Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Western Film mini-reviews.

Here's my opinion on some of the movies I've seen recently.

Casino Royale- Extremely cool, Daniel Craig makes a great Bond, taking the character back to his darker, grittier roots. I really liked the fact that most of the action was done by Craig and real stuntmen not CGI. CGI special effects can look spectacular but seems soulless in a way. The movie slowed down some in the middle but not enough that I was looking at my watch. I suppose I might have found the middle more interesting if I knew how to play poker.

Happy Feet- Technically stunning but not as entertaining as I thought it would be. Robin Williams' characters were hilarious as usual but that was about it. Fairly heavy environmental tone for a kid's movie. I still find it weird the man who directed the Mad Max movies ended up making kid's movies. He also did Babe: Pig in the City.

Shortbus- I saw this movie at the Hyland last night. I'm not sure Western Film will play it as doesn't seem to have a lot of awareness. I thought it was an amazing film and I'm actually planning to go see it again. It just goes to show how things have changed. Not long ago this movie would have garnered huge controversy because it shows actual hardcore sex complete with moneyshots. However the sex was such an integral part of the film it didn't come off as exploitive or shocking. (well, maybe the first few minutes were a bit of a shock.)

Fast Food Nation- Interesting but nothing really happened, some good acting, definitely makes one want to be a vegetarian. I don't think Western Film will play this, it's not well known and it's from Fox Searchlight and they can be hard to deal with.

Flushed Away- I saw this because I wanted to see something entertaining and funny on that particular night. I mostly got what I wanted. It was funny and had lots of action. Like Happy Feet it's amazing the worlds they can create with computer graphics. It didn't have quite the dual level of appeal to both adults and children that a movie like Shrek has but it was entertaining.

Harsh Times - Even I had never heard of this film when it showed up at the Westmount cinemas a couple weeks ago. Christian Bale did a good job of playing a character slowly burning out his fuse. Ultimately it didn't seem to have a point though.

Current Movies.

The Queen is doing really well with both students and off-campus. I think we set a record for the number of seniors at the show on Friday. The Departed is doing really well too. Sunday is usually a quieter night but this Sunday was busier than most nights are.

Next week's Movies.

This was one of those nice weeks when I had multiple good films to choose from.

The ones available were
Saw 3 - I don't think so
Let's go to Prison- I even more don't think so.
Marie Antoinette -
The Guardian - I'm not sure about this one so I'm keeping it in reserve.
Little Miss Sunshine.

I chose Little Miss Sunshine for 7:00 and Marie Antoinette for 9:15. Little Miss Sunshine is the kind of move we do well with, a relatively small but good movie that has good word of mouth. It's been playing in various First Run theatres around London for at least a couple months which is longer than most big Hollywood films. Marie Antoinette has beautiful visuals so it should look great on our screen. It's primarily aimed at women and we often do quite well with 'chick flicks'.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My Fav James Bond Movie.

It's Sunday night and the wait to find out how the new James Bond movie does is almost over. Will it beat a bunch of dancing penguins to be #1? I'm going to see it later tonight and hope it's as good as I heard. My favorite Bond film is still Octopussy from 1983 though. It's later as the Roger Moore ones got silly but still creates a neat atmosphere. Some great stunts. It's also got my second favorite James Bond theme song sung by Rita Coollidge, ' All Time High'. The magazine cover is from one of the great movie magazines of the time.

Poster of the Week

I have to admit I'm a little biased on this one. It's the only poster I have framed and one of my favorites. Movie posters are bloody expensive to frame becuase they are so big. This is a poster from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom from 1984. This isn't the main poster it's a less common B poster. This poster is for sale at movieposter.com for $150 but seems to go for less on ebay. However one never knows about the originality of items on ebay. I have a couple extra copies, maybe I should sell them?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Badly designed Poster of the Week

Some may disagree with me but I think this poster for The Departed isn't well designed. It's hard to make out the faces of the stars and with the text split over multiple lines it's hard to read the title. I got two in a stack of posters and had to stop for a second and figure out what movie it was for. I suppose the intent might be to catch people's attention and make them think about it for a second. However, we get so much visual stimulation these days I think a better idea is to keep it simple so one glance can catch your attention.

Current movies.

I can't be too specific in this section for business reasons but I thought I'd give an update on how each movie has done.

Pirates 2 has done quite well, about what I expected. Lots of Popcorn sold.

Who Killed the Electric Car? has done surprisingly well for a 9:55 show. On Friday it did about 4 times what I expected. Tuesday it did more than Pirates.

Thursday has become the busy night of the week so we'll see what they do that night.

Next Week's Movies.

I had an unusual number of choices this week. There were 5 new movies available.

The Marine (Fox- so had to play both shows every night) - guess what my decision on that one was.

Employee of the Month. Was fairly funny but we don't do well with these kind of mid level comedies.

The three I was considering were:

Man of the Year
Flags of Our Fathers
Trailer Park Boys.

My boss asked me to check on Death Of a President and to my mild surprise it was available. I figured it would go through the art circuit before we could get it.

So I booked DOAP for the early show and Trailer Park Boys seemed a better choice for a late show plus it's Canadian and I try to support Canadian films when I can.

Depending on what is available next week I'm planning to play Flags of Our Fathers.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

An interesting Marketing problem.

There's a documentary coming out titled F@Ck or something to that effect. It's about the history, use and meaning of the F word. I wouldn't want to be the person assigned to market it, most newspapers will probably refuse to run ads, same for TV. I may face the same issues myself if Western Film ever plays it. I'm not sure when it comes out or if it will play in Canada yet.

Next Week's Movie

It was an interesting week for booking, see previous post. Who Killed the Electric Car? has been booked in for a few weeks and I had planned to play it at 7. However with the changes I was able to pick up Pirates 2. I decided to play it at 7 pm since we'll have people wanting to bring kids and more people will want to see it in general. Hopefully the people who want to see Electric Car are willing to see a late show. Pirates is so long Electric Car doesn't play until 9:55!

The only other new movie available was Man of The Year, I may play it next week depending on what is available. It didn't exactly storm the box office.

Friday is going to be interesting. There's no 7pm show because a conference is using the McKellar room for a play. I think they got bumped from somewhere else. So all the advertising says there's no 7pm show of Pirates on Friday. However, no matter how hard I advertise it we always get some people showing up for a cancelled show. And just to make things a little more confusing there is a late show of Electric Car on Friday. We've never tried to split a night like that before.

So anyway, if you want to see Pirates don't come Friday!

Some Movie Theatre News for London.

On Friday Nov 10th Rainbow downtown will switch to first run and the Huron Market place will switch to second run. Basically Rainbow will now play movies as soon as they come out but will be raising it's prices. Huron will lower it's prices, probably the same as Western Film's but will have to wait to get movies.

I'm curious to see what happens for Western Film. The most immediate effect is we can now play Disney product since we are no longer in the same zone as Rainbow. So I was able to book Pirates for next week and we'll be able to play The Prestige etc.

Huron is a bit of a distance away and I don't think a lot of students live in that area so attendance at Western Film may go up. We may also get some off-campus people who used to go to Rainbow but don't want to pay the higher prices.

I'm glad I don't work at Rainbow right now. They are going to have pissed off customers for a while.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

An interesting Cineplex Survey

I went to a movie at Cineplex the other day. With my ticket they gave me a contest entry to fill out a survey and win something. I don't remember what the prize was.
I filled the survey out partly to give some input and partly to see what they were asking.

Most of the questions were the usual, was the seating comfortable (no) was the picture okay (no-out of focus even after I told them), did you buy any food (no-too expensive)?

There was one that caught my attention. They asked what my reaction would be to movies that were always subtitled, even movies in English. I can see where they are going with this. The theatres have been under some pressure to figure out some way to offer a movie theatre equivalent of closed captioning for the hearing impaired.
Subtitling all the films would be the cheapest and most effective way to do this. Right now the only way to do it is a system called HV. One of the theatres at the Silver City has it. An LED sign across the back runs the captions in mirror image. Anyone using the system puts something like a mirror in their cupholder and reads the text off it. Besides being a bit awkward the system has two other downsides. It requires a CD-Rom to play the captions. If the CD doesn't arrive with the film the system doesn't work. The other item is cost, I've heard these systems are $20,000 each. Considering what some other theatre equipment costs this could be accurate.
I don't think captioning everything would bother me personally, I've seen a lot of subtitled movies. I don't even notice that I'm reading the movie any more. I do have 2 questions.

What happens in a dialogue heavy scene, would they have to simplify the text to compensate for slower readers. That could get really distracting.
Would the general public go for it? Quite often if I tell someone at Western Film the film is subtitled they won't go see it.
Any thoughts?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Movie Poster of the Week

Spotted this on a website selling movie posters. It's $25.00 US but I'm tempted, it's one of the funniest movies of all time. I suppose I have enough movie posters though. Note that it's been folded, up until the late 80's or so all posters were mailed folded. It is pretty rare to find an older poster not folded. To the point I've seen reprints made of older posters that included the fold lines. With the advent of backlit display cases the posters started being shipped rolled since they looked better.

BTW: Backlit cases are also why most original posters these days are double sided. If only single sided they tend to look washed out when backlit.