ENJOY THE SHOW
I finally went to see Pixar's Up in 3D on the eve of the release of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. I knew that the latter movie was going to take over most of the 3D screens in my area, so it seemed this might be my last chance to catch the Pixar film in the heightened format. Why had I waited so long in the first place? Well, besides being a chronic procrastinator, I was still attempting to introduce some friends to digital 3D, and I was waiting for them to come around in order to see it with them. Unfortunately, a lot of people, including many I'm acquainted with, continue to have no interest in this 3D "fad" as it's being called.
And another one down for Terry Gilliam. The overly ambitious and terribly unlucky filmmaker has told the fansite Dreams that yet another of his projects is going in the trash bin. Zero Theorem was the title of the project, a science fiction film supposedly about a reclusive and tortured data processing genius working on a mysterious project. The last we heard it was due to begin filming this year with Billy Bob Thornton set to star. But apparently due to all the extra work and publicity put into Gilliam's latest, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the project got delayed and eventually had to be scrapped in the end. Very sad news.
After residing at Warner Brothers for nearly nine years and feeling like "part of a family" there for "almost 20," George Clooney is moving over to Sony Pictures with his producing partner (and co-screenwriter on Good Night, and Good Luck) Grant Heslov. The duo's company, Smokehouse Pictures is has signed a two-year deal with Sony Pictures (as first announced by Deadline Hollywood), the very same studio that last week shocked the industry by abruptly dumping the baseball movie Moneyball, which was to be directed by Clooney's former Section 8 partner, Steven Soderbergh, and was going to star Clooney's buddy Brad Pitt.
Expect long lines at your local box office this week thanks to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Public Enemies, and Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. But remember you can always avoid the long line at the ticket booth by buying your tickets at a ticket kiosk instead. No, you don't have to have already purchased your tickets online. As long as you have a debit or credit card, you can just walk up to a kiosk and get your tickets easily and quickly. Plus, you avoid at least one impolite theater employee. Certainly this isn't a new concept, and you're probably reading this and wanting to comment with something like, "how is this news?"
TV and film icon and 1970's sex symbol Farrah Fawcett died at the age of 62 this morning in a Santa Monica hospital after a brave and public battle with anal cancer as reported by the Associated Press. Fawcett was first diagnosed with the disease in 2006, but she temporarily beat the cancer through chemotherapy and surgery before being re-diagnosed in 2007, at which time she began documenting her life and condition. When things got much worse two months ago, and the media and rumors got out of hand, the footage she had shot over the past three years was aired on NBC as part of the feature documentary Farrah's Story.
People are so noisy and disrespectful at the movies. Often I find myself trying to enjoy a good comedy, and the audience goes and ruins it by laughing out loud, causing me to miss whatever dialogue follows a joke or bit of slapstick. Who knows if I've missed an important line of exposition or a successive joke because of these rude outbursts? It's no wonder that I tend to wait for comedies to hit DVD, when I can watch them in the privacy of my own home and hear every bit of it over my light guffawing. Obviously I'm kidding… mostly. Although I've never been a loud laugher, I appreciate the sound of a crowd in amusement.
As much as I enjoyed Terminator Salvation for what it is, I left the movie theater thinking I'd never have reason to watch it again. But I was wrong. Last week, while visiting my grandmother in Arizona, I felt compelled to revisit the relatively disappointing yet sufficiently entertaining sequel when I drove out to the Ultrastar Cinemas Surprise Pointe 14 movie theater in Surprise, AZ, for a first-hand trial of the new D-Box motion seats. I previously wrote about these fun auditorium furnishings a couple months ago in a column about cinema gimmicks, but I just had to experience the seats for myself. And how was the experience?
Master filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard is still hard at work even at 78 years old. The French filmmaker is planning to adapt Daniel Mendelsohn's best-selling Holocaust book The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, according to Hollywood Reporter. Not quite a memoir so much as a first-person investigatory work, The Lost involves Mendelsohn's present-day search for information on what happened to his relatives who remained in Poland during World War II. The adaptation would likely be the French auteur's next picture, once he completes the political film Le socialisme, which had been rumored to be his last film.
When it comes to certain problems at the cinema, we can easily and concretely put the blame on the movie theater staff (be they managers or projectionists). But some issues affecting the business of moviegoing are not so clear-cut when it comes to determining who is at fault. Sure, for the most part we can complain to and criticize the managers for anything that ruins our experience. However, the lack of definite rules and etiquette combined with the ever-increasing amount of inconsiderate and ignorant people going to the movies makes it difficult for us to wholly condemn the theater for every problem we may encounter there.
If you're familiar with the work of Chilean filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (Fando y Lis, El Topo, The Holy Mountain), you might wonder how he'd fit in with modern cinema. He's something of a relic, from a great time when someone like Luis Bunuel could regularly garner Oscar nominations, and when former Beatles (and their wives) had their hands in producing art films. Today, however, John Lennon is no longer around to champion Jodorowsky, and the shocking surrealist has lost his placement in between Bunuel and Pier Paolo Pasolini in terms of contemporary relevance. Now he's set to make his triumphant return.
Danish filmmaker Ole Bornedal is no stranger to Hollywood. Thirteen years ago he remade his own horror film Nightwatch for Dimension Films, and that same year he was a producer on Guillermo del Toro's Mimic. But he didn't stick around much after 1997, returning instead to Europe to make the multinational English-language feature I Am Dina and more Danish films like The Substitute. Now he's finally returning to American cinema for an adaptation of Dean Koontz's 2006 thriller novel The Husband (via Variety), the plot of which seems on the surface to be your everyday, run of the mill kidnap/ransom story (but isn't).
In latest week's column, I took a break from my usual complaints about movie theater operations in order to take a jab at the audience. But I meant not to appear apologetic of projectionists or to come off so passive regarding projection snafus. Despite my amusement with the way moviegoers react in certain situations, I definitely never consider it a moviegoer's fault for how long it takes for a problem to be remedied, and I definitely don't consider it a moviegoer's responsibility to take charge of these situations. While I may have in the past declared poor customer service to be the biggest problem in the movie theater industry