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”

Random Factoid #558

6 02 2011

For about 7 years, I have been using a little book called “The Yogi Book” as a coaster on the dresser that sits directly next to my bed. (If you were wondering, the book features great sayings from America’s foremost philosopher, New York Yankees player Yogi Berra.)  I’ve always had it out, and it’s always been fun to pick it up and read a quote for a laugh.

But as of this week, “The Yogi Book” ended its run on my dresser.  It has now been replaced by a mousepad promoting “The Social Network.”  So now at night, when I reach for my glass of water, I see the upper right quadrant of Jesse Eisenberg/Mark Zuckerberg with the superimposed words “PUNK TRAITOR BILLIONAIRE.”

Just another way movies pop up all through my life.

Random Factoid #557

5 02 2011

Grr.  The open door policy at AMC Theaters that has bothered me for so long has once again struck with a vengeance.

I first wrote about this problem back in 2009 after seeing “Bright Star” (that long ago), and I directed my anger at hearing Taylor Swift songs from the lobby while trying to watch the British costume drama into the blogosphere.  The problem has persisted, but perhaps never with such disastrous effects as it did yesterday.

I was “127 Hours” for the second time (because I love it), and the road to amputation was growing inevitable.  It was the last 15 minutes or so of the movie, and the tension was getting to the point that it could be cut with a knife.  All of a sudden, I start hearing noise that I know is not a part of Danny Boyle’s movie.  I perked up my ears and began to distinguish words coming from the lobby.  People were broadcasting their conversations into my theater!

I wasn’t going to go get up and close the door – heck, I don’t even know that it was open – because the movie was too good.  But I had to sit there and bear it for the rest of the movie.  Only until the music flared up to 11 was I able to drown out their disembodied voices.  So, once again, the whole sanctity of the moviegoing escapism experience was violated by the policy.  This has to stop.


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