Lost on the Floor: IN 3D!

The last part of that should have been in a booming thunderous announcer voice…but anyway.

My wife and I went to the movies yesterday, figuring it would be more entertaining than the Super Bowl.  We were only half right.  For the most part we’ve stayed away from 3D movies as there hasn’t been a compelling reason to do so.  That said, the movie we saw was not a compelling reason to view in 3D, but merely an opportunity.  Choosing The Green Hornet was a mixed blessing, but indicative of the issues inherent with 3D.  Reviews noted that the director really tried to embrace and make use of the medium beyond the classic “things flying at you” experience.  To that end it worked, unfortunately it really was the only thing that kind of worked in this mess of a movie.

This however, is not an indictment of the movie, but the medium.  To me, 3D is another gimmick that needs to run its course.  It can be fun, but Hollywood is relying on the gimmick rather than good stories.  Why write actual good engaging stories when you can drop a sub-par plot into 3D when people will flock just for the novelty?  Since the predominant trend in movie making is either a.) sequel/prequel relying on already established canon or b.) comic books adaptions (again with established canon) or c.) limply written unfunny (romantic) comedies relying on former top-billed actors a good plot is more of an after-thought, after the special effects, next to catering.  In this light the decisions to make a movie, plot no longer has a place.  What has taken its place is cross-marketing, tie-ins, toys, video games and ability to get people in the doors.  Inception, possibly my favorite recent movie was almost never released as it was “too smart” for the American public.  Wrong.  Some maybe, but not all, just look at the numbers.

There are the exceptions of late, The King’s Speech, The Social Network, but by and large we’re being inundated by movies that are pandering to our basest desires and minute attention spans.  And 3D is another way of doing it, a way of visually over-loading us to blur the lines and suspend rational thought.  Beyond this, my other issue is the tech itself.  I came away with an odd sense of nausea, my eyes hurt and had difficulty focusing well for about 10 minutes after and a slight headache. Plus the issues of wearing 2 pair of glasses (I looked very cool though…)  as I wear glasses and not contacts.  Not what I want every time I go to the moves.  Not to mention the cost ($11.25 for a matinee?  C’mon.).  I love movies.  I love watching them on the big screen and I hate to see my beloved medium ruined by stagnation and the death of true creativity.

Like before, this fad will hopefully run its course, like other fads in movies have (anyone remember Smell-o-vision?) and we’ll get back to the true telling of stories that is the heart of this art.  I have high hopes, but I temper those with the reality that the new filmmakers of this generation are the ones raised on the quick-bite fast-food style of story-telling that is so prevalent today.  Maybe I’ll be wrong.  One can only hope.

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TV Time

Since it has been rather warm lately, I’ve been holed up on the couch watching TV.   It’s not the best use of my time, but I do enjoy it so.  Besides, I’m just preventing heat stroke by staying inside with the AC running.  Am I right?

Anyway, I have reignited my love of BBC America.  Before it was Dr. Who, then all things Chef Ramsey (F Word and Kitchen Nightmares), even before that it was How Clean is Your House and How Clean in your Colon (You Are What You Eat).  But now, I am unabashedly a fan of Torchwood: Children of Men.

In a time where American TV is chock full of the same reality shows (another season of Big Brother?) and lacking in any sort of shows other than stupid sitcoms or crime dramas, a great science-fiction story is a breath of fresh air.  Tautly written and paced, and easy enough to get a grip of (hello Lost, are you listening?) it is a good story, good characters and fine acting.  While I have 2 more shows to go, I’m hooked.

I know there are good shows out there.  There has to be.  We invented the bloody machine afterall.  Isn’t TV the great American invention of the last century?  But it is so much easier to gather a bunch of half-wits, chunk them into some sort of competitive situation and film the hijinks.  Rinse, repeat, profit.  Unfortunately, this spills over into movies, where it has become far easier to either write numerous formulaic sequels or re-make movies from the past (Karate Kid I’m looking at you…).  C’mon Hollywood, earn that money for hookers and blow, give us something to think about, something to delve into, something that can stand up to the giants that went before.

American entertainment has become stale.  To often the cycle of mediocrity is repeated and we’re all the suckers for buying into it.  All hail medicority, the American Way!

Maybe I’m kidding.  Maybe not…

If it ain’t gas…

It’s something else.

The wife and I decided to go out, spend some quality time ensconced in front of a large movie screen.  Have some laughs, enjoy some previews, gorge on popcorn and drown it all in gallons of Coke.  In honor of this auspicious event, I present my version of a Mastercard Priceless commercial, based on my night.

Admission to first-run movie: $20.50

Large Popcorn, Large Coke: $12.00

Sneaking in Churros from Costco: $2.00

Having the twit working the ticket booth give you tickets for the wrong showtime: free (see #1 above…)

Watching Brad Pitt say, “That’s some serious sensitive shit!”: just about Priceless.

Yes, we saw “Burn After Reading” and laughed our asses off.  Seriously odd, demented fun.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.  While waiting we saw a preview for “W” a movie about our Pres.  Isn’t it a little early for that?  And it’s real.  Not a farce, not a satire, not a “Disaster Movie” version of his life, but a real Oliver Stone biopic.  I may have to go to the second-run theater where I can drink heavily to get through that.

But seriously:  go see “Burn”.  It’s really great.