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December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment" 
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Ken wrote:
It's not the superhero movies themselves that I mind. I dislike the sense that Marvel Studios has a laundry list of movies to make and that they're cranking them out in the same assembly line fashion as many of their struggling monthly publications. It seems to me that a big-budget movie is their chance to get these characters out of that ghetto of perfunctory storytelling and production. But then you run into the problem of high-risk, which isn't nearly as much of a drag on comics as it is on movies.


Marvel has always sucked compared to DC ;)


Sun Dec 18, 2011 10:53 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Firedrake wrote:
To my perception, sound mixing has been very sloppy in the last decade or so - voices are far back, music and SFX come to the front. I switched from cinemas to DVD because cinemas were always so loud... but even that doesn't fix a bad mix. (Stereo is usually better than 5+1 for this.)


I think it was part of the "art" of Social Network. At least I hope it was, cause if the opening sequence and the club sequence weren't done on purpose, someone needs a serious ass kicking.

Either way, it was so annoying to try to follow...


Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:00 pm
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
johnny larue wrote:
[...]
and at a screening of Pirates of the Carribean (part 3) with a majority of suburban white kids where little kids brought in kept moving around the theater and the ambient light from cell phones texting was quite distracting. Cinema rudeness knows no ethnic or economical boundaries, it would seem.


It's really bad, especially if there's a popular movie geared towards the younger crowd (a la the atrocious Alvin and the Chipmunks movies and The Muppets). The first few days of The Muppets opening, it seemed like all the families were well-behaved. Then after Thanksgiving, all bets were off.

Parents should really put some thought whenever they bring in kids younger than 10 to see a movie. Bringing in babies and 2-3 year olds are asking for trouble, since the last thing they want to do is stay put and be quiet. I don't care if you have to pay a babysitter or have a grandparent watch them, don't bring your kids to the theater if they can't behave themselves. Use Netflix and Redbox for your younger kids, because that way they watch it at home and do whatever they want without disturbing other customers. (I know my parents did that with me and my brother until we were old enough to behave ourselves.)


Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:29 am
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
MPC wrote:
johnny larue wrote:
[...]
and at a screening of Pirates of the Carribean (part 3) with a majority of suburban white kids where little kids brought in kept moving around the theater and the ambient light from cell phones texting was quite distracting. Cinema rudeness knows no ethnic or economical boundaries, it would seem.


It's really bad, especially if there's a popular movie geared towards the younger crowd (a la the atrocious Alvin and the Chipmunks movies and The Muppets). The first few days of The Muppets opening, it seemed like all the families were well-behaved. Then after Thanksgiving, all bets were off.

Parents should really put some thought whenever they bring in kids younger than 10 to see a movie. Bringing in babies and 2-3 year olds are asking for trouble, since the last thing they want to do is stay put and be quiet. I don't care if you have to pay a babysitter or have a grandparent watch them, don't bring your kids to the theater if they can't behave themselves. Use Netflix and Redbox for your younger kids, because that way they watch it at home and do whatever they want without disturbing other customers. (I know my parents did that with me and my brother until we were old enough to behave ourselves.)


I think its unfair of you to suggest (or have an expectation) that parents not bring their kids to the movies. Think about it. The muppets are for kids. Yes there is a fair amount of nostalgia, but more often than not its parents taking their kids to show them a movie they love. Also understand that there are large marketing campaigns and millions spent on getting not only the kids to want to see the movie, but that they are going to bug the crap out of their parents to get them to go. Do you really think I wanted to go see happy feet 2?

I took my son to see all kinds of movies this summer at 3.5 and while he got antsy at times all he could talk about was going to the movies, talking to us about the movies we took him to, and seeing previews and asking to go see other movies. This included non age appropriate movies like planet of the apes, captain america, and transformers. So dont begrudge a parent wanting to take their kids to a movie, and lower your expectation of parents disciplining/watching their kids.


Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:32 am
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Pig wrote:
So dont begrudge a parent wanting to take their kids to a movie, and lower your expectation of parents disciplining/watching their kids.


I draw a firm line right in the middle of your statement. I'm paying $10 to see a movie and I expect to be able to enjoy it without being disturbed by other patrons. Don't care whether it's someone with a bad cough who sounds like he's going to die, someone with horrible bad breath sitting next to me, the kid in front of me texting, or a child who is acting up. Doesn't matter what the movie is and whether it's a G-rated "kid's movie" or an R-rated "adult movie."

HOWEVER, if a child is well-behaved and can sit through the entire movie without fidgeting to the point where I notice it or if the parent is attentive and removes the child when he/she becomes disruptive, then I'm okay with the infant/toddler/pre-schooler being there.

Usually, it's the selfishness of the parent that results in a problem with a child. Either because the parent couldn't/wouldn't find a babysitter and brought the child because the parent wants to see the movie, or because the parent wants to see what happens and keeps trying ineffectively to "shush" the child. Have some consideration for the others in the movie theater.

Some theaters have a "young children's matinee" that is designed specifically for parents with young children. If you walk into one of those, I would agree that you assume all the risk.

I do not intend to take my son to a theater until he's about six years old and/or able to sit still for the duration and behave himself. I will also only take him to a movie I have previously seen so that, if he becomes problematic, I can remove him immediately without having to worry about missing the rest of the movie myself.


Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:02 pm
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
James Berardinelli wrote:
Pig wrote:
So dont begrudge a parent wanting to take their kids to a movie, and lower your expectation of parents disciplining/watching their kids.


I draw a firm line right in the middle of your statement. I'm paying $10 to see a movie and I expect to be able to enjoy it without being disturbed by other patrons. Don't care whether it's someone with a bad cough who sounds like he's going to die, someone with horrible bad breath sitting next to me, the kid in front of me texting, or a child who is acting up. Doesn't matter what the movie is and whether it's a G-rated "kid's movie" or an R-rated "adult movie."

HOWEVER, if a child is well-behaved and can sit through the entire movie without fidgeting to the point where I notice it or if the parent is attentive and removes the child when he/she becomes disruptive, then I'm okay with the infant/toddler/pre-schooler being there.

Usually, it's the selfishness of the parent that results in a problem with a child. Either because the parent couldn't/wouldn't find a babysitter and brought the child because the parent wants to see the movie, or because the parent wants to see what happens and keeps trying ineffectively to "shush" the child. Have some consideration for the others in the movie theater.

Some theaters have a "young children's matinee" that is designed specifically for parents with young children. If you walk into one of those, I would agree that you assume all the risk.

I do not intend to take my son to a theater until he's about six years old and/or able to sit still for the duration and behave himself. I will also only take him to a movie I have previously seen so that, if he becomes problematic, I can remove him immediately without having to worry about missing the rest of the movie myself.



Berardinelli for President! ;) Took our 6yo to his first movie... Fantastic Mr Fox. He loved it and was good throughout...


Mon Dec 19, 2011 3:34 pm
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Quote:
do not intend to take my son to a theater until he's about six years old and/or able to sit still for the duration and behave himself.


ha, good luck with that. be sure to youtube you telling your 4 or 5 year old kid that he can't see a movie that he's been bombarded with commercials for during his cartoons for weeks or has been playing constantly with the tie in toys for the film he got at McDonalds.

funny how often new parents think they can 'predict' how their parenting will go in the future (I loled at your reelthoughts before your kid was born where you expected to 'have more free time' to do video reviews after he was born. I guess the Oscar project is dead?)

You really have no idea what your kid will be like at 2, 3, 4, 5, etc or how you will react to him. Its very amusing to read your thoughts over the last year, be sure to reread them 5 & 10 years from now. I get the sense you are a pretty methodical guy who meticulously plans for everything(maybe due to your profession) Parenthood kinda has a way of shaking plans up.


Mon Dec 19, 2011 4:06 pm
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Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Nah, it'll be easy. Ages 2-5 are Padawan training on Dagobah, where there are no movie theaters. Following that, the child will only be interested in movies by directors like Robert Bresson and Yasujiro Ozu.


Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:13 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
johnny larue wrote:
I really don't know that much about it beyond the stars and director. I've seen a few of the TV commercials, but I usually am in FF mode on my DVR so I don't know how it will compare and deviate from the original film and/or book. My desire to see it is based on Fincher's resume and the source material. Hopefully it won't be like the Psycho remake, the only difference being it is in English.


I've now seen both a trailer and a short 'let's ask the opinions of the two lead actors' segment on Film 2011 (by accident, as there's no way I'd ever watch that show on purpose anymore). First impressions are that at best, it's a self-contained example and warning of extreme charlatanism and at worst, an offensive misinterpretation both of the source material and of what made the original great.

If I sound touchy about this whole thing, like I said I care deeply about the culture and the art form.


Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:04 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
(This is going to be depressing, so feel free to skip it.)

I don't go to the movies anymore, period.

Even if it was for free, the sensory annoyances James so accurately described (plus some he didn't, like the sound consistently turned up to 11 and the near-polar air conditioning) make the experience unworthy for me.

What little I watch, I stream or download. For me it has always been about the movie, not the medium. I can watch a space flick on a netbook and enjoy it all the same. 3D, I couldn't care less about. I haven't seen Avatar and probably never will. The last time I remember actually liking many movies in a row was some time during the nineties. And how long did that last? Today, Indie is trappped in some dirty toilet stall, underwear wedged way up its ass, head firmly lodged in the toilet, with Bullywood watching the door and making sure the water keeps swirling.

In a way, I think I have just stopped caring for cinema. My greatest interaction with the industry is reading James' and Ebert’s reviews, clicking on some -not all- trailer links and, 9 times out of 10, deciding that this is yet another movie I won’t be watching.

Dragonbeard mentioned “playing by the rules” earlier, so in all fairness I should mention that I don’t. I just don’t, I’m sorry. The only price I pay for my very occasional movie-watching is my broadband connection.
And even that way, 9 times out of 10 I end up regretting the time wasted.

I do realize that if every moviegoer went my way, the industry would probably go south pretty quickly. If people stopped going to theaters and buying movies in any other media, filmmaking would probably face a shift of paradigm.

What I cannot feel about this is guilt, or any form of concern.

For a good 30 years now, in every conceivable way, Hollywood’s been crapping in our mouths. It’s only fair they started tasting some of the load.

(I told you).


Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:07 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
gueibor wrote:
What little I watch, I stream or download. For me it has always been about the movie, not the medium. I can watch a space flick on a netbook and enjoy it all the same.
You're entitled to your preferences, but this is absolute hogwash. As a matter of pure fact, if something is designed for a large screen with a robust sound system, you cannot experience it in the same way on a very small screen with a pair of tin can computer speakers. The intended effects that the combination of visual and aural inputs has upon your neuroreceptors is going to be drastically diminished.

You will never experience the Statue of David just the same by buying a miniature paperweight replica. You will never experience the Mona Lisa just the same on a postage stamp. You will never experience a movie just the same on a portable computer screen. This is coming from someone who spent most of this year passing up new titles in favor of theatrical screenings of older ones. With every one of those experiences, this has been reinforced with 100% consistency: the medium matters.

As I've already said, you're entitled to your preferences. But I'm forced to speculate that your current attitude toward movies is at least partially the product of your own poorly calibrated tolerance threshold, plus the extremely reduced viewing conditions that you've chosen for yourself as a result. As my eighth grade gym teacher used to say, it looks like you need an attitude adjustment.


Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:44 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
gueibor wrote:
For me it has always been about the movie, not the medium.


The distractions around you watching a movie on a Netbook compared to the distractions around you at a theater. Puleeze....

gueibor wrote:
The last time I remember actually liking many movies in a row was some time during the nineties. And how long did that last? Today, Indie is trappped in some dirty toilet stall, underwear wedged way up its ass, head firmly lodged in the toilet, with Bullywood watching the door and making sure the water keeps swirling.


utter BS and just a huge round of excuse-making. There is never a time where there isnt at least one or two worthy movies playing at my local multi-plex. I have been goiung to movies since the 70s. There was more than enough crap then and there is more than enough now, but currrently The Descendents, J Edgar & Dragon Tattoo are playing there. If you like James' reviews the way you say you do, there is no reason you wouldnt have at least an interest in seeing them.

gueibor wrote:
In a way, I think I have just stopped caring for cinema. My greatest interaction with the industry is reading James' and Ebert’s reviews, clicking on some -not all- trailer links and, 9 times out of 10, deciding that this is yet another movie I won’t be watching.


9 out of 10, huh? Want me to do the math on that for how many movies you should have seen this year?

gueibor wrote:
Dragonbeard mentioned “playing by the rules” earlier, so in all fairness I should mention that I don’t. I just don’t, I’m sorry. The only price I pay for my very occasional movie-watching is my broadband connection. What I cannot feel about this is guilt, or any form of concern.


karma will be a bitch... prob is already...

gueibor wrote:
For a good 30 years now, in every conceivable way, Hollywood’s been crapping in our mouths. It’s only fair they started tasting some of the load.


30 years.... so prior to 1981 the world of cinema was a vast expanse of heaven? I guess you've never sat through Shampoo...


Wed Dec 28, 2011 8:06 am
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
gueibor wrote:
(This is going to be depressing, so feel free to skip it.)

I don't go to the movies anymore, period.

Even if it was for free, the sensory annoyances James so accurately described (plus some he didn't, like the sound consistently turned up to 11 and the near-polar air conditioning) make the experience unworthy for me.

What little I watch, I stream or download. For me it has always been about the movie, not the medium. I can watch a space flick on a netbook and enjoy it all the same. 3D, I couldn't care less about. I haven't seen Avatar and probably never will. The last time I remember actually liking many movies in a row was some time during the nineties. And how long did that last? Today, Indie is trappped in some dirty toilet stall, underwear wedged way up its ass, head firmly lodged in the toilet, with Bullywood watching the door and making sure the water keeps swirling.

In a way, I think I have just stopped caring for cinema. My greatest interaction with the industry is reading James' and Ebert’s reviews, clicking on some -not all- trailer links and, 9 times out of 10, deciding that this is yet another movie I won’t be watching.

Dragonbeard mentioned “playing by the rules” earlier, so in all fairness I should mention that I don’t. I just don’t, I’m sorry. The only price I pay for my very occasional movie-watching is my broadband connection.
And even that way, 9 times out of 10 I end up regretting the time wasted.

I do realize that if every moviegoer went my way, the industry would probably go south pretty quickly. If people stopped going to theaters and buying movies in any other media, filmmaking would probably face a shift of paradigm.

What I cannot feel about this is guilt, or any form of concern.

For a good 30 years now, in every conceivable way, Hollywood’s been crapping in our mouths. It’s only fair they started tasting some of the load.

(I told you).


God I had to search for a while to recall exactly what it was I'd said and in what context!

I love the bit about 'bullywood' and 'indie' being stuck in the toilet.

I think anyone could read through all my various postings about movies, the cinematic experience, the quality of product etc and probably conclude that I hold a very cowardly and hypocritical stance on the matter. Yes I will still occasionally pay to see a movie but not with the frequencey I once did. I feel there's a huge difference between what I expect/want from cinema and the actual truth, which depresses me greatly.

I don't agree that Hollywood is exactly 'crapping in our mouths'. There are plenty of actors, directors etc who have shown nothing but integrity in the face of greed and intimidation.

I find your lack of faith disturbing (lolz). Whilst I agree with you on some key issues, I feel the need to ask if you really do think that you aren't missing out by not seeing certain things on the big screen? You say it's about the movie, not the medium but you must see how the medium can make or break a movie? Of course, the movie has to stand on more important merits first (something the clergymen of 3D cannot seem to grasp). A picture of dog-shit is the same whether you print it on decent paper or wax paper.

I watch plenty of movies on my laptop, sometimes even my phone when travelling. Neither of these things compare to a decent telly, right? Or a theatre screen?

Dismissing movies based on trailers is almost certainly scientifically proven to be flawed reasoning. I know I dismissed the remake of 'dragon tattoo' almost outright but this was a matter of principle, not because the movie 'looks bad'. Even now I have seen the trailer, and one or two bits of it have still not made me feel any better, I will still be seeing the movie as a whole.


Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:52 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
MrGuinness wrote:
If you like James' reviews the way you say you do, there is no reason you wouldnt have at least an interest in seeing them.

Maybe The Descendants. Maybe. Some day.
And -I can't stress this enough- not in a theatre. Not if I get invited, not if Clooney himself comes to fetch me on a hovercraft.
Then again, I'm the guy who loves music but wouldn't go to a concert if my life depended on it — so yes, there is a pattern.

MrGuinness wrote:
gueibor wrote:
My greatest interaction with the industry is reading James' and Ebert’s reviews, clicking on some -not all- trailer links and, 9 times out of 10, deciding that this is yet another movie I won’t be watching.

9 out of 10, huh? Want me to do the math on that for how many movies you should have seen this year?

I'm not following... are you saying I should have watched too many (wrong) or too few (that's what I meant)? If by "watching" you mean beginning to end, no skipping scenes, no quitting mid-movie, I must have watched less than 10 this year. And I don't think half of them were actually from this year.
I'm just not watching that much anymore. It's not something I'm proud of or boasting about, like some sort of artier-than-thou badge. Maybe I'm just old, maybe I've just grown jaded, but the truth is I'm no longer excited by the prospect of a movie coming out. I consider myself lucky if I make it through one without getting irritated, bored, or both. I've come to a point where I derive more pleasure from reading about movies than actually watching them.
Again, this is not something I'm doing. It's something that's happening to me.


Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:36 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
gueibor wrote:
I'm not following... are you saying I should have watched too many (wrong) or too few (that's what I meant)? If by "watching" you mean beginning to end, no skipping scenes, no quitting mid-movie, I must have watched less than 10 this year. And I don't think half of them were actually from this year.
I'm just not watching that much anymore. It's not something I'm proud of or boasting about, like some sort of artier-than-thou badge. Maybe I'm just old, maybe I've just grown jaded, but the truth is I'm no longer excited by the prospect of a movie coming out. I consider myself lucky if I make it through one without getting irritated, bored, or both. I've come to a point where I derive more pleasure from reading about movies than actually watching them.
Again, this is not something I'm doing. It's something that's happening to me.


Sure sounds like you are proud of it. I actually feel much the same way about music these days. I spend absolutely NO time whatsoever seeking out music anymore, compared to it being like a full time job when I was a teenager / 20's yo... but that doesn't mean I don't go see killer concerts when they come along. What I would have missed out on this year alone concert-wise if I had that attitude would almost be immoral. 2011 was quite an amazing year concert-wise for people who adored music in the 70's.

I saw J Edger today even. $6, 10 people in the theater, stadium seating, not a peep or anything. Whether the movie was worth it was debatable, the makeup problem was much worse than James said, it did gloss over so much and I ended up leaving about 2/3rds of the way through cause my daughter had an tooth issue and because I really wasnt learning anything. But I had just come back from a trip to DC so some of it was fascinating.

And as for the math, James has reviewed about 130 movies this year. Ebert has reviewed at least 3 times that. So your 9 out of 10 equals about 50 movies you should have seen this year.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 12:04 am
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
MrGuinness wrote:
So your 9 out of 10 equals about 50 movies you should have seen this year.

Jeez, it's called a figure of speech. When did this become the Anal Retentive Bookkeepers' forums? Next time you roll a stone and find the slightest hint of moss on it, make sure to go back in time and troll Publius Syrus into submission.

I'll tell you what: you're right, and I'm wrong, because your opinion is clearly superior to mine.
Happy?
Good.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:07 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Ken wrote:
The intended effects that the combination of visual and aural inputs has upon your neuroreceptors is going to be drastically diminished.

If a particular movie places its potential entertainment value on its combination of visual and aural inputs upon my neuroreceptors, I'm probably not watching the damn thing in the first place.
When I watch a movie, I want to see a story that grabs my interest. Sure, pretty scenes don't hurt and a good sound mix can be great, but they're no dealbreakers for me.

I watched The Social Network on a laptop and I found it pretty awesome. I paused it a couple of times for bathroom breaks and the like. I can't fathom how the experience could have been enhanced by being able to count Jesse Eisenberg's nose hairs while Reznor's soundtrack peeled the skin off my face.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:39 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
gueibor wrote:
Ken wrote:
The intended effects that the combination of visual and aural inputs has upon your neuroreceptors is going to be drastically diminished.

If a particular movie places its potential entertainment value on its combination of visual and aural inputs upon my neuroreceptors, I'm probably not watching the damn thing in the first place.
When I watch a movie, I want to see a story that grabs my interest. Sure, pretty scenes don't hurt and a good sound mix can be great, but they're no dealbreakers for me.

I watched The Social Network on a laptop and I found it pretty awesome. I paused it a couple of times for bathroom breaks and the like. I can't fathom how the experience could have been enhanced by being able to count Jesse Eisenberg's nose hairs while Reznor's soundtrack peeled the skin off my face.


'Social network' is definitely not a film for Hi-Def!

To be honest, if you or anyone wants 'a story that grabs your interest' then try the library. There's a good reason as to how cinema got it's name.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:41 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
gueibor wrote:
If a particular movie places its potential entertainment value on its combination of visual and aural inputs upon my neuroreceptors, I'm probably not watching the damn thing in the first place.
When I watch a movie, I want to see a story that grabs my interest. Sure, pretty scenes don't hurt and a good sound mix can be great, but they're no dealbreakers for me.

You seem to be confused here.

Images and sound are how movies tell stories. They ARE the stories. Take away the way your brain experiences it and there is nothing left.

Go ahead and try to read a book without any words in it. Tell us how it goes.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:44 pm
Post Re: December 14, 2011: "At What Price Entertainment"
Ken wrote:
Go ahead and try to read a book without any words in it.

Not without words, but used, dog-eared, coffee-stained paperbacks instead of a hardcover? I have read tons of those. It didn't diminish my experience in the least.
I'm not against movie theatres — I just don't find them to be the most appealing option for me.


Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:10 pm
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