Thursday, August 31, 2006

Back when Mel was Cool

Mel Gibson has been a movie star for a long time. He started in Australia in the late 70's with his first big international hit being Mad Max. I used to be a huge Mel Gibson fan but not any more.

When he was younger he was one of the best looking actors around. People put him on the cover as Sexiest Man Alive in 1985 or 1986. I think it was the first time they had bestowed that title.

The 1983 GQ cover here I always considered his best magazine cover. It's pretty rare, I only found a couple over years of selling old mags.

Too bad Mel has done the same going crazy routine as Tom Cruise but not as spectacularly. I don't think anyone will take him seriously any more except for the people who share his religious beliefs. It'll be interesting to see how his next movie Apocalycto does after the current controversy. I doubt he needs the money though, no studio wanted to make Passion of the Christ so he paid for it himself which means he would have got most of the hundreds of millions of dollars it made.

Most people think Mel Gibson is Australian but he is American, his family moved to Australia when he was 12 to avoid the draft.
Mad Max was dubbed by Warner because they feared American audiences wouldn't understand the Australian accents, as usual with dubbing it made the movie cheesy. If it hadn't been a really good movie to start with Mel may never have been an international star.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Favorite Books not made into movies?

A lot of people have books they really like that weren't made into movies. Of course a lot of people hate it when books are made into bad movies.

My favorite book is Rendevous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. He's most famous for writing 2001: A Space Odyssey. Rama is about a huge spaceship that comes into the solar system and the crew sent to investigate it. Some of the imagery it presents is outstanding. I've heard about it getting made into a movie for years but it never happened. I think part of the reason was it would have been really expensive to do it right with the special effects that were available. With the very effective special effects now available it could be done I would imagine.

Anyone else have any favorite books they would like to see made into movies?

Contest Winner!

Sorry about not posting this sooner, I was on vacation.

I have to admit I was fairly shocked by the results of the last contest. I didn't expect anyone to get the answer let alone the first entry?! I guess I gave too many hints.

I received another entry by e-mail that also fits the criteria so it also wins. Six Weeks from 1982 starred Dudley Moore and Mary Tyler Moore. I figured there was probably more than one answer.

So Karen who posted Billie Jean please e-mail at to claim your prize. The other Karen who e-mailed me also wins.

I hope Billie Jean comes out on DVD at some point. I always liked that movie.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Next Week's Movies.

There were three movies available today. I had been holding You, Me and Dupree to play next week because I figured it was a good frosh week movie. Miami Vice was also available. The Devil Wears Prada was available but since it's Fox it had conditions with it. If I started it Sep 1 I could split it with another movie but I had to pay Per caps which translates to a higher percentage. If I waited until Sept 8 to play it I wouldn't have had to pay the higher percentage but couldn't split it with another movie.
I decided to play Prada next week since it seemed another good Frosh week movie. Prada will play at 7pm and Dupree will play at 9:20. Unless something changes drastically Miami Vice will start Sep 8th.

Get This: I'm playing Prada next week but if I want to keep it another week I can't split it the second week!

These two movies will not be playing at Western Film because they are Fox and can't be split with another movie.
My Super Ex-girlfriend- I wouldn't have played this anyway, it sucked and bombed.
John Tucker Must Die- I would like to play this one but unless I have a week with nothing else I can't justify playing it full shows. I'd be more likely to bring back one of the summer hits.

The midnight series starts soon. I'll be posting the list on the website, some interesting stuff.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

2 fun movies

On Sunday Night I saw two movies. I'm on vacation so I see a lot of movies, even more than usual.

SNAKES ON A PLANE- I wasn't planning on seeing this until some of the industry stuff I get said it was actually good. I went to see it and it was a lot of fun. It's not really a horror movie, more of a campy B movie. It was more funny than scary. Samuel L. Jackson was great playing the whole thing with a straight face.

BON COP BAD COP- This is a Canadian movie about a English and French detectives that reluctantly partner to solve a series of murders that involve Hockey. Only in Canada would murders revolve around Hockey! I wasn't expecting much, the trailers were interesting but made is seem like a kind of screwball comedy. I ended up really enjoying it. It was funny but also dramatic and actionic (is that a word). The style was similar to the Lethal Weapon movies.
I 'm surprised at the size of the release. I figured it wouldn't play here at all but it's in three of the four first run theatres in London. So go support you Canadian Film Industry and see the movie. You'll have a good time.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Next Week's Movie

I'm sorta on vacation this week, storing up energy for Frosh week, the busiest (and most chaotic) week of the year at the University.
I booked Click for next week. By itself at 7pm. There were two new movies available, Monster House and Ant Bully. Neither would work as a late show and I wanted Click to be at 7pm. I might have played Monster House if I had nothing else to play. I don't think it would have done well though, not enough adult interest. If was a pretty fun movie though.

I'm still planning on playing You, Me and Dupree the following week.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Trivia Contest #2

I wasn't planning to run another contest this soon but thought of a great question today.

As with the last one the winner gets 2 free passes to Western Film and 2 free medium popcorns.

I'm going to leave this contest open until Aug 25th, I'm really curious to see if anyone gets the right answer. I'm also going to add this contest to the Western Film Mass-e-mail this Friday.

Here's the question:

What movie starred an actor and actress who had the same last name but weren't related?

There could be more than one answer but I can't think of any.

Hint #1 None of the the Baldwins or Arquettes are the stars.
Hint #2 It's from the 80's and not on DVD.
Hint #3 At least one of the stars is still making movies and you will have heard of them. It wouldn't be fair to pick some obscure little movie with no-name stars would it?

Please post answers as comments.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Why so many Shakespeare movies?

I was quite surprised when I looked up the answers for the trivia contest and there were so many Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet movies, plus lots from his other plays I'm sure. I started thinking about why there so many. I thought of two reasons:

He's free, as far as I know there's no copyright on his works. I don't see how there could be as it's been what, 400 years since he died. Therefore making a movie of one of his plays requires no rights to be paid, and no writer unless they wish to adapt the story.

The stories are fairly universal. Even people who have never read the plays usually know the basic stories and names of the characters of the most famous plays. Most of us were forced to read them in high school (that may work against them though).

Just think about how many cultural references there are based on Shakespeare, everything from the name Romeo signifying romance to the multiple references in The Simpsons and tons of other TV shows and movies..

Poster of the Week

I was just looking at the posters for some upcoming movies. This one caught my eye. Never heard of the movie but it's animated, not for children and looks cool. I'll be there (if it ever plays in London).

Trivia Contest Winner!

Western Film's first trivia contest is now over. The entries to the contest were all interesting. I didn't know the answer for sure before I posted the contest but figured it was probably Shakespeare. Dorian Grey was one I hadn't thought of.
I'm going to call it a tie between Donna (Romeo and Juliet) and Janet (Hamlet). If you look up either title on IMDB you get a ton of listings. Hamlet seems to have more than Romeo but more of them are TV and I noticed at least one is a short film and another doesn't seem to actually exist.

So Donna and Janet please e-mail me at and I'll get your prizes to you.


Midnight Movies Question.

I've been thinking of something and wanted to get some input from readers. The last couple years we have played Friday Midnight Cult movies. Some of the ones for the upcoming year are Van Wilder, Fight Club and Kill Bill 1 and 2.

I've been thinking of playing the movie Saturday Midnight as well. I'm not sure if we would just split the crowd that would have come Friday? A lot of people like to go out drinking Saturday night. Thursday midnight has also been mentioned but the same issue presents itself.

The nice thing is if I try and it doesn't work Western Film won't be out much. The movie is already paid for for the Friday show so the only extra costs would be a few hours of staff.
Anyone have any thoughts?

Next Week's Movies

For the first time in a while I had a hard choice to make as far as next week goes. There were 4 movies available.

Superman Returns
You, Me and Dupree
Little Man

Little Man was easy to say no to, it looked absolutely horrible.

Superman is too long to play anything else as a late show.
Click and Dupree would make a good double feature but during the summer I didn't think either would do great as a late show.
Also we are getting close to the academic year starting so I took that into account.

I don't think anything good will come off next week. Devil Wears Prada will be at least 2 weeks. Clerks 2 might come available but I don't want to play it until the students return.

I decided to play Superman next week by itself. I'm going to play Click starting Aug 25th, probably by itself. I could play Dupree the same week but I think I'll hold it for the next week. The playweek starting Sep 1 contains most of Frosh Week. Dupree strikes me as a good Frosh Week movie, funny, short, with popular actors. Ideally I'd like to play Dupree and Prada but may not be able to. Maybe Dupree and Clerks 2?

During or soon after Frosh week we plan to play An Inconvenient Truth.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Another reason to dislike Wal-Mart

I've read a few things about Wal-Mart and realized something.
One of the reasons theatres are having problems is because DVD's are coming out sooner after the theatrical release so some people are waiting for the DVD. Studios now make most of the money from the movie on DVD which creates pressure to release the movies on DVD sooner.
I read that 60% of DVDs in the US are sold at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart sells DVDs as loss leaders,meaning they sell them for less than normal, sometimes below cost, in order to get people into the store with the assumption (hope?) they'll buy other items. It's a fairly common retail practice.
However if Wal-Mart sells 60% of the DVDs at an artificially low price that means they are creating an artificially high demand. If they sold them at the regular price the demand would be lower, sales would be lower and DVD revenue wouldn't seem as high compared to theatrical revenue.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Every so often I put up a blank post for anyone to ask questions. Please leave any questions as comments and I'll answer them if I can.

Next Week's Movie

My choice for next week was simple again. Lady in the Water was the only one available. I decided to do just one show again. In the summer we don't do well on a late show unless it's a different movie than the 7pm show.
I'll probably bring Da Vinci back if I have a week where nothing is available. It's done really well.
We often bring the summer hits back in September once the students have returned.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Dark Knight and other sequels

I received a press release from Warner Bros last week concerning the next Batman movie. It's going to be called the Dark Knight. Christian Bale will be returning as Batman. Christopher Nolan will be directing again and Heath Ledger will be playing the Joker. This sounds cool, Batman Begins was one of my favorite movies from last year.
I was looking at the list of upcoming releases and some of the sequels caught my attention.

Sept 22 -Jackass 2: I hate to admit I'm looking forward to this one. I'm one of those wackos that find Jackass really funny. I laughed more during the trailer for Jackass 2 than I have for entire movies. In my defense I find the stunts funny, not so much some of the gross out stuff they do. The bit in Jackass 1 with the papercuts I couldn't watch.

Oct 13 - The Grudge 2: Never saw the first one so can't really comment, hopefully it won't suck.

Oct 27 - Saw III: This could be interesting or bad. The first one was pretty novel, the second one was edging closer to formula horror movies but still had some twists.

Nov 3 - Santa Clause 3: I haven't seen the first 2 because I really dislike Tim Allen. I saw a trailer for the third one and I might have to go see it. Martin Short is playing Jack Frost, the villain. From the trailer it looks like he's really funny and perfect for the part.

Dec 1 - Van Wilder Deux: The rise of Taj. I was surprised to see this one on the list, never heard it was being made. It sounds like one of those desperate sequels. Van Wilder was really funny but a lot of it came from Ryan Reynolds. The second one is about his Indian assistant played by Kal Penn. Reynolds isn't even in it which means Van Wilder isn't either. On the other hand Kal Penn was really funny in the first movie so it may work.

Dec 22 - Rocky Balboa: No comment.

Jan 5 2007 White Noise 2: Why are they making a sequel to a Canadian Horror movie that didn't do all that well in the first place, or so I thought?

Feb 9 : Young Hannibal: about the early years of Hannibal Lector from Silence of the Lambs. Don't know much about this one but I'm assuming Anthony Hopkins will not be doing it.

Mar 23- Bean 2: Made mostly for overseas I would imagine but I'll see it.

May 4 - Spiderman 3: no words are necessary.

May 18th - Shrek The Third: First time I've heard the great title. Unless it's really bad all they need to do is open the doors and the cash registers will fill with money.

May 25 - Pirates 3: This is almost guaranteed to be a big hit just because the ending of part 2 was not there, it just kind of stopped.

Jun 22 - Evan Almighty:

First Western Film Trivia Contest!

This will be the first Trivia Contest for this blog. The Winner will receive 2 free passes to Western Film and 2 free medium popcorns.

Here's the question.

What movie has been remade the most?

I'm referring to remakes not sequels, prequels etc. For example King Kong from 2005 was a remake of the 1933 film which was also remade in 1976.

Please post your entries as comments. The winner will be declared Aug 14th.

Good Luck.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Interested in reading a lot about movies?

I found this through one of my favorite websites. Lots of movie news concentrating mostly on comics/action/sci-fi.

Mark Cuban is the owner of a Football Team, a chain called Landmark Theatres and a cable channel. He put a post on his blog asking readers to make suggestions how to improve the moviegoing experience. He got over 900 responses! I've only read part but a lot are completely impractical as far as the movie business such as charging $1.00 on opening weekend to get word of mouth going. Some are contradictory, one guy suggested the theatre keeping track of what movies he goes to with who etc and letting him know when a movie he might like is going to play. For everyone who likes that idea there would be others who would find it an invasion of privacy.
Some ideas have already been done such as using mall parking lots as drive-ins at night after the stores have closed. There's a Drive-In in Toronto that doubles as a golf range during the day.
Here's the original post
And his response.

A great idea.

One of the most common complaints about movie theatres is people talking or using cellphones, also there are technical issues such as the picture out of focus. Modern theatres don't have the staff to monitor all the theatres. One of the big theatre chains in the US is trying something different to solve this problem. A few people in the audience will get a kind of remote control that will have buttons for projection problem, sound problem, talkers etc. The remotes will let the staff know there is an issue that needs to be dealt with and the customers don't have to miss any of the movie. I wonder how expensive they are. I'd love to get a couple for Western Film.