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Saturday
Aug272011

Movie Theater Audiences Gone Wild #GBE2 #atthemovies #nowplaying

Group Blogging Experience,GBE2,Movie Theaters

In filmmaker Steve Balderson’s Wamego series, it is revealed that audiences at one of his screenings for “Watch Out” started walking out, yelling expletives and throwing things. It wasn’t until Beth over at Word Nerd Speaks posted this week’s GBE2 topic that I started thinking more about how the action at movie theaters seem to extend from the screen all the way into the seating area and out in the lobby these days. Are movie theater audiences getting out of control or have they always been this way depending on what is playing on the big screen?

The audience reaction that Balderson received during a “Watch Out” screening may be wild but it seems like small potatoes compared to other situations that occurred at movie theaters that put people in danger. In 2010, a Drexel University student was shot during a robbery attempt at The Rave (formerly known as The Bridge Cinema) movie theater in Philadelphia, PA. What the victim thought sounded like firecrackers became the very thing that injured him....all while he was in the lobby of a place that is celebrated as the go-to spot for escape from reality for a brief two hours or so of fun at the movies.

Earlier this year in April, police were searching for a 30-something man who exposed himself to children at a movie theater in Miami. Reports about this incident claim that the man also spoke to at least one of the children, identifying himself as a police officer.....as if these kids weren’t horrified enough, now someone is impersonating someone that many children view as heroes?!

As wild as the University City shooting and Miami kiddie flasher incidents are, there is not shortage of jerks who take it up a notch by intentionally harming others. In June 2010, a man who is pushing 40 years of age was convicted of several felony charges after attacking an 81 year-old man in the bathroom of an AMC Movie Theater in Colorado.

These days, there is just as much action in movie theater seats, lobbies and restrooms as there is playing up on the big screen. In a time when people have to pay around $15 to see something like “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2” or any other film at a theater while risking the chance that they may end up paying $1,500 in emergency hospital bills, credit card charges or identity restoration if a stranger decides to start wilding out in some form during their visit, maybe waiting for the DVD rental is a better (and safer) way to watch new movies.

The other alternative would be to join the crowd of people who have built their own home movie theaters that, while small, provide the cinematic experience without all the hassle of having to encounter rude cell phone users, perverts and criminals because after all, there is no reason to even go to the movies if people leave the theater with more problems than they came in with. Is THIS what movie goers pay $5, $10 and $20 bucks for (plus fees, for those who buy tickets online)? I think not.

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Monday
Aug222011

Cue the Data! #MondayMovieMeme

Monday Movie Meme

Happy Monday, everybody!

I am happy to announce that Smurfin’ the Web and I will be co-hosting the Monday Movie Meme, which is currently on tour as The Bumbles gets settled with their new wonder....7 pounds 6 ounces and 21 Inches of Samuel Morgan G. who will often be referred to as Baby Bumbles in the future. This week’s topic is...... The Digital Wave - Movies featuring a plot that is centered on technology. Share your movie picks on your blog and visit your fellow Monday Movie Meme participants to read what they are offering up. To start things off, here are my Digital Wave selections.

Four Eyed Monsters

Monday Movie Meme

Arin Crumley and Susan Buice’s independent film is the epitome of this week’s digital wave topic, in so many ways. What started as an experiment became a humorous, inspiring, enlightening and sometimes depressing piece of art that has probably changed that way many people view not only movies but independently produced titles. “Four Eyed Monsters” is about finding new ways to communicate without talking to one another.

The main characters in this movie use video cameras, photos, artwork, handwritten notes and other forms of media to share their experiences and feelings. This movie was also made on digital video, combining video footage, drawings, music, text and other visual graphics to take audiences on an unforgettable journey through finding one’s purpose in life, dating, interacting with strangers through the social networking atmosphere and paying more attention to one’s surroundings.

Hackers

Monday Movie Meme

Angelina Jolie is one crazy woman, or so I thought when watching “Hackers,” a film that young teens who have a competitive nature along with that “us against the world” attitude will likely find entertaining. Next to her highly publicized marriage to Billy Bob Thorton, this movie was probably the first time that I learned about Angelina Jolie...the actress, not the superstar celebrity slash sex symbol.

I like her short hairstyle for the character that she played in “Hackers” and yes, this has nothing to do with the film but, so what. Fortunately, the computer whiz kids in this film use their skills for good or at least to try and track down the mastermind behind a computer virus and keep the cops off of their tail.

Live Free or Die Hard

Monday Movie Meme

Speaking of “Hackers,” Bruce Willis gets introduced to the world of technology in an inconvenient and explosive way as Justin Long’s “Live Free or Die Hard” character becomes the target of a n insane criminal who thinks that the world has to operate around his interests. It’s scary to imagine how a whole city can be shut down with various forms of technology and also interesting to watch the way Willis and Long navigate the whole computerized landscape using cell phones, laptops and crazy algorithms to save the country.

Swordfish

Monday Movie Meme

John Travolta, Don Cheadle, Hugh Jackman and Halle Berry star in this crime thriller about an anti-terrorist group who gets a hacker to steal billions of dollars from the government. Of all the movies listed here, “Swordfish” is the only title that I have yet to watch. I wanted to go see it when it was out in theaters years ago but then didn’t get around to it. As time passed, I lost interest in watching this movie out of concern that it might be corny, after reading other people’s reviews about it. Still, “Swordfish” has been sitting in my Netflix queue....far down in the queue, but in there nonetheless and maybe I will either remove it or just get it and play the darn thing in the background while performing other tasks.

When I think about this movie, I also get annoyed at the fact that it seems like audiences take notice of Halle Berry when she’s undressed or in vulnerable roles that arouse but lack much depth within the character. She gets a big payday for being topless in “Swordfish” and later earns an Oscar for having sex with a racist who executed her husband. Hmm...I guess these two performances stand out as a reflection of quality work in an industry where Berry has completed more than two dozen films...what a shame, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Which of these four movies do YOU think fits the Digital Wave the best?

What technology based movies would YOU add to this list?

Attention Monday Movie Meme participants: If you are on Twitter, use the hashtag #mondaymoviememe for comments, retweets and further conversation!

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Saturday
Aug202011

Never Trust Your Friend's Movie Recommendations #GBE2

GBE2,Movies

Let's make something perfectly clear. Movie recommendations and criticisms that close friends and associates share with us are very useful when choosing a title to watch. Their reviews from an average movie goer's perspective are what convinces other people to give a relatively unheard of movie such as "The Way Back" starring Saoirse Ronan and Colin Farrell a chance. It's also what causes movie lovers to add a crazy title like "The Experiment" starring Forrest Whitaker to his or her Netflix queue.

Still, it is never wise to always trust movie recommendations from your friends as the sole reason to ignore a title (or even watch a title that you may not be interested in, unless your friend's comments are positive and very pursuasive) or prepare yourself for possible disappointment. Friends may know what they are talking about when telling you that a movie sucks or is the greatest thing since "Avatar" or whatever, especially if they share your preferences in movies. However, many of us often miss out on what could become our favorite films to date by judging a movie's quality based on our friends ratings of them.

"Love & Basketball" was popular during its release and became a favorite film among what seems like a majority of the movie going public or at the very least, African-American movie goers. I have several friends who are among the very vocal and devoted "Love & Basketball" champions that think my utter dislike for this title is outrageous. It is kind of funny and ironic, as I feel the same way about the movie. "Love & Basketball" is outrageous......to me.

On the flip side, I happen to love "Blue Valentine" but know at least two people who do not like this film. One of them, Smurfdok, did not watch it because the subject matter turns him off and the other person is Fiercechick, who saw it in the movie theater and did not become a fan of the film. No matter how much she loves Ryan Gosling, I am in no more a position to convince her to place “Blue Valentine” on her list of top ten favorite films than anyone who can persuade me to enjoy watching a movie as annoying as “Love & Basketball.”

If I refused to check out “Blue Valentine” based on the fact that I know people who do not like the film, I would have missed out on a really good picture. If you are into sporty romance dramas that have a particularly strong focus on African-American relationships at home, in the community and higher education, then asking me if I think you should watch “Love & Basketball” is not the best idea.

The next time a friend (or co-worker, fuck buddy, neighbor or even a bartender who has no friends of his or her own) tells you that a movie sucks OR tells you that a movie is awesome, get a second opinion from, um.....yourself....before overlooking a possible gem at the box office or wasting your time on a title that isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be such as the oh, so boring “In the Bedroom.” Is this movie good (in my opinion)? Yes. However, it is too damn long! Or is it? Don’t take my word for it. Watch “In the Bedroom” for yourself and then let me know if you agree or disagree with my assessment of the boring scenes and lengthy running time.

How much influence does Your friends have on which movies you decide to watch?

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