Sunday, October 23, 2005

Research shows that

Video Games make more money these days than movies. So, in a move that makes sense to someone in the Studio Chain, they want to tap into that market, and make movies based on them. For some strange reason, they think people will want to stop playing their games, and go see a movie BASED on the game they want to lure these people away from playing for 2 hours.

Let's suppose that the people playing the game can borrow their parent's car (or GET their parents to lend them the 10 bucks to go to a a movie and drop them off at the theatre), and remember how to get out of their parent's basement to actually FIND outside. What do they do when they get to the theatre? They aren't going to learn any Top Secret "exclusive moves to blast away aliens" or such. They'll sit wishing they were back playing the game.

And the other people that actually HAVE jobs, and don't have time for Video Games in their lives, what with knowing the secrets and pleasures of "outdoors"? Well they won't care about the movie.

DOOM will be Number one at the Box Office this weekend. I know this, and yet it doesn't change my opinion. Video Games are Interactive. Movies about video games aren't. The core audience eventually will realize that they could be at home BLASTING aliens, instead of watching other people blast them.

Or, maybe it will be a way to coax the gamers Outside and meet others of their kind.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

I have to admit I never was

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER fan, I just couldn't get into it. However I do know people that watched the show religiously, and think that writer JOSS WHEDON is something of a genius.

So, most everyone I know was anxiously awaiting SERENITY, Whedon's big screen debut. I was busy the week that it came out, and couldn't make the group outing to see it. So, last night, driving home from my parents place, I decided on a whim to do 2 things... purchase a plunger, and finally go see SERENITY. I got my ticket, and walked into the small auditorium, which was 2 thirds... FULL

Fans of science fiction and fantasy are a special breed. They are, if anything, devoted to whichever writer/director they fancy. I got my seat, and tried to get comfortable. Then I listened to the conversations around me. I'm pretty sure I got enough of the backstory and Bios of all the characters in the movie that way. I gather that the major characters were from a short-lived television show, which put me at a disadvantage right away, since I had not seen this TV show.

The movie started, and there I sat. I stared at the screen, and tried to get absorbed into the story, which appeared to be about a crew of a ship named SERENITY.. whos crew was protecting their doctor and his traumatized sister from the alliance (whatever that is.. I think it's an offshoot of the Empire from Star Wars.) These "Rebels" are trying to find jobs, while the Alliance is looking for this traumatized girl. That's what I gathered, anyway.

I did notice a few things:

1) I saw a coffee maker in Serenity's dining room/kitchen that is an F.A. Porsche Design coffee maker made by Bosch

2) The first scene in the movie looks like a single camera move that moves through various locations in the ship. The whole "shot" must have lasted at least 4 minutes. This in fact had to have been 2 shots, since I think I saw a quick transition when someone was walking down some stairs, and the camera turned to show someone following him. I don't know for sure.

I just couldn't get into the movie. Everyone around me was laughing, but then again they already had a connection in some way to the characters via the TV show. I sat there, and I felt like I was missing listening to a lot of in jokes, and wasn't a part of it. After 70 minutes, I couldn't connect with the movie, and finally did something I haven't done in quite a while. I went to get some popcorn, and never went back in to the theatre. I walked past the popcorn stand, and straight to my car, and drove home.

Did I waste my money? Not really. In my mind, I went to see something that I wasn't sure I was my cup of tea, discovered it wasn't, and decided to leave. If I felt any connection to the movie, or sympathy towards the characters, I would have at least stayed to see the outcome.

Last night, I felt like I was invited to a party where I knew no one. Everyone else was enjoying the party, but I decided it was prudent that I leave, because I just wasn't having a good time. No harm, no foul.

Have you ever walked out of a movie? If so which one, and why?

Sunday, October 09, 2005

I have discovered that

during a film festival, time goes by quickly. Between work, and then heading to movies, you run out of time for other things, like.. blog entries. For the duration of the Calgary film fest, My life consisted of: getting up, going to work, seeing 3 movies, and repeat. In total I saw 22 movies, and after the first 15 or so, they begin to blur together. Next year, I'll be more prepared, and bring a notepad.

Some of the movies I saw were short features, and I did try to see films from different countries, but a preference was given to Canadian features. The one Canadian movie that did stand out was EVE AND THE FIREHORSE, which also won the award for Best First Canadian Feature at the Festival.

There were others... CAPOTE was everything I dreamt it would be, and more.. I'm thinking this year the Best Actor Oscar is between Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Bill Murray (so far).

Ingmar Bergman's latest movie.. SARABAND was also a standout for me.

There was also a film shown from Singapore called 15 (Shiwu). It is the first work by Royston Tan and explores the adolescent world in a way that is dramatically marked with shots of a conflicted subculture and how a teenage boy can fall into a complete addiction to video clips and videogame aesthetics. 15 showed a side of Singapore most people never see. The visually dramatic film gives a haunting look into the lives of these five teenagers and emphasizes how people on the fringes of society desire the same love and companionship as anyone else. The boys of 15 only have each other, and their friendship is enough to get them through.

The Closing Gala was Beowulf & Grendel, a film by director Sturla Gunnarsson, had one of the more lively Q&As I saw all Festival

I learned a lot from this Film Festival, and next year I'll plan more carefully. A Notepad is a MUST, and I'll go for QUALITY, not QUANTITY, because I also learned that your bum gets quite numb after the 13th or so film.