this site, and asked that they stop using their logo on it. The situation got quite ugly, and finally the logo was removed under threat of legal action.

The theatre chain, which shall remain nameless, contended that this local site was taking traffic away from their official site, and stopping people from getting showtimes from there. They had spent a lot of time developing their website, and have advertising agreements with other venues as well. A site that gave away the information for FREE was bad.

Now, I'm not gonna take sides either way. I'm sure both sides have their reasons, and well, that's what freedom of thought etc. is all about. It does however have me want to ask a question. Since I've just learned HOW to do this, I think I'll make it a Poll...

So, here is the FIRST poll for my blog:

Where do you get your movie listings from?
Local Movie Times Website
Theatre Chains official website

Free polls from

This is totally unscientific, but it's a question I've been pondering lately.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

There have been some

interesting developments in Digital Cinema, and some things never change:

Hollywood's top film studios have agreed on a long-awaited and crucial technical standard that clears the way for a new era of digital film distribution. reached after three years of bitter wrangling within the film industry, marks a crucial milestone in the evolution of cinema from celluloid reels to high-definition digital movies that can be piped directly into theatres.The agreement sets uniform specifications for projectors that film theatres would use to show high-quality digital films in neighbourhood film theatres, allowing the new medium to flourish.

Ireland is set to become the world's first country to have digital film in every cinema.
All movie houses in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are to have their traditional 35mm film projectors replaced.
Irish movie lovers have the second highest level of cinema attendance in Europe.

In collaboration with Disney, Dolby Laboratories plans to install its Dolby Digital Cinema systems in approximately 100 specially-selected, high-profile theatres in 25 top markets that will present the 3D film Chicken Little to be released on November 4, 2005.

So, Hollywood has a TECHNICAL standard, Ireland is going digital, and Disney is installing digital projectors in specially selected theatres for a movie release.

There have been comments about how George Lucas has said he's a little disappointed in how Digital Cinema has been deployed. He was wishing more theatres would have been digital for the last Star Wars movies, and how there would have to be more theatres digital to make a 3D release of all 6 Star Wars movies viable. Hmm...

What does Disney have figured out, that Lucas didn't? If ANYONE in the industry could have pushed the envelope in regards to Digital Cinema, it would have been someone with the POWER to say to 20th Century Fox.. "Why don't WE figure out a way to help get theatres to go digital, so the most number of people can see them" Instead, Lucas decided to stay out of the debate, and let things develop slowly. He lost out as a result.

In the long run, Digital will be a cost savings for everyone.
Producing a print costs over $4,000 per print. Hollywood would SAVE a bundle..
Let's look at the Chicken Little project. Disney will save $400,000 on print costs.
Depending on what happens after the movie finishes playing (Will Disney and Dolby take away the projectors after the run?) Disney can save another $400 thousand dollars on subsequent releases, if they keep the digital theatres, and book more movies into them. 4 more movies over 2 years will save Disney.. Well, you get the idea.

This doesn't even start to cover the filmmakers that can't afford to shoot on film, and use video instead. Digital cinema will open doors to distribution that have never existed before, and bring product that wouldn't normally get to bee seen to the masses.

I'm excited over digital cinema for that reason alone.

Monday, August 15, 2005

2 months ago, I helped arrange

a screening of a movie for a group of friends. This tradition started new years eve, when I had arranged a screening of movie that hadn't opened in our area, and I felt a select few would enjoy. The movie at that time was MILLION DOLLAR BABY, and thus, the tradition of impromptu screenings was born.

This past while, the movie that we screened was BROKEN FLOWERS, and it got a good reception at the screening. Now that it's opened, I thought I'd go revisit it and see it with a paying audience.

The movie stars Bill Murray as Don Johnston (that's with a T), a guy who as the movie opens is being dumped by his latest girlfriend. He goes through the motions trying to beg her to stay, but you can see in his eyes that his heart really isn't in it, he's been down this road before. She leaves, and he just sits on his couch, watching TV, getting back into his life.
We don't know much about Don, just that he's made his money from working with computers. Strangely enough Don doesn't have a computer anywhere in his house. His next door neighbour and best friend Winston (played brilliantly by Jeffrey Wright) gives Don the occassional distant, safe glimpse into family life, which makes suits him fine.
One day, Don gets a letter informing him that he has a son, and that he may get a visit from him very soon. The letter is typed, and there is no return address on the envelope.

Winston, eyes the letter with great interest. He loves mystery novels, and sees the letter as a mystery to solve. Don sees the letter as a question he doesn't want the answer to, and a disruption to his comfortable lifestyle. Winston soon has Don make a list of girlfriends from that time. Winston takes the list, tracks the women down, and creates an itineray and tells Don to go visit each girl and talk to them. Don realizes that it would be easier to go, than argue with Winston. When Don does agree to go, we start see cracks in his front and begin to see what he's really feeling underneath.

The film is more about self-exploration than the trip itself. What gets me about the movie is how you never get any backstory about the characters, especially Don. There are questions: How did he get his money? what did he do to these women? how did he get the way he is? After about 10 minutes into the movie, you suddenly don't CARE about those questions, you just accept them. The past doesn't matter.

Its said that director Jim Jarmusch wrote this movie with Bill Murray in mind for the role. It was a perfect choice. Murray gives his best performance since Lost in Translation, and this should finally give him the Oscar he deserves. His performance is low key, and draws you in to the movie. The one scene that stands out in my mind, even after all this time is when Murray goes to a cemetary to visit the grave of one of the women, and suddenly, all the emotions he's kept in check all these years just wells up and finally comes to the surface. The shot of Murray, just sitting in the rain, having tears rolling down his face, along with the raindrops will be one of the most memorable movie scenes I'll remember from 2005.

Hollywood has shovelled out a lot of shit this year, and it gets tiring trying to slog through it all to find something that is worth seeing. BROKEN FLOWERS is the diamond in the mountain of shit, and is the only other movie since Crash that I feel I got my money's worth. Hunt this movie down, and see it.

Broken Flowers (A)