Random Factoid #565

25 05 2011

I’m going to laugh when I click the “Random Factoids” category in my sidebar and see a 3 1/2 month gap between Random Factoid #564 and #565.  In that last factoid, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never” had just come out in theaters.  Today, that movie has been on video for 2 weeks.  So that should give you an idea of just how long I’ve been away from factoiding.  (This time around, I’m going to try to find the joy in them rather than looking at them as a daily task that I often do willfully.)

So where to begin?  How about with the latest attraction at my “home” movie theater, RPX.  That, of course, stands for the Regal Premium EXperience.  For $4.50 more, you can get “crystal-clear ALL DIGITAL projection, high-impact GIANT SCREEN, powerful uncompressed SURROUND SOUND.”  (And if it applies, a “breathtaking IMMERSIVE 3D experience,” but it didn’t in my case.)  It was advertised as “the best picture you’ve ever heard,” so naturally I had to go see what all the fuss was about.

The RPX screen opened April 1 with “Source Code,” a movie I happened to be dying to see, so I went to check it out as soon as I got a chance.  What I once knew as “theater 11″ had been totally revamped with a cavalcade of blue lights inside and outside the theater, and the seats had been replaced with smooth leather ones.  Off to a good start, but then the movie started.

“Source Code” was fantastic, yet I wasn’t blown away by the presentation.  I certainly didn’t understand why I needed to pay $4.50 more to see the movie on a slightly larger screen with marginally better sound.  It felt no different than seeing a movie digitally projected in a normal theater, which comes with no premium.

So, until further notice, my advice is to save your money and avoid the RPX until it actually provides a premium experience.

Random Factoid #564

12 02 2011

I’m sorry, because I’m a Christian male, I’m being TARGETED to see “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never?!?!”  Surely that must be a joke.

But according to Entertainment Weekly, it’s not.  Check this out:

“Execs recognized that the film’s message of hope and Bieber’s strong Christian beliefs, about which both he and his mother Pattie Mallette have spoken extensively, were an opportunity to reach out to the faith community. The study guide is a collaboration between Bieber’s mother and Allied Faith & Family, an arm of Allied Integrated Marketing. It’s the first time Paramount has worked with Allied to supplement its general publicity, but not the first time the studio has had a faith-based element to a movie campaign. (The studio had faith-based outreach programs for the documentaries ‘Waiting for Superman’ and ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and the adaptation of ‘The Kite Runner.’) Indeed, marketing to Christian groups became quite popular post-‘The Passion of the Christ;’ like secular marketing campaigns, it’s about making sure people who may not think a film has something for them see that it does — like Bieber’s pre-performance ritual that includes a prayer introduced to him by his Jewish manager, or Bieber and his friends saying grace at a pizza parlor.”

While I’m certainly glad to see a faithful Christian unafraid to proclaim his beliefs to the mainstream, it just strikes me as odd that they think that just because I share certain ideals as Bieber, I’ll rush to see his movie.  I’m not a huge fan (although I unfortunately have to fess up that I did buy one of his songs before I realized he would take over the world) and have not made any plans to see the movie.  It’s not a faith-based movie, although faith is prominently featured, and I’ll go spend two hours reading Levitical laws before I spend $15 and two hours of my time watching Justin Bieber squawk like a mouse in three dimensions.

Maybe it’s just my hyper-awareness of being grouped into a demographic after reading “White Noise” in my English class…

Random Factoid #563

11 02 2011

Back in Random Factoid #302, I wrote about being recognized by name at the library, the source of many of the movies I watch.  This was a source of great pride as I don’t think a movie theater employee will ever recognize me by name.

However, I did get a significant step closer to that at a promotional screening of “Just Go With It” last night.  The security people, usually very faithfully rotating between a series of five or six men, knew who I was!  They didn’t call me Marshall, but when they were talking to people a few rows ahead of me about turning their cell phone off, one of the guys looked at me and said, “I know you.  I want to see you turn it off!”

Maybe we’ll get the name soon…

Random Factoid #562

10 02 2011

Today, my AMC MovieWatcher card breathed its last.  While buying a student ticket for “Rabbit Hole,” I whipped out my card to get two points towards a ticket.  However, the ticket lady told me that the program had ended.  So now there’s a hole in my wallet and a hole in my heart as I wait for the Stubs program to begin.

In its 2 1/2 years in my wallet, the AMC MovieWatcher card garnered nearly 190 points – that’s 95 tickets, for those of you who need a more relatable figure.  It has served me well, and I will miss it dearly.

Random Factoid #561

9 02 2011

Will someone do the MPAA a favor and save them from themselves?

First it was the whole “Blue Valentine” controversy. Then their whole dumb “male nudity” policy and their attack on smoking at the potential cost of artistic integrity.  But now … they want to disconnect Google?!

More from Cinematical:

“Every month the MPAA sends out wave after wave of copyright infringement notices to people accused of having illegally downloaded a movie. In practice, these are simple intimidation tactics notifying the accused that they were caught downloading a certain film and that, basically, unless they stop, the MPAA will make sure the criminal’s ISP disconnects them from the Internet. And if you’re Joe Schmo sailing the high seas of movie piracy, such warnings might make you reconsider whether or not a free copy of ‘The Expendables’ really is worth it.

The problem with this method is that the for-profit legal organizations that the MPAA hires to send out these automated warnings don’t do any research on the accused, they simply send out the notices en masse. (In the past this has resulted in old ladies who barely know how to use email being accused of multi-million-dollar copyright infringement.) So when some of Google’s IP addresses showed up in their piracy databases, the MPAA simply didn’t know any better and told one of the largest Internet companies in the world that they would disconnect them from the Internet if they didn’t give in to their demands.”

If you want to really punish Google, make them pay to produce some more anti-piracy advertisements that we all skip on DVD or tune out at the theater.  But disconnecting them from the Internet is the quickest way to incite riots and hatred.  There has to be a better way to solve this whole piracy problem.

Interestingly enough, movie studios love 3D for more than just cash: people can’t record them and then pirate them.  So if this problem persists, don’t expect 3D to just go away.

Random Factoid #560

8 02 2011

The Academy Award nominees all gather for a luncheon just before the ceremony, and they take a giant group picture like a graduating class.  This picture gets published all over the web, really as a “Where’s Waldo?” activity for all the actors.  I always enjoy seeing the little Hollywood clicks and who gets left out or hangs out with a different crowd.  It’s a fun picture to dissect, much further than the obvious Annette Bening sitting on Jeff Bridges’ lap front and center.

Click on the image if you want a better view as it takes forever to load otherwise.

Here are some of my favorite observations from the picture:

  • Natalie Portman is REALLY pregnant.
  • Christopher Nolan’s grin is creepy.
  • James Franco is standing next to the Pixar guys.
  • Amy Adams is up front but her co-stars from “The Fighter,” Mark Wahlberg and Melissa Leo, are way up top.
  • Poor Hailee Steinfeld looks so alone up there…
  • John Hawkes is so lost among the crowd.
  • Colin Firth and Michelle Williams together … interesting.
  • Why can’t we be friends – Jesse Eisenberg and Geoffrey Rush, despite being in the dueling Best Picture candidates, are right next to each other.
  • The guy with the long, curvy beard in the bottom right SCARES ME.

Random Factoid #559

7 02 2011

Given how far behind I am in factoiding (7 days, eek), I figured it was time to pull a page from the music industry’s playback: when new ideas aren’t flowing, go back to the greatest hits.

Way back in Random Factoid #298, I wrote about how I tend to buy music after I hear it in movies (or their trailers, which can often feature catchy tunes).  So here’s part two of that factoid, basically filling you in on all the things that are in my “Purchased” playlist on iTunes.

“Don’t Think” by The Chemical Brothers, as heard in “Black Swan”

“Baby, You’re A Rich Man” by The Beatles, as heard in “The Social Network”

“Animal” by Neon Trees, as heard in the trailer for “Love & Other Drugs”

“You and Me” by Penny & The Quarters, as heard in “Blue Valentine”

“Speaking Unto Nations” by Ludwig van Beethoven, as heard in “The King’s Speech”

“Misery” by Maroon 5, as heard in the trailer for “The Dilemma”

“Ball and Biscuit” by The White Stripes (RIP), as heard in “The Social Network”

“Map of the Problematique” by Muse, as heard in the trailer for “The Tourist”

“Creep” by Scala and Kolacny Brothers, as heard in the trailer for “The Social Network”


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