Sunday, February 18, 2007

Western Film Mini-reviews.

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

EPIC MOVIE- I went to see this on a night I wanted to see something funny and had seen everything else. I knew it wouldn't be great but I thought it would be at least funny. Boy was I wrong, it was truly one of the worst, unfunny movies I've ever seen. I think I giggled a couple times, that's about it. They didn't bother to follow normal movie patterns like plot and continuity. One character has her head kicked off and in the next scene is back as if nothing has happened. This movie will not be playing at Western Film. It probably wouldn't even if it was better since it's from Fox.

CATCH AND RELEASE - I went to see this one night because I wasn't in the mood to see anything heavy and it looked cute and funny. For the most part it was interesting but not exceptional. Kevin Smith was pretty funny. I'm already having trouble remembering it which shows how pedestrian it was. This wouldn't have come to Western Film even if it was better. It's gotten practically no promotion.

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER - I saw this Chinese movie at The Hyland. It was along the lines of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. Interesting story, large scale battle scenes, cool martial arts. It didn't get much buzz going and has kinda vanished already.

PAN'S LABYRINTH - I think I already mentioned this one but it deserves a second mention anyway. It was a truly great film. The world it creates is utterly involving. I didn't even notice the subtitles, the visuals were amazing. This will be coming to Western Film.

SMOKING ACE'S - It wasn't a great movie but it was a lot of fun if you appreciate really really over the top violence. There was more than a hint of Tarantino in this film. It was a little hard to follow since there were a lot of characters, it seemed like every male actor working in Hollywood was in this movie. I don't know if this will be coming to Western Film. We tend not to do too well with heavy action films any more plus it has relatively low awareness.

Western Film's cyclical nature

One thing that makes running Western Film interesting / maddening is the unusual cycles it operates under. We are starting to get some of the Oscar product and the Christmas hits and here comes Slack Week which kills all of one playweek and most of another. We have to play as many good movies as we can in March because as soon as exams starts attendance drops no matter what we are playing. The next couple weeks I have good stuff to play but there won't be any students here to see them so I'm holding off so good stuff will start to back up. It may mean smaller movies I would like to play like Little Children might get dropped.
On the other hand we have times like November and sometimes February when we end up playing less than stellar movies only because there isn't anything better to play.

It is better than it used to be. The studios sometimes hold off on letting us play films that are Oscar Nominated. If the movies win they often get rereleased. The Oscars used to be at the end of March so we weren't able to get most of the nominated films until April. Now the Oscars are in February so we can play most of the films in March.

There are no or few students here at what are usually two of the peak movies seasons, summer and Christmas. It kinda works out for Christmas though, the first run theatres would hold anything that is doing well so Western Film probably wouldn't get anything good. The playweek that covers Christmas and New Year's is two weeks long so we would have to play the same movies for two weeks which wouldn't work too well. Plus I get two weeks extra vacation.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

No Outside Food/ Yuck!

Like most theatres we have a no outside food or drink policy. A theatre cannot operate on just the money from the ticket sales.

I always find it funny that people object to this policy, especially with us. To me it's the equivalent of buying a Boston Pizza and taking it into a McDonalds to eat. How many people would do that?

Unfortunately we have a higher problem than most with smuggled food. In most theaters one looks a little out of place taking in a bag or backpack. However with classes, the gyms downstairs, etc. we get a lot of people who bring bags in.

The thing that really burns my britches is what people do when they do smuggle in food. They often leave it for us to clean up. Here's some examples.

We have to clean up Harvey's and Tim Horton's stuff all the time.
I find beer bottles in there occasionally, once I found 12.
Banana and Orange peels.
nut shells.

There's been a couple gross ones.
Chinese food sauce all over the seats.
A couple weeks ago we found the bones from Chicken Wings scattered under a couple seats.

I'm getting really sick of arguing with people who want to bring their Tim Horton's coffee in. I don't know what they put in that stuff but it makes people crazy.

Next Week's Movies

This week was an interesting one to book. I had already booked in The Holiday since we bumped it from last week. There were some movies available.

Manufacturing Consent
Casino Royale
Blood Diamond
Happy Feet - We generally don't play kid's movies, especially during the school year.

I've had a lot of interest in Consent and the prints are in high demand so I had to grab it this week. It's the 7:00 show and Holiday is at 9:00.

The following week ( Feb 23 - Feb 1) is hard to book since it's almost all slack week and there are very few students around. So I try to book in a movie that appeals to adults. Painted Veil is a good example, the crowd has mostly been off campus adults, faculty and seniors.

For now I've booked in Half Nelson. I'll find out on Monday if there is anything to play with it. It might be a one movie week.

I booked in Casino Royale for Feb 2- 8. The adults tend to come on the weekend which is still Slack week but the students tend to come later in the week.

My boss asked me to book Blood Diamond in for Feb 9th to coincide with a conference or something.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Scary sounding but could be true. is reporting Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller will team up in a comedic movie version of The Hardy Boys?! Sounds a little crazy but I can see Cruise trying to tone down the serious image he has gotten recently. I bet Ben Stiller will want a ton of money to take the risk of how badly this could backfire. Who knows, it's probably one of those ideas that get leaked just to see what public reaction might be.

Next Week's Movies

This was a bit of a pickle of a week to book. The Holiday was available as well as Alpha Dog. We could also pick up The Painted Veil coming off rainbow. The problem was both Holiday and Veil basically had to be a 7pm show, especially Veil. Alpha Dog fits as a late show but I didn't think there would be a lot of interest.

Painted Veil is one of these movies there are few prints of so if I didn't play it next week I may not be able to get a print the following week.
I decided to put off The Holiday until next week and play Painted Veil. Babel has done extremely well so I moved it to the late show for next week. I think I can safely say a second week of Babel will do better than Alpha Dog would have.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A very Cool Movie Poster.

I got a couple copies of this poster in this week. I love getting new posters in, it's like opening presents. The Spiderman 3 poster is one of the more elaborate I've seen. Most movie posters are on heavy paper and double sided for backlit display cases. This poster is on really heavy paper. The black and white part is extremely glossy, almost silvery. The dark area in the color section is embossed in a rain like pattern.
It's going to be a shame to put pins in it to put in our display cases. I have some big plastic bags I sometimes put posters I don't want to damage in. I hang the poster by putting the pins in the bag. The last time I did it was the last Star Wars movie since I wanted to keep one for my collection.