Friday, February 29, 2008

Western Film Movie Review - Vantage Point.

The trailers for this film were really well done. I really wanted to see it and it looked really good. Unfortunately the movie didn't quite live up to the trailer. It was still a good, interesting, fun film but not as good as I had hoped. It used a somewhat unconventional narrative form which some of the audience members seemed to have trouble with. It was one of those films where the elements of a great movie all seemed to be there but weren't quite put together right. It's still worth seeing though. I don't think it will play at Western Film even if it was a better film. The kind of mid-range action films it represents don't get well attended at Western Film any more. I might try it as a late show if I have an opening.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Next Week's movies.

I was really hoping for a big movie to come off this week as it's typically busy since the students tend not to have too much to do right after Slack Week. I didn't expect to get any of the Oscar movies but I was hoping for 27 Dresses to come off. It'll do real well here.

These are the movies that were available:

Rambo- wouldn't do well here.

Meet The Spartans - I wouldn't have played it anyway and Fox wanted full shows?!

National Treasure 2 - I decided not to play this for now, maybe not at all. Based on general trends and especially how I Am Legend did these kind of films just don't seem to be what people want to see at Western Film.

Persepolis- This is the kind of film that can do well here. I'm hoping it's like Kite Runner and I'm pleasantly surprised and does better than I think it will. It could also bomb.

For the late show I decided to do a bit of an experiment and put in Cloverfield. We'll see if everyone who wanted to see it already saw it. I'll probably have to put up signs about the queasy-cam aspect of the film, some people can't take the shaking camera and get motion sickness.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

New Feature on Coming Soon page of website.

I get a lot of people asking whether we are going to play particular films. Mostly the smaller films that didn't play in the first run theatres. Sometimes it's a film that playing at another theatre and the person wants to know if they can wait until it comes here or should go see it there.

In response I added something new to the bottom of the coming soon page of the website. A list of films and their status as to whether they will play at Western Film. There's 4 categories, Will Play, Will Probably play, will Probably Not play and Won't play. Films will likely move around between categories as time goes on, mostly down the list.

Some people will probably want to know whether films that have just come out or are going to come out soon will play so they know whether they should wait. I'm not listing films like that since it's too hard to know until we see how the critics and audience respond to the film. I had fully planned to play Cloverfield until it came out.

Hopefully I won't get in the situation where a film I listed as Will Play doesn't for some reason. You'll notice that list is pretty small.

This week's Movies ( a little late)

I realized I hadn't posted my usual what and why I booked next week post. These movies started yesterday but I'll pretend that hasn't happened for the post.

This is one of the hardest weeks of the year to book. It all falls in Slack Week so I don't want to play anything the students want to see as most of them aren't here. For example if Juno had been available this week I would have said no. For this week I try to play films that is of more interest to adults and/or we've already played.

There were Three new movies available.

Cloverfield - I've been really undecided on playing this one. It had a lot of hype and was interesting. It really seemed to polarize people as to who liked it and who didn't. However the steep drops in grosses after the first weekend signify it might be one of those films that everyone who wanted to see it already has. In any case I wouldn't play it this week since the students aren't here. If I have an late show opening in the next couple weeks I might put it in. After There Will be Blood might work. The late show that week will be about 10pm since Blood is so long and Cloverfield is fairly short. (plus I kinda want to watch it again myself).

Untraceable- medium level thriller, wouldn't have done much here.

The Eye- horror, not something we play.

I thought of a few adult oriented films that we hadn't played. The first one I asked about was I'm Not There but there are no prints available for a couple weeks. The next one I asked about was Before The Devil Knows You're Dead which was available so I booked it in. This is a great little thriller with great performances. It suffers from a lack of awareness so I don't know how it will do. I find it odd that Philip Seymour Hoffman got nominated for Charlie Wilson's War when he did such a better job in Devil.

I was thinking of only playing one show next week since there was no obvious late show. However I wanted to play one to give the staff that are here full shifts. The staff that stayed behind want to work as much as possible this week while they have no school which I completely understand. I figured out once how much a late show needs to make to break even for weeks like this when I need to decide whether to run a late show. It comes up more in the summer. I looked at what we had already played and Sweeney Todd had done fairly well. I decided it would make enough to show for a second week so I booked it in.

27 Dresses should come off soon. Juno, No Country for Old Men, There will be Blood and Atonement should all be coming soon depending on how they do at the Oscars.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Hollywood Double Standards+ American Ones.

I've noticed this before but these are two blatant examples.

THE PATRIOT a film from 2000 starring Mel Gibson. It was about a small band of American rebels led by Mel Gibson against the British during the War of Independence. The movie carefully made the British out to be really bad guys. However if you watch the film the rebels are using basic rebel moves such as ambushes that are used all over the world. Basically, in England the film would have been titled THE TERRORIST.

CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR. Tom Hanks plays a US congressman who arranges aid to the Afghan rebels when the Soviets invaded in the 80's, eventually leading to the Soviet withdrawal. I noticed two things about this film.

Except for one short sequence the Russians are never seen getting killed. It concentrates mostly on equipment such as helicopters being destroyed. The one short sequence with Russians is similar to The Patriot in that the Russians are portrayed as really bad guys.

The US is basically accusing the Iranians of arranging aid to the Afghans currently fighting the Americans in Afghanistan. Therefore the same film could be made from the Iranian point of view at some point in the future.

I'm not saying the Americans are wrong, I just think it's a bit of a double standard.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why Atonement got cancelled

We had booked in Atonement for the current week. On Friday about Noon I got a phone call at home from our booking office. They wanted to know why our website said we didn't have any shows on Saturday. I told them we had gotten bumped for the Vagina Monologues.
Apparently Westmount was still playing Atonement and complained, they probably weren't happy to begin with that were playing the same film as them. The distributor Alliance wasn't too happy not to have the whole weekend. I told them we do most of our business on Friday, Tuesday, Wed and Thurs and Saturday is relatively quiet.
Alliance pulled the film and wouldn't let us play it. We ended up playing Enchanted for both shows all week.
I've always tried to avoid getting bumped for various other events, especially on certain nights. The Monologues the last couple years took over a Sunday night which I wasn't too worried about. Hopefully this whole situation will be a good argument against getting bumped in the future. Probably not for the Monologues, the Saturday night show was really busy so I imagine they'll want to do it again next year.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Funny Sweded trailer for Be Kind Rewind.

I'm not sure where the term sweded came from. It may actually be referring to the director of Be Kind Rewind Michael Gondry who I think is Swedish? The movie is about 2 guys who create their own versions of films to replace videotapes accidently erased in a video store.

You have to watch or have seen the official trailer for Be Kind Rewind for the sweded version to make sense. It's the first video below.

For some reason this film is getting a really limited release in Canada. I'm not sure if that means it's either weirder than it looks or not as funny as it looks or they just want word of mouth to spread. The director has made some weird films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Darn it,

I had this really interesting post ready to go about 2007 in review. Naturally Blooger is broke and pics won't upload. I'll post it later.

First post for 2008.

Boy, I'm behind. Sorry for disappearing like that. Was concentrating on other things for a while. I found myself still writing blog entries in my head so I guess I should get back to it. Part of it was the low numbers of people reading it according to the Google analytics. I suppose I got into a loop where the low readers made me post less which lead to fewer readers. From now on I'm going to post as I want to and not worry about the number of readers.

I'm going to put the link back on the Western Film website with the subtitle ' now updated daily' since I try to always do everything I say I'm going to update it daily as much as possible.

James Waite
Western Film.