Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Next Week's Movies

There were three new movies available for next week.

The Heartbreak Kid- bad movie, bombed, got bad word of mouth, better things to play so won't be coming to Western Film.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age- I booked this in for the 7pm show. It didn't do too great first run but it's the kind of film that will play well at the University, or at least, I hope.

The Kingdom - This one I'm holding in reserve for the week after next. It would make a good late show and I decided to keep Superbad as the late show next week.

I decided to keep Superbad for a couple reasons.

-It's been quite busy, busy enough that I probably would have kept it even without the second reason. In 4 days it's done almost as much business as most movies make all week.

- the students are incredibly busy and this week seems to be the peak from what I've heard. I would imagine there are many who want to see the film but don't have time. We actually had people asking if we are going to keep the film another week which is a rare request. It's moving to 9:20.

I figure Across The Universe will come off soon, probably Michael Clayton and Rendition as well. Both are good movies but not doing great commercially.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This one has my vote for weirdest looking movie coming soon.

I happened across this trailer the other day. At first I thought it was a fake trailer put together by a fan but it appears to be a real movie. Sarah Brightman is in it which is cool, she's a opera singer who's best known for being in the stage version of Phantom Of The Opera. She's also released some albums with a mix of opera and pop songs. Apparently Paris Hilton is in it as well. I like the weird ones so I'll be seeing this one if it plays around here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Movie Review - Rendition

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

Fun stuff- The Wilhelm Scream.

You've all heard it but maybe didn't realize how often. Below is Roger Ebert's explanation and a link to a wonderful video on youtube. Someone went through 175 films and condensed all the Wilhelm screams into one video. It gets a bit much after a couple minutes but it's neat nonetheless. There's yet another one below it.


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.

My Poster Collection - E.T.

This is an original folded one-sheet for what was for a while the highest grossing film of all time. I never liked the movie much, not sure why I have the poster. movieposter.com has a rolled one for $300. If it's real it's pretty rare to find a rolled poster from that period. They have one about the same shape as mine for $80.00

Movie Review - The Heartbreak Kid

This film looked so promising. It reunited the team that brought us There's Something about Mary which I would consider a minor comedy classic. The premise looked interesting. However overall the movie wasn't very good. It was only sporadically funny and some of the jokes were really forced. Ben Stiller was Ben Stiller as usual but started to get on my nerves more than usual. Until I saw it (and read the reviews) there was no question whether this film would play at Western Film but now I don't think it will. It's a well-known movie with a fairly big star but it's got that bad movie vibe so I don't think it would do well at Western Film. I'd maybe play it if there's nothing else available that week.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Movie Review - Eastern Promises

This is the new film from director David Cronenberg starring Viggo Mortensen who was was also in Cronenberg's last film A History of Violence. The film is a bit slow but has really well developed characters. Viggo does great job of making his character truly scary. There was one plot twist that I saw coming. It's also extremely violent in a very realistic way that some people won't like. One of it's best known parts is a several minute fight seen in a sauna with Viggo totally naked. It was an interesting choice. They avoided the movie cliche of him wearing a towel which miraculously never falls off. There's also an extra dimension showing the vulnerability of the naked body. It was edited in such a way that Viggo's 'bits' as the British call them were not shown much. I booked it for next week so it's going to play at Western Film.

Next Week's Movies

Next week wasn't too hard to book. There were 4 new movies available.

-Resident Evil 3- a fun movie but not the kind of film that does well at Western Film.

Sydney White - aimed at young girls, too young to be students.

Superbad - finally, I booked it in, if it doesn't do really well I'll be truly shocked. The only thing that may reduce the numbers is how busy the students are with mid-terms etc.

Eastern Promises - I booked this in as the late show. It sorta should have been an early show because of it's serious nature and cinephile appeal because it's directed by David Cronenberg. However it's really violent so the art crowd may not come anyway. Violent movies usually make for good late shows.

The next movie I expect to do well is Across the Universe. Not sure what else will be played soon, most of the films coming out recently, especially serious ones, haven't been doing too well.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Movie Review - Elizabeth The Golden Age.

I'm way behind on my movie reviews so I'm going to do a bunch of short ones to catch up.

Elizabeth I was really looking forward to, I remember the first one being really good, I'm pretty sure it was the first time most people had heard of Cate Blanchett. The new one was not as good as I expected but was still good. Cate was really good, I see possible Oscar nomination. The sets and wardrobes were the most spectacular part of the film. I found it similar to the first film in having a hard time following the story. I also got the impression I was supposed to know things and recognize people I didn't, possibly from the first movie. Still worth watching. it will be playing at Western Film.

Next Week's Movies

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

Next Week's Movies

There were a couple good choices this week. The Bourne Ultimatum and The Brave One. Mr. Woodcock was also available but we aren't going to play that one. I think there was something else but it was so off the radar I can't even remember. The only minor decision was which one to play first. Being a more serious movie I would normally have put The Brave One at 7pm. Also Jodie Foster is popular among older women who tend not to go to the late show. Bourne really needed to be the early show because it was so much more popular though. I'm hoping enough people will want to see The Brave One to go to the late show.

About the only big movie I'm waiting on is Superbad. There's better movies opening in the next little while so things should start to come off. This weekend alone has Michael Clayton, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and We Own the Night.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Poster of the Week - There will Be Blood.

This poster is for an upcoming movie that looks really good and has already got a lot of press. It's called There Will be Blood and it stars Daniel Day-Lewis and was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. I've never understood the appeal of Day-Lewis, everyone seems to think he's this great actor, on the other hand I've never been much impressed by Marlon Brando who is supposed to the greatest actor ever.

I do like Paul Thomas Anderson though. He did Boogie Nights and the magnificently twisted Magnolia.

The story is about family, greed, religion, and oil, centered around a turn-of-the-century Texas prospector (Daniel Day-Lewis) in the early days of the business. It sounds fascinating. It's scheduled for release Dec 26th.

My Poster Collection - Condorman

Yet another poster for a silly movie no one has ever heard of. I think I got this poster out of a selection of 500 random posters Western Film bought from a dealer back when we bought posters to sell. The only significant thing about the poster/movie is that Michael Crawford starred in it. About the time I got the poster he was pretty big because he was playing The Phantom of The Opera in either Toronto or London England.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Movie Review - Across the Universe

When I first saw the the trailer for Across the Universe I had two thoughts. I want to see this movie and it's going to be one of those movies where some people will really like it and others won't 'get' it. I was right on the second point and I pretty much didn't get it. However other people have really liked it so this is one movie where a person really has to make up their own mind. I heard some of the other people in the audience as we left saying how much they liked it.

If I had to sum up the film in one sentence it would be Rent with Beatles songs.

I liked the movie but not as much as I thought I would, the story was interesting and I thought it was creative the way they intertwined the names, characters and story lines of various Beatles's songs. Part of the reason I didn't like it as much is my personal preferences as far as music goes. I tend to like faster music with a beat and music that reaches a crescendo or some sort of energy level. The songs in the film seemed to be slowed down and never got above a certain energy level that I wanted. Honestly it could just have been the volume was too low though. The visual sequences were quite wild and personally, I think the movie may have been designed to be watched while stoned.

As an example of the music issue I have embedded the trailer below. I like the part where it reaches a crescendo just after Hey Jude starts. The original song does something similar. However the movie doesn't.

This film will most likely be playing at Western Film. I think there will be enough people who want to see it and it's the kind of movie some people will want to see more than once.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Next Week's Movies

The decision for next week was pretty easy. There wasn't anything new available. I still had Stardust waiting and Fox finally let me split Die Hard so I booked those two in. However I don't expect either to be really busy with Thanksgiving weekend.

Bourne Ultimatum should come off soon. Then there's the more iffy ones like Mr. Bean and Nanny Diaries.