Category Archives: Movies

American Reunion Movie Review

I had the chance last week to go to an advance screening of the newest film in the American Pie franchise, American Reunion.  Overall I greatly enjoyed it.  I laughed more than I have at a comedy in a long time.

I think possibly part of the reason I enjoyed it so much, is that because I am the roughly the same age group as the characters in the film.  The film is built around the groups high school reunion, their 10 year reunion just happening a few years late.  Next year (2013) will be 10 years since I have graduated from high school so I am at a similar point in my life.  The things the characters are going through I am either experiencing or seeing my friends experience.  For these reasons the things that happen in the story make me more apt to relate to the film to a certain degree.

With taking that into account, this movie is still at its heart another American Pie film,  the characters are now just a bit older and facing different problems, but they have not changed drastically, but the natural evolution that you might expect at their current age.  The movie still has what I would call American Pie humor, some of the low brow humor and sex jokes the films are known for.  To me in the end if you liked the other films in the series, American Pie, American Pie 2, and American Wedding I bet you would enjoy this film overall.  This could be that since I have not seen the other three main films in the series for a while, but I think American Reunion could be the best of the series so far to me.  I just don’t remembering laughing as much during the other three movies as I did in American Reunion.

If you could not tell I would certainly recommend seeing this film if you are in the mood for a good comedy.

Embracing IMAX for 2D and not 3D

An article over at Movieline.com talks about how “more and more evidence suggests that audiences are both showing a preference for IMAX and happily forgoing often-reviled 3-D visuals.”

Personally for me if a movie films scenes with IMAX cameras to take advantage of the bigger picture it can offer, like Christopher Nolan did  with the Dark Knight did, I am more willing to pay for that experience than I am with 3D.  For me I don’t see 3D as a big attraction or something that I care to spend the extra money on .  While 3D can add some value to movies, overall it just does not add enough to a movie where I would regularly pay the higher 3D ticket price for that experience.

IMAX to me I think can add enough value when the film makers film at least part of their movies using IMAX cameras, some of the recent examples of that are Dark Knight like I mentioned and Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. The more immersive world they can create normally for action scenes to me is overall normally worth the extra price if I am already interested in the movie.  While I don’t always choose the IMAX screening I certainly normally consider it in the movies that take proper advantage of it.  To truly see what IMAX filmed scenes can bring to a movie see the picture below and how much more detail IMAX brought to the screen.

Image via Slashfilm.com

This part from the article has some good stats on performance of 3D vs 2D showings of the movie The Lorax. (Emphasis mine)

Other telling statistics came with the hit film The Lorax, whose hefty $70 million opening far exceeded expectations. Industry investment analyst Richard Greenfield found that while 3-D screens represented a nearly two-to-one majority of The Lorax’s theater count, the grosses expose a nearly even split between 2-D and 3-D. The per-screen average shows that more money was made in conventional screenings, a stunning figure once you factor in the inflated 3-D ticket prices. That breakdown means that while 60 percent of the screenings were displayed in 3-D, 60 percent of the audience watched in 2-D.

via The IMAX Old Wave: How Audiences and Filmmakers Are Embracing the 2-D Mega-Screen – Movieline.

 As that helps show I am not the only one that prefers 2D over 3D whether for cost reasons or if people just don’t like 3D itself.  It will be interesting to see if and how this trend continues in the future both in terms of movies filming at least partly with IMAX cameras and how prevalent 3D movies stay in the next few years.

To read more about how Dark Knight scenes came about in IMAX check out this article over at Slashfilm.com: How The Dark Knight Went IMAX

Netflix deal with Warner Bros. includes delay in queues & why it is misguided.

Under a new deal between the two companies, Netflix users won’t just have to wait 56 days to rent Warner Bros. movies on DVD. They’ll have to wait 28 days to add the movies to their queues.

As part of the Warner’s continuing effort to boost its DVD, Blu-ray, and video-on-demand business, the studio’s new deal with Netflix throws up a new roadblock for people willing to wait and get the movie as part of their monthly subscription.

via Netflix deal with Warner Bros. includes delay in queues – latimes.com.

Making people wait to just add it to their queues on Netflix, just another example of why people dislike Hollywood entertainment companies sometimes.

I totally agree with Marco Arment (creator of Instapaper) on what this delay means for me in practice.

If I’m adding a movie to my Netflix queue, I’ve already decided not to buy the DVD. I’m adding it because it looks mildly interesting and I’d like to watch it sometime. If I can’t add it to Netflix, I’ll just forget about it and probably never see it.

via Netflix deal with Warner Bros. includes delay in queues – Marco.org.

To further echo that, If I am looking to rent a movie it is likely one that I did not have enough interest to see in the theater itself. That means I am not real interested in buying it before I have seen it, so I will wait to rent it.

The point that MG Siegler makes below is very pausbile I think in the long term.

I hope we all realize where this eventually leads: the banning of movie rentals entirely. 

via parislemon • A 28-Day Window Before You Can Even *Think* About Renting A Movie.

That leads into my final point, that making it harder for consumers to access and enjoy the movie and TV studio’s content does not help in the fight against piracy.  I am not advocating piracy here in response to this, but the harder companies make it or more barriers the companies put up to access their content, they should not be surprised if people turn to other means. In that sense this issue is just another facet of the fight over SOPA/Protect IP, if companies offered easier ways to pay at fair prices to let us use their content, company likely would see more people take advantage of those opportunities. One example is the iTunes music store.

Thor to be first big hit of summer?

Last night I had gotten tickets to a preview screening of the movie Thor from the site Gofobo and in the past when I have done preview screenings normally got to the theater 45-30 minutes in advance and while I was not the first in line, I did get in.  Last night I ended up not getting in with being there about 35 minutes in advance, the people running the screening said that theater was full an hour before the screening, and they had not seen a screen fill up that fast before really. It gives some small indication that  people are quite excited for Thor, we will know for sure when it comes out next weekend and see how it does at the box office.  The people running the screening took our screener tickets and said we would be invited another one they where having next week before it came out, so if do end up getting tickets for that certainly will be going earlier this time to it.

‘TRON: Legacy’ Director Gives Ideas on ‘TRON 3′ Plot

Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski Gave some solid leads as to where he might take a third Tron film if he is able to:

“I think we will pick with where TRON: LEGACY left off with Quorra in the real world and what does that mean and the possibilities it opens up for the next chapter. It’s that relationship between the two of them that’s the next step.”

He also agreed that the son of Dillinger, played by Cillian Murphy, would have to play a big role:

“Dillinger was a really important part of the first film and felt like an easy way to continue that storyline and thread to have his son in the new movie. That way you have people ask those questions of what the Dillinger legacy is in the world of TRON. We didn’t want to ignore it completely and it leaves a really nice springboard for some intertwining development for the next film.”

via ‘TRON: Legacy’ Director Joseph Kosinski Talks ‘TRON 3? Plot | /Film.

Some of the extra’s on the DVD/Blu-Ray release hint at this these story lines and certainly an area I think would make for good ground to cover for a third film.  Be fun to see it develop.

Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ looking for new film home.

The rights holders to Frank Herbert’s Dune are on the look out now for a new partner to help make a new film a reality:

Paramount has turned loose the giant worm, and everything else that was part of the seminal Frank Herbert science fiction novel series Dune. The studio’s four-year attempt to make a movie out of the franchise has fallen by the wayside. “Paramount’s option has expired and we couldn’t reach an agreement,” said Richard P. Rubinstein, who controls the rights on behalf of the author’s estate and ABC.

via Paramount Ends 4-Year Attempt To Turn Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’ Into Film Franchise – Deadline.com.

I would enjoy to see a modern take on Dune, since David Lynch’s version in the 1980’s was a bit of a weird take on it and the mini series the SCIFI channel now SYFY did in 2000, was well done but you can tell it was done on a some what of a limited TV budget.  So it would be nice to see a big budget version of Dune be made, the question will be can any one really make a single 2-3 hour movie out of the complex book.  It would be interesting to see them try, in the link above, it says Rubinstein was happy with the latest script.

Another possible interesting option is to see a channel like HBO, Showtime or Starz make a full fledge TV show out of the book.  If HBO did it and gave the type of budget and care they are doing for Game of Thrones, I would be confident in how it might turn out.

I do hope a new version comes along here soon, since I have always enjoyed the world of Dune once I started reading the books years ago and would enjoy a new take on it.