Posts Tagged ‘movies’

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Talking, Kids At Inappropriate Movies And Texting Among Movie Theater Pet Peeves image
What would you consider to be the most irritating behavior in a movie theater? Talking during the movie? Texting or seat-kicking? What about seeing kids at inappropriate movies or hearing the sound of a crying baby while you’re trying to watch the movie? Or perhaps it’s the smell of someone’s hot dog wafting your way or the irritating crinkle of plastic every time they reach into the bag for another chip? As movie theater-goers who shell out considerably to see films on the big screen, I’m sure we all have our own personal pet peeves, just as we likely have our own ways of trying to avoid a bad movie theater experience. A recent poll suggests that “talking” is the number one pet peeve. 

Today.com has a running poll in a recent article exploring bad movie theater manners. Presently, with nearly twenty thousand votes submitted, the most popular option selected is simply “Talking,” which beats out all of the other behaviors by a fair margin (it’s at 61% right now), including texting (10%), Kids at inappropriate movies (12%), Seat-kicking (14%), smelly/noisy food (3%) and other (1%). The site actually explores the various options mentioned, quoting critics and commenters who’ve weighed in on them, including film critic Rob Elder, who spoke specifically about his awareness of small children attending inappropriate movies with their parents, as a parent himself, saying, “I went to a screening of JJ Abrams’ ‘Star Trek’ reboot — but was so distracted by the fact that there was a newborn sitting a few rows away, it subtracted from my enjoyment. The theater was so loud, I’m sure the kid felt carpet-bombed by the rumbling sound system.” 

Admittedly, I’ve been surprised to see children at midnight and late-night screenings of movies, but on my list of pet peeves, that falls lower as I figure the parent would know better than I do whether it’s too late for their child to be up or whether the loud or dark theater would make their child or baby uncomfortable. Or maybe I’m just conditioned to not have an opinion about how other people handle their children. And honestly, I can’t remember the last time I was at the movies and heard a child or baby making noise, so no complaints there either. In my experience, adults are more likely to be disruptive than children. 

As for the use of cell phones, a poll Today did last month suggests an almost universal intolerance toward people taking their cell phone out in the theater, with 97% of people voting “They should never be allowed — watch the movie instead!” The second poll says that 69% claim they never glance at their cell phone during a movie. 29% admit to glancing once or twice but just briefly. It’s understandable that people might find the simple glance at a cell phone to be annoying, considering the light the screen gives off, which can be a distraction in a dark theater. But I’d say that’s a minor offense, the same as it’s a little distracting when someone gets up and steps past you to get to the bathroom or concession stand. In the end, as much as we want to be completely undisrupted while enjoying our movie, there’s no guarantee of that. Of course, if everyone checked their cell phone once or twice during the movie, the theater would be a sea of blinking lights, so let’s hope that poll remains an indication that most people really are willing to set aside their gadgets for a couple of hours and enjoy the film. 

While cell phones can be annoying at movie theaters, I can’t remember the last time someone actually talked on one during a movie. Maybe I’ve just been lucky or maybe people figured out that it’s unacceptable behavior. And it’s also just as possible that people tend to text more than they chat on their phones anyway. But “talking” in general, as Today’s poll suggests, seems to be people’s biggest issue among bad movie theater manners. And you don’t need a cell phone to do that. 

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X-Men: Days Of Future Past Plans Reshoots In Montreal

X-Men: Days Of Future Past Plans Reshoots In Montreal image
One of the most encouraging changes I’ve seen in movie fandom over the last five years is in the way we understand news about reshoots. Just a few years ago word about additional shooting days for something like Where the Wild Things Are or Sherlock Holmes would send us and the rest of the Internet into a tizzy, with everyone assuming that something disastrous was happening, that the director had been forced off the movie and that the studio was ruining everything. Sometimes, of course, it was true– Jonah Hex‘s reshoots were only the beginning of its troubles. But most of the time, especially on hugely expensive movies, it’s just part of making sure that spending all that money was worth it.

Which brings us to X-Men: Days of Future Past, now going into reshoots in Montreal according to The Calgary Herald. The production was a huge boon for Montreal when it started there earlier this year, and will reportedly be adding several extra weeks of production– Quebec film commissioner Hans Fraikin calls it “a big reshoot” while also noting that this kind of extra production “happens all the time, especially with big pictures.” And just how big X-Men: Days of Future Past is may be more than any of us were expecting– according to Fraikin it’s the second-biggest production in 20th Century Fox history, just below Avatar. That probably means a final budget way, way bigger than the $160 million it cost to make X-Men: First Class— and if you remember just how cheap the Emma Frost diamond effects looked in that first one, you know why the extra cash is such a good thing.

Not that we were relying on budget to get us excited about Days of Future Past— with everything from Peter Dinklage as a mustache-wearing villain to two versions each of bothProfessor X and Magneto, the movie has enough going on that I’d probably watch a version of it made for 15 bucks and the promise of free popcorn for the entire crew. Most of the expensive effects on the movie aren’t yet finished– and neither is the filming, apparently– but we finally got our first look at the superhero sequel when the teaser trailer emerged online a few weeks ago. Check it out below, and share your speculation about what’s happening in the reshoots in the comments.

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thor the dark world posterThe long/short review: an enjoyable romp with very little substance.

One can definitely tell the change in director between these films as in the first Thor there was a Shakespeare undertone, dry humor and smirking wit along with some masterful turns at character development and story telling. Thor 2 is put together more like an action flick where it’s all about the explosions and one-liners.

Do I like action flicks all about explosions and one-liners? Yes, I enjoyed Avengers, didn’t I. But that was the purpose of that film, to bring together characters who were already individually explored and see them work together. In Avengers, character development, save a few key scenes, is pretty much left to be explored in their individual movies where a more direct focus would serve the characters better. We see this in Iron Man 3 where not only does Tony get his own villain but he battles his personal demons and fears as well. That’s what Thor 2 should have been about, continuing to grow Thor as a character through an actual plot arc rather than the typical action style of laying it all down at the end for a quick wrap up.

This really is an example of how bad it can be to ‘just give the audience more of what they want’ rather than ‘making a movie that their audience will love’.

Here is my breakdown, spoilers ahead.

Thor – I always thought that he got the shorter end of the stick in the first film when it came to character development. His motivations were just a bit more petty and his sudden shift to not being such a douche was too quick and unearned. There isn’t so much of a problem like that in Thor 2 because there is no character development, at all. From the beginning he’s just this guy who is trying to be a good son while pining over the woman he loves. At the end of the film, he’s still trying to be the good son while pining over a woman. The only thing that changes is that he has the guts to tell his dad that he doesn’t want to be king and instead continue to hit things with hammers and love a Midgardian. While the argument can be made that this is indeed character development in that he chooses to accept that he doesn’t want to be king, etc, it feels very lazy and simple. After losing his mother and brother, there isn’t any true thought to how this personally effected him or his decisions. As stated before, there is a quick wrap up at the end to say ‘yep, I haven’t changed, this is what I want to do’ and that’s it.

Jane – I didn’t care much for her in the first film because I thought Portman, who is a great actress, just kinda walked through the role and there was no chemistry between her and Hemsworth. As a character though, she was pretty cool. She was this super smart scientist who was trying to awesome things because she was a scientist trying to do awesome things. In Thor 2, she’s reduced to a woman who has apparently been moping around because Thor never called her back. Sure, she was doing sciencey things, but not because “hey, science!” but because she was looking for Thor. Then when Thor snubbed her, she stopped with the science. Huh? I’m sure it hurt to see him come to Earth in Avengers and not bother to call her or even drop a note, but why the hell did she decide to stop doing science because of this? She was a scientist before Thor, she can continue to be a scientist now. Hell, if she was that mad that he never called her, why isn’t she trying harder to find a way to Asgard just so she can slap him? But nope, her entire reason for doing anything worthwhile in life (or I would assume seeing how dedicated she was in the first film) ceased to be because Thor never called her back. Even at the end of the film, she’s moping because he hasn’t come back in two days. And for a lot of the film, she’s just standing there doing nothing because the focus is on Thor/Loki (which I’ll get to in a minute) and she’s almost forgotten about in many scenes. She does have a few moments of her being a freaking scientist and thinking as such, but it’s all framed by the fact that she now exists solely as a love interest to Thor. (But at least we were spared any horrible cat-fighting between her and Sif.)

Loki – He stole the show in the first movie where he got some perfected paced and designed character development,  and in Thor 2, pretty much every awesome moment can be attributed to him. He was much more jokey in this film, spilling out one-liners like the class clown who is hiding just how sad he is in. He also had a stronger reaction to Frigga’s death. It puts him in a lot of pain, pain he even tries to hide from Thor through illusions. But, much like Thor, there is no development. Loki is stuck, he’s played his hand as the ‘would be king’ who is rightly pissed about his parentage issue… and he continues to do so because he believes he needs to save face. Then he fakes his death (which, let’s be honest, we all saw coming) and somehow takes Odin’s place (which, okay, that was an awesome twist). There is no development, he’s still the same person he was at the beginning of the film, just in a different place. Throughout the film, though it is very hilarious, he’s just there to crack one-liners and play off Thor. It’s the few moments he’s not doing this that he truly saves this film.

Thor/Loki – The Thor/Loki dynamic is an interesting one and there are a lot of fans both of this as a non-romantic pairing and as a romantic pairing. Loki is also a fan favorite with a movement to get him his own movie. This is where the ‘giving fans more of what they want’ turns sour because this film is pretty much just two hours of Loki and Thor banter, sometimes serious, often for laughs. You know that moment in Avengers where Thor says “listen well brother,” gets knocked down by Iron Man, and Loki goes “I’m listening”… yeah, imagine that for two hours. While yes, it’s really funny and I laughed a lot, I did often find myself going “where is Jane?” or “what about the Elves?” Literally, Jane disappears from view for a good ten minutes at two different times just so that Thor and Loki can banter with each other. It’s not like she’s not around, she’s literally in the same ten square feet radius, but is removed from frame and nearly forgotten about. As much as the Thor/Loki stuff can be fun or even emotionally dramatic, here is was played not like Shakespeare, but like Michael Bay.

Frigga – What the heck? Thor takes repeated poundings from the Hulk. Loki gets stabbed in the chest (maybe, sorta, not sure where the illusion started there). But Frigga gets a dagger in her and dies almost instantly? Gah! I know she was going to die but did they have to make it so easy? Esp after she put the smack down on the Dark Elf? This part pissed me off the most… but mostly cause Frigga is awesome and played by an underrated but also awesome actress. I really hope a future movie is Loki going to Valhalla to get her back… I really do… I any case, she was both soft mother and badass warrior and all in a very small space of time. Writers, take note.

Odin – Worst. Father. Ever. But what else is new? The fact that he was actually being reasonable there at the end should have been our first clue that he wasn’t actually himself.

Darcy – Almost makes up for Jane. She’s sassy, knows her level of intelligence in comparison to Jane, and where she falls in the hierarchy of the film, and she owns it.

Erik – The only character that truly seemed to have any kind of real development from the Avengers film. Basically, after what Loki did to him, and with him being just a person and not a trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, he’s pretty much off his rocker. This is totally legit and I applaud that they actually went there and showed that everything is not all happy smiles after events like what happened in Avengers.

Malekith – Our villain of the weekmovie. Eccelston is a great actor but he, like many others in this film, has little to work with. Again, he’s just a device to allow for the Thor/Loki banter.

Overall – It was a fun romp of a film but it was more of a filler episode than a film in its own right. I laughed, I smiled, I got pissed at a character death, but in the end I felt like I hadn’t actually gained anything from the experience regarding the characters. I’ve heard that a good 20-ish minutes where cut and that truely could have made all the difference in giving us more of the depth we needed rather than the silly one-liners.

In conclusion: Was it enjoyable? Yes. Was it disappointing? Yes

Funny how that works out sometimes.

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Okay, only one of these is brand new, I somehow missed the other two. Anyway, Collider got the exclusive release of a new Jean Gray poster ala sumi-e ink art. While the others have been fairly original, even Wolverine was done up in Japanese clothing, Jean’s poster is just a copy of her X3 promo images.

The Wolverine - Jean Grey poster

X-Men 3 - Jean Gray promo

I wouldn’t read into Jean getting her own poster. She’s the second most recognizable character from the franchise, so they want to splash her around for that recognition. This happens all the time (Vin Diesel in Tokyo Drift anyone…). Still, would have liked to see something a bit more original than a direct copy cause this is a really pretty style of artwork.

There are two other posters I missed which are on Collider, one for Viper and Yukio. I’m not too impressed with them either. I don’t like the tongue thing on Viper and I’m not sure what’s going on with Yukio’s mouth, though, if I ignore that part, Yukio’s is actually pretty bad ass.

The Wolverine - Viper poster

The Wolverine - Yukio poster

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Bryan Singer just confirmed on his twitter account that Days of Future Past will receive the coveted Memorial Day tent-pole position in 2014 meaning it will come out Friday, May 23rd, 2014.

Days of Future Past Film-VerseMemorial Day Weekend in the USA is one of the biggest selling weekends for movies and so companies like to put out films that will give them a strong opening. For example, this year saw the release of Hangover III which had a 42mil opening weekend (and it is a Rated R film) and Fast Six which did 97mil . This means that Fox has a lot of faith in this film which hasn’t even finished production yet.

Though, with the literal all-star cast which includes several Oscar winners and some really hot names right now, they probably call this movie a win-win regardless.

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We have yet another reveal via twitter from Bryan Singer regarding Days of Future Past.

An extra munches at the Craft Services table in Trask Industries coveralls. This absolutely confirms that Trask will be a thing in DOFP, so likely Bolivar Trask himself will make an appearance, if not be the major villain.  Unless of course this is just a ‘fan service insert’ used to throw us off track. Somehow I doubt that as Trask and the Sentinel program are two major of players in the X-Men mythos, not to mention the comic arc which this is based on, that it wouldn’t make sense for them not to be in the films.

Speculation has run that Peter Dinkledge will be playing Bolivar Trask and this certainly helps that assessment. We’ve yet to see Peter on set to see what kind of costume or wardrobe he is wearing.

I want to also note the color of the company logo. Purple… just like the Sentinels. And doesn’t it kinda look like a robot face? Looks like big purple robots are in our future…

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Peter DinklageVariety is reporting that Peter Dinklage, who was just added to the DOFP cast, will be playing a villain, knocking out the rumors that he would be playing Puck. Newsarama are betting on either Ahab or Nimrod (when he takes human form).

There is, of course, the possibility he will play someone altogether new, though that’s less likely than perhaps Dinklage playing a known character, just with a whole new back story/place in the X-Men universe (Stryker or Shaw for examples). Seeing that there is a trend for really mucking with the villain’s back story, this is a high probability and really, anything goes.

Whatever is planned, should be interesting.

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