Thursday, December 13, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I don't know much about St Trinians. It's a British remake of an old movie. This trailer made me laugh harder than most I've seen recently. Colin Firth is always good and Rupert Everett in drag will probably be priceless. This movie has come out in Britain but I haven't seen a Canadian release date.
One week left before we close for Holidays. Not sure what will play. I think I might have to get creative.
Monday, December 03, 2007
It's not completely the other theatre's fault, movies are all supposed to be mixed to play at the same volume level however there's usually some variation. When we play a film in DTS digital sound the volume level is usually set at 6.5 -7. For Across The Universe I had to turn it up to 7.6. Most movies at that volume would be blowing people ears out.
I'm not sure what I'm going to fill the next two weeks with, American Gangster is the only 'big' movie that might come off. Usually in the exam period I try to play comedies or other good exam break movies. I may bring in Shoot 'Em Up for this reason. Or movies that appeal to the adult market that will show up while the students are busy.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
There's some interesting looking stuff coming out. Of course these lists are very subject to change and sometimes aren't right on purpose. Paramount's mystery monster movie that had a short trailer run in front of Transformers doesn't show up on it's release schedule.
No Country For Old Men the newest film from the Coen Brothers which is getting rave reviews and doing huge business in the few theatres it's playing in goes wide on Nov 23rd which means it will probably play in London. I'll be there.
They are distributing a film called Mad Money about three women ( Keaton, Queen Latifah,Katie Holmes, ) who plot to steal the money being taken out of circulation at a bank. It looks funny and open Jan 18th.
Be Kind Rewind- this comedy with Jack Black and Mos Def looks really funny and opens Jan 25.
Some movie called Superhero! starring Leslie Neilsen opens on March 28th. I'm assuming it's one of those parody movies. Let's hope it more like Naked Gun than Scary Movie 4.
Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay- the title says it all. I'll be there Apr 25th.
Sex and The City opens may 30th.
Sometimes you get the generic titles:
Untitled Ice Cube Family Comedy opens Jul 25th. Do you think he's getting typecast?
A film called Scanners is being released on Oct 17th 2008. Given that it's being directed by the guy who did the Blade films and is coming out around Halloween the odds are good it's a horror film and may be a remake of the Canadian film from 1981 directed by David Cronenberg.
The guy who did Supersize Me, the documentary about eating only McDonalds for a month is releasing a documentary called "Where is Osama" sometime in 2008. That could get interesting.
Something called El Superbeasto is being released at a date TBD. It's called an 'adult animation' and being directed by Rob Zombie who did the recent remake of Halloween. It sounds like another film I'll have to turn people away at the theatre who automatically assume animation = kids.
Looks there are some things for movie buffs and theatre runners like me to look forward to.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Saturday, November 10, 2007
So was I right?
Elizabeth did better than most films played at Western Film, even better than the higher end of the range I expected it to fall in.
Superbad did better the second week than the first. Good enough that I may play it again if I there isn't anything good available.
There are always the times I am almost wrong. Like when I almost didn't play Moulin Rouge because I didn't know much about and it turned out to be one of the highest grossing films of that year for Western Film.
My memory is probably being selective but I honestly can't remember ever being really really wrong. There have been many movies that didn't do as well as I expected but not disastrously.
I suppose it'll happen sooner or later.
Monday, November 05, 2007
One normal pattern is that the late show on Sunday is pretty dead. Especially if the film hasn't been really busy. Last night my staff figured the late show of Superbad would be quiet so they didn't even bother to make any more popcorn. This is a decision I would have agreed with. Friday and Saturday it did about 30-40 each show. Not bad for the second week of a film. Based on that I would have predicted about 10-15 people for Sunday's show.
Needless to say they were surprised when 77 people showed up.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
I wasn't sure I wanted to see this movie on the night I went. I wasn't really in the mood for a serious film but I'd seen all the lighter stuff that wasn't complete crap. Fortunately Rendition was a great film that held my interest well without being too depressing. Jake Gyllenhall did a good job as usual. I don't much like Reese Witherspoon but she did okay. Meryl Streep didn't have many scenes but as usual nailed the character. T%he story was interesting if nothing too original, it seemed 'inspired' by the Mahar Arar story. There was one plot point that was really interesting. It was kind of funny since I had thought of it earlier in the film but it didn't seem like the kind of film that would use it. The film isn't doing too well despite it's quality, Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars. People, don't seem to want to see movies serious movies about Iraq, Terrorism etc. In the Valley of Elah suffered a similar fate. Rendition will probably play at Western Film. It's a fairly high profile film with some well known stars.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
BY ROGER EBERT FILM CRITIC / July 6, 2007
Q. I came across a mention of "The Wilhelm Scream" on Movie City News. Had never heard of it before, but apparently I've heard it -- lots.Laura Hunt, Chicago
A. So have we all. According to Hollywoodlostandfound.net, in Raoul Walsh's "Distant Drums" (1951), screams were recorded for a scene where a man is dragged under by an alligator. The scream was re-used in many other Warner Bros. films, including "Them!" and "PT-109."Sound effects man Ben Burtt noticed that the scream kept turning up, the site says, and "a few years later, when Burtt was hired to create sound effects for "Star Wars" (1977), he had an opportunity to do research at the sound departments of several movie studios. While at Warner Bros. looking for sound elements to use in the space adventure, he found the original "Distant Drums" scream, which he called "Wilhelm" after the character who let out the scream in "Charge at Feather River." Ben adopted the scream as a kind of personal sound signature, and included it in all the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" films, and many of the other films he has worked on including "More American Graffiti" (1979) and "Willow" (1988).Not surprisingly, it has appeared in two Tarantino films, "Batman" films and "Lord of the Rings "films. Wilhelm Scream fans think it's likely the original was screamed by actor Sheb Wooley.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I'm a little behind on this post since these movies started earlier today. On Monday there were some new movies available.
3:10 To Yuma,- good film, not a lot of press but good word of mouth. Surprisingly has the highest gross of any movie released in the fall. (after Labour Day)
Good Luck Chuck- Wasn't a bad movie but people heard it was bad so it wouldn't have done well. In general these 'stupid' comedies don't do well at Western Film any more.
Mr Bean. - Not enough interest.
I decided to play Yuma for the 7:00 show but was a bit unsure about the late show. I checked on a couple films that I thought would make good late shows. Eastern Promises was holding at the Silver City. The Hyland was keeping Shake Hands with the Devil.
I ended up booking one of my reserve films, The Nanny Diaries. I figured it could do well since it didn't do too bad first run and while it didn't get a lot of good buzz it didn't get a lot of bad buzz either. Plus as I've said before, films aimed at women are very popular at Western Film. It could be a bomb though. Probably has a better chance of doing well than Good Luck Chuck which actually grossed more first run.
Superbad may be coming sooner than I expected. Sony usually put 2 weeks between first and second run but our Booker said they have been moving it straight over in many markets. So there is a possibility it might come next week.
PS. I'm writing this post Late Friday night after the first showings of these films and I'm glad to report that it looks like Nanny was a good gamble, it did quite well. Yuma did better than I expected which was nice. We'll see how the week plays out.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
On Oct 19 and 20th at midnight we are playing a horror movie called Hatchet. Apparently it's a homage to the slasher flicks of the 80's and is funny as well as gory. Some of the actors who played various movie bad guys in the 80's make appearances. Robert Englund who played Freddy Kruger, Kane Hodder who played Jason in the Friday the 13th films and Tony Todd who played The Candyman.
It's a first run exclusive showing. The distributor contacted me about doing the showing a couple weeks ago. It's basically a promo for the DVD release of the film which I'm not really keen on but that's the way things are going. The distributor sent me a whole bunch of posters so I'm going to go around to the various comic book store and see if they will help promote the show.
The following weekend there will be a showing at Midnight on Saturday Oct 27th of John Carpenter's classic The Thing as part of Thing-Fest . This is the 7th year of the fest. These guys are serious fans. They went out to B.C. and found the original shooting locations where there were still some remnants of the sets. I've been surprised at the lengths people have gone to to see the movie, literally. There was a guy from Ireland one year, a few who had come from the US and I got an e-mail a few days ago from a guy who's coming from New York this year. He was worried we would sell out on him. The theatre seats 375 so I don't think it will be an issue.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Western Film stated as student club called the Western Film Society sometime in the early 80's. I have some paperwork and schedules from 1982.
At some point the name was changed to Western Film Community. At this point WFC was still a student club. Members worked 'shifts' in the theatre.
WFC ran 16 mm films on the weekend in Middlesex College rm 110. Usually 3 or 4 different movies a weekend, a mix of new stuff and old stuff. This was before home video was as popular as it is now. We brought back things like Bill and Ted's Excellent Journey, Scarface, Die Hard. Heavy Metal was really popular because at the time it wasn't available on video at all, just film.
I joined around 88/89. I became a VP and then President.
Around 1993 it was getting harder and harder to operate as a 16 mm theatre. The distributor we had to use was ordering fewer 16 mm prints. So we faced a choice between going to video or going to 35mm film which is what most theatres used. With video projection at that time even an expensive projector looked like crap. So we decided to go 35mm.
At the time a license was needed to run 35mm equipment in Ontario. Luckily I was working in a magazine/variety store downtown at the time and knew a projectionist who agreed to train me and fib a bit on how many hours I had apprenticed. It was supposed to be 800 hrs. I did about 50 but that was enough. The licence was largely a holdover from when the film was flammable. However one was still supposed to do the apprenticeship and do a written and practical exam to get the licence.
The USC bought 35 mm film equipment and installed it in Middlesex 110. We had to get the University to expand the existing projection booth. Even still it was pretty tight. I had to crawl under each projector to get to the other. We were running 20 minute reels with switchovers so I often had to do it in the dark and in a hurry.
About a year later the UCC was renovated and we moved into the McKellar room. Before the renovation it was just a big square one story room. During the renovations they added the second story and the balcony.
There were a few things that sucked. Because the room is oriented on the diagonal we had to settle for a fairly small motorized screen in the back corner of the stage. I think it was 20 feet wide. The floor was flat with these silly little chairs that hooked together. The only door into the booth was on the far side away from the entrance.
Basically it was the old multipurpose room that ends up good for nothing, the acoustics were good for live stuff but bad for movies.
I trained and we licensed a couple of other members to do the projection.
It was about this time I left to work full time as a projectionist at Famous and Cineplex which at the time paid really well (mostly because the union controlled all the licences). I was also running my home business selling collectible magazines.
Right around 1999 the projectionist thing was coming to an end. The government had, to many
people's surprise, eliminated the apprenticeship part of the licence. Cineplex and Famous immediately began 'training' their managers and getting them licensed by writing the test.
In the time I was gone WFC had become Western Film, had gotten actual theatre seats put in, put a door on the other end of the booth, started running 7 days a week with paid staff and a full time manager. This was mostly done by my friend Mark Maclellan who was president of WFC after me for a couple years then ended up working there full time. He was promoted to the manager of Entertainment Productions of which Western Film was a part. Someone else ran Western Film for about a year then quit.
At this point I saw the end coming with projection at Cineplex, I figured it was only a matter of time before they eliminated the licences entirely. The wages had already started to come down since the union had lost a lot of it's bargaining power. Luckily the job at Western Film opened up and I applied for and got it. I had a 35mm licence which was still needed at the time, was familiar with the organization and loved movie theatres.
This was in November 2000. The next summer we put in the current, larger, screen and a better theatre sound system. That was the last really big project we had until this summer when we finally got our permanent concession stand instead of pushing it all out on carts every night.
So we come to the current Western Film. At some point we are going to put in a Dolby Digital sound system. We have DTS digital sound but it has a big weakness in that the CD-Roms have to come with the print which doesn't always happen. With Dolby the digital sound is on the film.
The next big thing will be the replacement of the 35mm equipment with a Digital Projector. I figure about 2010 it's going to start getting hard to get 35 mm prints in a similar fashion as happened before with 16mm.
These is one other possibility: the USC is taking over the gyms when Campus Rec moves out. I've always thought they would make a nice little three or four plex. Not likely to happen but I can dream can't I?
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Sunday, September 16, 2007
This is an original one sheet for Risky Business in mint shape. This would have been worth a lot of money a while ago. Still, one place is Toronto wants $138 for one with tape marks. There's an ebay store that wants about $250 for one.
I'd love to get this poster framed. It's one of my farvorite movies and posters. However framing a poster this big costs about $150.00
Rush Hour 3
there were sequels- Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Die Hard 4, Harry Potter,
There were also semi-sequels, Mr. Bean's Vacation, Daddy Daycare, Evan Almighty.
The interesting thing is the relative lack of sequels coming up, this Christmas there are practically none. In fact a staff member and I were discussing the other day how neither of us could think of more than couple movies coming out at Christmas. I am Legend and Bee movie were most prominent.
There are a couple sequels coming up. Elizabeth: the Golden Age I would call a semi-sequel. Saw 4 is coming at Halloween. Alien Vs Predator 2. National Treasure 2. That's it for Christmas. There are remakes, I am Legend is a not obvious remake of The Omega Man.
Looking at next summer it's almost all original titles with only a few sequels. The big one being Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The only other ones listed are The Dark Night (Batman), Hellboy 2, Chronicles of Narnia 2. The Mummy 3, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 whatever that is.
.There's also James Bond 22 next Christmas. One site says the next Harry Potter film is next Christmas, not sure if that's right.
It will be interesting to see if the 'original' stuff can do as well as the massively hyped sequels with built in fan bases and awareness.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
More info here.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Quit relying on sequels.
Allow talent to develop. One film should not make or break a career.
Don't sully a good film or series of films by making bad sequels.
More nudity, less violence: this would be fine in most of the world but the prudes in the US would freak.
Embrace new technology instead of fighting it.
If you are interested in a more serious discussion about films then I would recommend you check out his blog Scanners.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Next week I'll be back to posting pretty much every day.
Saturday, September 01, 2007
It was a serviceable movie, not horrible but not really good either. There was nothing out of the ordinary about it. Some good action and things blow up real good.
It was one of those movies with hyper kinetic editing that makes it hard to see what's going on.
The thing that pissed me off was how they used the two stars. Jet Li is a star because of his martial arts skills not his acting skills. Jason is a better actor but also has a martial arts background. He did all his own stunts in the Transporter films. There's only short scene with the two of the fighting.
For most of the film, and especially that scene, the film is edited the same way a film would be edited to make a non-skilled fighter look like a master. Short shots of body parts hitting things, shots that could be stuntmen etc. Both these guys are skilled fighters so why not let them show it off?!
Plus Jason never takes his shirt off.
Even if it was good this film wouldn't play at Western Film. These small action films never do well at Western Film.
On the advice of one of my staff I typed a few of the lyrics into google and found out who the singer is: Paris Hilton.
I'm so embarrassed, but I still like the song.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
A long shot is basically a shot taken from a distance where the whole scene can be seen. Movies like Transformers have more or less eliminated them. The action seems to be quick shots of only parts of the action. I know I found it hard to watch, even the second time I had trouble figuring out what was happening half the time. I can only remember one shot of the final battle where the characters are seen from a distance.
The Bourne Ultimatum has sparked quite a controversy over it's almost constantly moving and shaking image. It's so bad it has made some people nauseous. I found it annoying but tolerable. There's quite a post on it on one of my favorite movie blogs Scanners. Some people say it's a way of increasing excitement, others say it's a way of disguising bad acting or direction. A steadicam is a mechanism that ... steadies a camera, and I wish they had used one for more of this film.