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Why can't a certain movie be an "Experience" in a theater? 
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Post Why can't a certain movie be an "Experience" in a theater?
So some critics, albeit a very small few, such as cook, are berating movies such as Gravity because too many people are describing it as a "thrill ride" that left them "on the edge of their seats." Most critics, such as James, claim it must be seen on the biggest screen possible in 3-D to "experience" it. Well, what is wrong with that? I was completely drained after Gravity, and came away thinking it was the best damn ride I've ever been on in a theater. So again, what is wrong with having certain movies that are meant to be exhausting "thrill rides?" Not every movie has to search for some truth of the human condition, although I can argue that Gravity's main character does just that, as she is fighting for her life. If I'm paying $15+ to see this movie, I want to be thrilled. I want to have fun, and be on the edge of my seat sometimes.

I just recently watched Mud, and it is probably my favorite movie of the year, but the experience of watching Gravity was just so much more. I wager that Mud gains or loses nothing from a 50 ft screen to my 50" samsung. Gravity, however, will lose something. The director wanted to wow, amaze, astonish, and thrill his audience in a certain way, and I'm glad that there are directors out there that still want to wow us at the theaters. And just because they want to do that, doesn't mean they are "selling out".


Fri Oct 11, 2013 3:56 pm
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Post Re: Why can't a certain movie be an "Experience" in a theater?
roastbeef_ajus wrote:
I want to have fun, and be on the edge of my seat sometimes.


I haven't seen anyone complaining about it being fun. It just wasn't very "fun" to me. It was boring at times. It never engaged me emotionally. The visuals were great, but the action scenes weren't. It's not pretentious to not like it if I just didn't find it fun.

And look, there's nothing wrong with it being an experience. Anyone who says otherwise is being silly. That being said, you have to understand (and accept) that some are going to call out the emptiness of something being just an experience if that's what we feel it is. To me, Gravity was no more than an IMAX-esque film with a light plot -- if I saw it in the middle of a day at a theme park I'd be massively impressed, but as a "real" movie experience, I was disappointed. I was never once "on the edge of my seat" -- I love movies that induce real suspense, but this didn't do it for me at all. If it did for you, great.

roastbeef_ajus wrote:
The director wanted to wow, amaze, astonish, and thrill his audience in a certain way, and I'm glad that there are directors out there that still want to wow us at the theaters. And just because they want to do that, doesn't mean they are "selling out".


That's fine that you feel that way, but you're kindof doing what you are getting upset about and applying your definition of those things to others. Gravity didn't wow me. Mud, Place Beyond the Pines, and Prisoners did.

I also very much disagree with your premise that those films lose nothing when seen on a small screen. Films that are more "quiet" benefit from being seen in a theater, I believe, because they can hold your attention and I believe that leads to wrapping up your emotions better, and the payoffs of those emotions can be more effective. I worked in a video store when Lost in Translation came out, and I recall many renters being disappointed -- perhaps, I think, because a film like that plays differently watched at a party with people talking and stuff than, say, Armageddon does. If you watch Gravity at home, you can text/eat/surf the web during certain sequences because it is indeed a ride with contained stops. As I've said, I think Gravity is worth seeing on the biggest screen possible, but I can't imagine ever wanting to watch it on a small screen.


Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:19 pm
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Post Re: Why can't a certain movie be an "Experience" in a theater?
Shade2 wrote:
That's fine that you feel that way, but you're kindof doing what you are getting upset about and applying your definition of those things to others. Gravity didn't wow me. Mud, Place Beyond the Pines, and Prisoners did.


I see what you are saying...you are wowed by different elements than me. As I said, I absolutely loved Mud, and liked Place Beyond The Pines (haven't seen Prisoners), but Gravity just hit a special note (on the Big Screen at least). It reminded me why I still go to the big screen for some movies. I first saw Mud this past week on my home TV, and I loved it. But seeing Gravity, an event film made to be seen on the biggest screen possible, just hit some special note inside of me.

I'm not saying at all that this is my favorite movie, or even my favorite space movie (as Apollo 13 is my benchmark, and has stood the test of time... I appreciate 2001, but I have yet to experience in 70mm how it was meant to be seen so I just can't comment on it). I can say emphatically, however, that Gravity is the best damn "experience/thrill ride" I have ever had in the theater, and I'm definitely OK with that.


Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:23 pm
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Post Re: Why can't a certain movie be an "Experience" in a theater?
Mistske


Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:56 am
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Post Re: Why can't a certain movie be an "Experience" in a theater?
Quote:
It reminded me why I still go to the big screen for some movies.


I like going to the theater too, but our grandkids may sneer at us one day. We are inevitably entering the age of home theater IMO. It's easy to spend almost nothing and have a great setup if you get creative. My spare parts home theater system cost me under $300 and the screen is 125 inches wide. Going to the theater is for me now little more than an obligation when I really want to see something and can't wait for the bluray. People romanticize "going to the movies" but forget that the current theater system has only been in place for about 20 years. The multiplex is very different from the standalone auditoriums, where the "habitual audience" went for the first 80 years of movies. I think the connection between that and Gravity's Imax 3D is feeble. We are way beyond the "Gone with the Wind" mentality of movie-going.

Personally, I'm more nostalgic about Blockbuster Video stores than I am about theaters. My entire childhood consisted of Friday night trips to the local Blockbuster to rent whatever VHS looked appealing (and later, DVD, etc.). That's how I became infatuated with movies. Not so much at the theater. As we all know, the Blockbuster days have been obsolete for a while, but I still hold to the ideal of having a movie night in your own home, with family and friends. But that's just me.


Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:05 pm
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Post Re: Why can't a certain movie be an "Experience" in a theater?
I miss Blockbuster too, there used to be over a dozen stores within a few miles from me and I used to go all the time, now there's only one store within driving distance and I haven't been there in quite some time, fortunately that one still seems to be doing good enough business(there also used to be several Hollywood Video stores near me, I was really sad when they went out of business). On the bright side, Family Video, the largest independently owned video store chain, is only increasing in business with each year, they've even taken over some former Hollywood Video locations. One of the good things about them is that they get new releases before Redbox. Personally I don't use Redbox as I never liked the idea of renting movies from a box, I prefer to actually have a face to face interaction with someone when renting something, plus they give you a lot of good deals(I.E. if you rent enough new releases, you get half off on all rentals for the next month) so it's actually cheaper then Redbox in the long run.


Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Why can't a certain movie be an "Experience" in a theater?
I think the future of cinema is to break into more and more niches. There's just been too much of a divide recently between different kinds of movies. I could easily see theorists/critics 10 years from now, or less, saying that cinema itself has branched off again from its trunk. Frankly, I don't think Gravity belongs to the same art form as Prisoners. Any more than Lawrence of Arabia and Seinfeld are the same art form.


Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:52 pm
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