Thursday, July 28, 2011

Civilization is determined by how you treat your captives.

If you are going to see an indie film in the Bay Area, dollars to doughnuts you will go to a Landmark Theatres movie house like the Piedmont in Oakland. I saw Midnight In Paris there last week.

Good film, but I would like to know why not one single observant character from the 1920s, all visual artists or authors, didn't say to Owen Wilson "Dear God, man, what are you wearing? And why does it always look like you haven't shaved for precisely three days?"

I liked the film, but sadly Landmark has succumbed to the awful practice of unending commercials for anything and everything before the movie trailers. Yes, I know movie trailers are in fact commercials themselves, but those make sense to me. You are a movie goer who still shows up at theaters. Here are some movies playing theaters in the near future. I will also admit that I've seen trailers ever since forever, so I'm used to the custom.

So I also rented a movie on Warner Brothers video, Sucker Punch. It was better than I expected, but it was also slashed to pieces since its first release. I only know because there was some reference in a review I read to a scene not in the video version.

That is not the main point of this post. This movie was rented from Netflix and Warner Brothers video had a disclaimer that this was only for rental. So far, not a problem.

Then they bring on Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood in a PSA for film restoration. I like Marty and Clint. I'm happy to listen to them.

Then it's an ad for Blu-Ray on my obviously NOT Blu-Ray disc. I try to fast forward. I get the circle slash.

Then a preview. I try to fast forward. Again the circle slash.

I can't stop watching the goddamn previews.

Again and again and again and again.

There are at least four previews of movies and two ads for the Blu-Ray experience. Easily fifteen to twenty minutes of crap I can't stop.


As Stan Lee might have written.

But let me end on a positive note. I also recently saw the last installment of the Harry Potter films. A very satisfying experience, the best end of a long series of movies in at least thirty years.

I may not be the perfect critic. I only read through the first four books.

Neville Longbottom! Who knew? (Well, people who read all seven books knew. It was a rhetorical question anyway.)

In any case, what I really wanted to say here in a completely positive end to an otherwise grumpy post, I still love the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland as much as I did when I went there to see Jason and the Argonauts lo those many moons ago.

And not just because Honor Blackman filling out that fabulous toga was the only giant woman I ever saw on the big screen when I was just a sprout.

Hmmmmmmm, giant Honor Blackman... hmmmmm, fabulous toga...

Sorry, lost my train of thought there for a second.

Before the trailers? The Grand Lake plays classical symphonic music at a volume that allows normal conversation.

It's like an oasis in a very nasty desert. Props to the management and keep up the good work.

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