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June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary" 
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Post June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
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Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:35 pm
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Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
The last film I remember being so stoked about seeing that the day that it came out felt like Christmas was The Dark Knight, I remember waking up that day knowing that no matter what I had to see it. I went by myself (I didn't even bother asking around to see if anyone would join me) at 1 in the afternoon to go see it even though I knew I had work at 4 and that going to see it at 1 would make me late. I was 30 minutes late to work, and couldn't have cared less. Just seeing that film that day was amazing for me, the theater was full of fellow geeks who were playing hooky from work to be some of the first to see it, a great crowd to watch with. That was probably the last truly extraordinary film-going experience I had.


Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:52 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
Personally i'm not really that big of a Star Wars fan, I mean I like the films but I definitely wouldn't call them masterpieces. Now to answer your question, yes I still do find going to the theater to be a unique experience(though there are some films that I see more as a means of killing time, like Killers, Date Night, and THe Bounty Hunter, though I usually end up enjoying the film anyways so that's not a bad thing), I see films in theaters because I WANT to see them that way, not because it's a "habit" There is always the option of using one of the many movie streaming sites that allow you to watch the latest films online for free, that's one thing i'm surprised you didn't discuss, though that's something I rarely do as somehow it takes away from the experience for watching a film in a theater(I only once watched a film online on one of those sites this year, the film being Repo Men and I only did that because the film was gone from every theater near me before I had a chance to see it, and I didn't like waiting 5 months for the DVD) I'm genuinely excited about seeing the films you mentioned this year(though with Toy Story 3 i'll probably end up waiting til DVD, mainly because i'd prefer not to see it in 3-D and also to avoid the likelyhood a theater full of screaming kids) Inception is the only film this summer i'm not sure about it, and that's mainly becuase I find Christopher Nolan to be a somewhat overrated director(I didn't care ofr Memento at all and while I did love Dark Knight, I wouldn't exactly call it a masterpiece), so just having a film with Nolan's name on it isn't enough to completely sell me on it(don't get me wrong the premise does sound exciting, but I still cna't hlep but be wary of the film) Also your comments about the celebrities peronsal lives or whether their "relevant" is sort of odd, I mean are people REALLY going to avoid seeing a film just because of a certain actors or actresses public image? I certianly won't, i'm glad to see Jolie and Cruise doing action again, I don't give a rat's ass about their image and I highly doubt it will make a big difference in ticket sales(Cruise is even slated to star in a fourth Mission Impossible film, so apparently his public antics weren't nearly as much of a setback as everyone thought they were) Also 3 other summer films i'm excited to see that you didn't mention are Middle Men, Takers, and The Other Guys. I actually think of the BEST summers for moviegoing so far(though Jonah Hex isn't really catching my attention, Megan Fox alone isn't enough to get me to see it)


Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:15 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
Then again, all it takes is a good **** to wipe away the pessimism.

- - - -

Wow, James, way to get raunchy! ;) But it's so true . . . nothing like a good **** to elevate the endorphine count ;)


Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:24 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
I don't know..obviously expectations vary widely and are very subjective, but just last winter, I (and many others) were breathtakingly waiting for Avatar. I really don't think I was alone in this sentiment and it completely delivered in pretty much every way. It was the first movie since my youth that I went to twice (and not because I had to.)

I think there is somewhat of an "Avatar effect". At least for me, it was movie making on such a higher level that everything else so far has just kind of left a "meh" feeling in my throat as far as anticipation goes. Inception does look very promising though...


Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:45 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
For me it was th eopposite with Avatar, all the hype behind that iflm actually amde me want to see it less rather then more, it was just one of those films that I got really tired of hearing about, so I had no desire whatsoever to see it in 3-D, and when i finally did see recently on DVD, I didn't see it as even close to being a 4 star film, I personally thought Cameron became so focused on making the visuals breathtaking that he didn't put the same effort into the story, and for me the visual splendor wore off after awhile, it takes more then fancy visual effects to blow my mind. Don't get me wrong i'm not saying Avatar is a bad film, I think it's a pretty good film that's let down by a not-so-great story, some weak dialogue and a slightly overdone (not to mention unnecssary)environmental message. I personally don't really see how Avatar was THE motion picture event of the decade like everyone made it out to be, when you take out the so-called "lifelike" 3-D, then Avatar isn't really all that different from other blockbusters IMO-in fact if the film wasn't made with 3-D, then I don't think it would be quite so critically acclaimed or have done as well at the box-office.


Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:14 pm
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Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
Vexer wrote:
For me it was th eopposite with Avatar, all the hype behind that iflm actually amde me want to see it less rather then more, it was just one of those films that I got really tired of hearing about, so I had no desire whatsoever to see it in 3-D, and when i finally did see recently on DVD, I didn't see it as even close to being a 4 star film, I personally thought Cameron became so focused on making the visuals breathtaking that he didn't put the same effort into the story, and for me the visual splendor wore off after awhile, it takes more then fancy visual effects to blow my mind. Don't get me wrong i'm not saying Avatar is a bad film, I think it's a pretty good film that's let down by a not-so-great story, some weak dialogue and a slightly overdone (not to mention unnecssary)environmental message. I personally don't really see how Avatar was THE motion picture event of the decade like everyone made it out to be, when you take out the so-called "lifelike" 3-D, then Avatar isn't really all that different from other blockbusters IMO-in fact if the film wasn't made with 3-D, then I don't think it would be quite so critically acclaimed or have done as well at the box-office.



My opinion nearly word for word. Thanks, Vexer. Both of us can agree that the gimmick was the visuals and 3D. Take away both things and this film is virtually nothing.


Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:44 pm
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Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
I actually kind of have been counting the days for Inception. The last time I was really anticipating a movie was probably Shutter Island. I saw it immediatly after I got out of class. I do believe the **** will be coming July 16th however.


Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:21 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
Vexer wrote:
For me it was th eopposite with Avatar, all the hype behind that iflm actually amde me want to see it less rather then more, it was just one of those films that I got really tired of hearing about, so I had no desire whatsoever to see it in 3-D, and when i finally did see recently on DVD, I didn't see it as even close to being a 4 star film, I personally thought Cameron became so focused on making the visuals breathtaking that he didn't put the same effort into the story, and for me the visual splendor wore off after awhile, it takes more then fancy visual effects to blow my mind. Don't get me wrong i'm not saying Avatar is a bad film, I think it's a pretty good film that's let down by a not-so-great story, some weak dialogue and a slightly overdone (not to mention unnecssary)environmental message. I personally don't really see how Avatar was THE motion picture event of the decade like everyone made it out to be, when you take out the so-called "lifelike" 3-D, then Avatar isn't really all that different from other blockbusters IMO-in fact if the film wasn't made with 3-D, then I don't think it would be quite so critically acclaimed or have done as well at the box-office.


Sigh, now I'm the only person in this board who hasn't seen Avatar.


Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:24 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
Patrick wrote:
Vexer wrote:
For me it was th eopposite with Avatar, all the hype behind that iflm actually amde me want to see it less rather then more, it was just one of those films that I got really tired of hearing about, so I had no desire whatsoever to see it in 3-D, and when i finally did see recently on DVD, I didn't see it as even close to being a 4 star film, I personally thought Cameron became so focused on making the visuals breathtaking that he didn't put the same effort into the story, and for me the visual splendor wore off after awhile, it takes more then fancy visual effects to blow my mind. Don't get me wrong i'm not saying Avatar is a bad film, I think it's a pretty good film that's let down by a not-so-great story, some weak dialogue and a slightly overdone (not to mention unnecssary)environmental message. I personally don't really see how Avatar was THE motion picture event of the decade like everyone made it out to be, when you take out the so-called "lifelike" 3-D, then Avatar isn't really all that different from other blockbusters IMO-in fact if the film wasn't made with 3-D, then I don't think it would be quite so critically acclaimed or have done as well at the box-office.


Sigh, now I'm the only person in this board who hasn't seen Avatar.


That's not completely true: I've only seen the first hour of Avatar. Once the "tree spirit" or whatever it may have been landed on the blue woman-creature's mecha-bow-n'-arrow I checked out of that incredibly uninteresting movie. That a movie costing somewhere around $500 million used the same tactics of Patch Adams is totally unacceptable.


Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:53 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
You ask, James, if there are any films out there today who can inspire awe just with their anticipation, in the same that "Star Wars" films (both good and bad) have done. I can think of three possibilities.

1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Huge blockbusters, beloved by my generation, I still think they fall short of the original Star Wars achievement (not by filmmaking standards, of course, but in terms of the excitement surrounding them). You lived through both the Star Wars phenomenon and the LOTR one, so you're better equipped to provide comparative commentary here.

2. The Dark Knight, I would argue, inspired more anticipation and awe for movie-goers today than any other film of my 20-year+ lifetime. It is the only film of my lifetime that not only provoked a lot of hype (Phantom Menace is the only other one I can think of that sold out theaters weeks before release), but - judging by audience reactions - delivered as well. Never have I heard so many people walk out of a theater saying "wow" and then go see it again and again. It may have been the richest movie-going experience of my own life. Yes, the passage of a few years has hardened me against some of the film's less readily-apparent flaws (when will Nolan learn to coherently film a shot?), but the euphoria of that opening night experience is a beautiful memory nonetheless.

3. Avatar inspired less anticipation than either of the other two options, and less ebullient reviews - except from a few die-hards like my own father, who was my age in 1977, and called his Avatar experience "the most fun I've had in a theater since the first time I saw Star Wars." I didn't really care for the film; I put it here on the basis of my old man's word - and the box office's.

I'm just offering my best guesses on behalf of my generation (I think The Dark Knight comes closest). Once again, James, you lived through all these phenomena in addition to the original Star Wars one. Do you think any of these come close to measuring up?


Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:05 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
I think the posters who mentioned Avatar may have a point - the potential summer blockbuster of 2010 was already released in winter 2009.

Another reason may be that this is a World Cup year. Of course, the (soccer) football world cup will not affect audiences in the US much, but most blockbusters are supposed to make good money overseas as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the international (at least the European) audience for movies is significantly smaller throughout the month of World Cup 2010 than usual.

Or this may simply be a "bad" year. Even the arthouse films at Cannes 2010 don't seem to have the prestige of last year's entries.


Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:44 am
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
I still get excited by a lot of summer blockbusters, if it's something i'm looking forward to then i'll try to avoid any reviews, cover stories or trailers (that give away 3 quarters of the film) before i see it so i don't know what to expect. I hate waiting 12 months in anticipation of the next bond movie (after loving casino royale) only for someone whose opinion i trust to just tell me it's crap before i see it.

I agree on Avatar and TDK, i'd never seen a 3D film at the cinema before and remember being hugely impressed just by a shot of jack daniels being poured above me, from that moment i new i was in for something special.

Looking at the list of films out this summer Inception definitely catches the eye, i mean look at that cast! Dicaprio, Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Cillian Murphy, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard. As for the others i'm hoping Predators isn't a let down, the original may not be as good as Alien or Aliens but it's up there for entertainment value. And i'm interested in what Edgar Wright can do with a comic book movie in Scott Pilgrim.


Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:03 am
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
Quote:
When was the last time you counted down the days to the opening of a movie? How long since you woke up on an opening day with a slightly elevated heart rate?


Easy--Dark Knight. I worked 8-5 opening day, so my brother and I got imax tickets for something like 8pm. The movie of course was awesome, but also the crowd was amazing. Best moment: when Gordon reappeared, the audience went nuts. Runner-up: I think someone actually spontaneously screamed something like "no, you bastard!" when Batman shows up at the wrong warehouse. Since Return of the King, I only remember an audience applauding at the end three times: Avatar (all three times I saw it actually), Star Trek, and Dark Knight.

I should mention that while I was too nervous that Star Trek would be bad to count down the days, I did have that elevated heart rate once I bought a ticket on opening weekend. And it ended up being some of the most fun I've ever had in a theater. Everyone of course lost their minds (and I'm sure teared up) when old Spock showed up, but it was also a geeky enough audience to cheer at Kirk chomping on an apple during the Kobayashi Maru. Which was awesome.


Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:48 am
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
"the Iron Man sequel, a new take on Robin Hood, a fourth Shrek, a return engagement for the Sex and the City harpies."

I haven't seen any of these. I saw Splice last weekend, before that? I don't remember. Kick Ass? I really enjoyed that.

Just so very little has excited me. So I've been renting mediocre movies, and having fun starting up Dexter, and now True Blood Season 2. Maybe I'm trust the critics too much. I see their disappointment at the movies and I stay away. I look to the art theaters, and right now there's not much that intrigues me. What to do? Wait I guess. Inception is a must see.

In comparison, last year at this point I'd probably seen a movie 9 out of 10 weekends.

I liked Iron Man, but nothing has made me really want to see Iron Man 2. Maybe I'm tired of super heroes. Kick Ass worked. But the current Marvel movies are as dry as their bad comic years.

Jonah Hex looks entertaining, but I have a feeling I won't see it. At least, not until video. Last Airbender will depend on reviews, but I'm a fan of Mr. M Night, so I will more than likely see it.


Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:10 am
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
The Matrix is a movie I feel like I "discovered". Didn't know anything about it previously. Missed it in theaters. But I was blown away on my first viewing. My anticipation level for the first sequel was extremely high. I couldn't wait to see where they took the story. Then, of course, we found out. My excitement level for the 3rd film was almost nonexistent.

They can't all be winners, but if Reloaded (stupid title) had been up to the level of the first film, I think anticipation for Revolutions would've taken on insane proportions.

For the record, the last film I just could not wait to see was ROTK. It was one of those where I tried to live safer and healthier for a short period in 2003 because I couldn't risk the chance of dying before I viewed it.


Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:15 pm
Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
I just turned 18 two weeks ago, and I can definitively say that, in my life, only two movie had me waiting in anticipation. The first was released in 2006, and I remember shaking in my seat as I watched the endless trailers...I was "just" 14 years old. The movie's title was Eragon; and it was a HUGE disappointment. I was completly in love with the books, and the movie was just so damn bad ! It was frustrating.

The second movie was released in theaters not even a year ago and, before September 2010, I had not even heard of it. But then I watched the trailer...and I just fell in love with Pandora. It was simply too beautiful to be real. I mean...I have no words to express that feeling. As Mr Berardinelli said in his post, it was an experience that you had to live first-handed. And then, when I finally saw the movie, I was blown away (I saw it twice in theaters, once in Imax 3D and once in Digital non-Imax 3D). I knew at that moment that history was written. Never before had there been a movie like that, and, just as it happended with Star Wars, I think it will never be matched. Sure, there will be a lot of 3D movies released in the next years, but none will be able to match Avatar. Even if there is a sequel, the feeling of being part of something "new" will be gone. Why ? Simply because when it will go out in theaters, hundreds of 3D movies will have passed in-between, and it will have become the "norm". And, to be honest, I find that sad. How Hollywood will turn something so unique into something ordinary.

In my opinion, only the best should be allowed to touch 3D, so as not to spoil it. Ridley Scott, James Cameron, Steven Speilberg, Peter Jackson and Michael Bay (who is the BEST action movie director, in terms of action, not for the story) to name but a few.
And, most importantly, only the RIGHT movies should be turned in 3D. I will not EVER want to see a comedy in 3D, it dosen't have its place there.
Finally, 3D conversion should only be permitted if done by the best aforementionned, and only if they were part of the original movie.
That is why I think contributed to a medium box office revenue for Clash of the Titans and what will also be the case with The Twilight Saga Eclipse.

So that is my opinion on the matter, if anyone wants to reply to me, feel free to do so, after all, this is a forum !
al360ex


Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:03 pm
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Post First Star Wars memory
I was born in '73, making me four when Star Was first came out in '77, too young to see it. Somewhere in between there and the '79 re-release, I was standing at the counter of Consumer's Distributing in Brockville, Ontario, with my parents who were picking something out of the catalogue. On the counter was a display box of of Star Wars action figures - Stormtroopers, to be precise. Here began my lifelong affinity for these movies and my childhood facination with the toys. I couldn't wait to go to the re-release in '79, so I could see the Stormtrooper for real. For the longest time, I thought the o|| marking on their back said "oil", and that they were robots who needed thorough lubrication :)

As a 7 year old in 1980, I wasn't struck on Empire. A little dark and scary, and I remember my mom talking with a friend about whether or not I could handle the "Adult Accompaniment" rating. I believe I saw it that summer, in BC, on vacation. I got Boba Fett via mail order, after sending in a number of Cheerios proofs-of-purchase.

I loved Jedi in '83. A lot of hype for this one... I remember being in a mall somewhere in the spring before it came out... I think they had people in costume giving away promo materials. As an adult, my preference has reversed, although I definitely don't loath Jedi like some people. Ewoks are ok in my book.

The new movies, while I have watched them several times, do not have any emotional connection for me, and while technically well done, the acting and dialog were terrrible. If I had seen these movies as a child, I suppose my impression would be different, but I still don't think they would have the magic of the originals.

Anyhow, that's my Star Wars story, like many others' I'm sure. As for recent film anticipation, I initially had it for the last Indiana Jones, however it foundered when I heard the plot, sunk when I heard the reviews, and imploded when I saw the movie.


Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:08 pm
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Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
Just as an FYI... I specifically concentrated on summer releases in the ReelThought, which is why there is no mention of LOTR or AVATAR. For the record, the closest anything has come since 1977 to achieving the "STAR WARS feeling" was probably LOTR. Personally, I was as excited about STAR TREKS II, III, and IV as about any movies I have ever seen, but those were more "personal" (as opposed to "universal") feelings. An upcoming ReelThought will deal with the peculiarities of being a fan (of any movie franchise).


Wed Jun 16, 2010 2:25 pm
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Post Re: June 15, 2010: "When the Extraordinary Becomes Ordinary"
Star Wars The Phantom Menace definitely had that great anticipation for me for a summer blockbuster. And I was only a mild-star wars geek. Otherwise, I'm having a hard time thinking of them, other than LOTR, and to an extent Avatar. I had a lot for Watchmen, even though I had never read the comic, I just knew how great it was supposed to be, and how some close to the project said it was going to do the comic great justice.

I'm going to have to think more on this. Now I need to find a list of summer blockbusters and see if any count ;)


Thu Jun 17, 2010 11:16 am
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