Random Factoid #418

19 09 2010

Listen to this crazy moviegoing story:

This past week, the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles held a Stanley Kubrick retrospective. It was during a Friday-night screening of Kubrick’s classic, mind-warping sci-fi epic 2001: A Space Odysseythat a man named “Robert” had a very public meltdown. Apparently, during the climax of the movie when astronaut Dave Bowman confronts his own death and undergoes a transformation into a mysterious celestial being, “Robert” started yelling. Multiple cellphone cameras caught this guy shrieking hysterically. In the video, you can see him stumbling, and pleading with audience members to “Get rid of your drugs!” He is then seen screaming the existential question “Is life a comedy?”

Eventually, he’s dragged out of the theater by cops. The movie was replayed from the moment “Roberts” tantrum started. So it’s a happy ending for everyone, except “Robert.”

I’ve never been so misfortunate (or perhaps fortunate) enough to see that kind of behavior at a movie.  Back in Random Factoid #252, I listed my rowdiest movie behavior, which was actually somewhat appropriate given the circumstances.

I’ve really only been in one movie where an individual made the moviegoing experience entirely different.  Going to see “Paranormal Activity” a year ago was made much more interesting by the audience around me screaming commands at the actors on screen.  “Don’t go there!!” they would yell.  “Oh my gosh!!” they screamed when something popped up out of nowhere.

But during a tense, suspenseful moment, a teenage girl audibly and visibly fell down a set of stairs in the theater.  Half the audience burst out in laughter, changing the mood and aura in the room significantly.

Anybody else found that they can have their experience changed by one person?





Random Factoid #369

1 08 2010

Have you ever demanded it?

The new system of getting little-known movies to theaters everywhere requires viewer participation at a new high. They have to go to the site Eventful and literally demand to get the movie played in their town. The only movie worth noting that has been released through this strategy is last fall’s horror surprise “Paranormal Activity.”

But the real question is how much of the success of that campaign was the movie and how much was the strategy. I’m more inclined to think it was the movie, or rather the trailer, which spooked YouTube audiences and became a phenomenon. Before you knew it, everyone was buzzing about the movie, mostly because of the audience reactions shown in the trailer.

Even I myself hailed the strategy as a winner back in October, but it’s getting a real test now. Did you know there’s a “Grease” sing-along that plays only in the towns that demand it? I’m pretty sure that endeavor has been a pretty big misfire. Sure, the last thing someone wants to pay $10 to see nowadays is something they can watch for free on ABC Family, but do the woes of “Grease” spell the doom of demanding?

What do you think? Will there be another “Paranormal Activity” to remind us that the demanding works? Or is the success merely an anomaly and demanding is headed the way of the dinosaur and the VHS?





Random Factoid #366

29 07 2010

I read a fascinating post over at Kaiderman’s “The List” today entitled “Films You Didn’t Know I’m Never Going to See.” It was so great that it inspired a factoid on a slow Thursday evening.

Kai listed three movies he just won’t see, all of which are pretty darned scary.  I’m not too easily spooked, but I do have a line of what I will and won’t see.

If I’m aware that a movie has a plot revolving around the devil or Satan, I won’t see it.  I wasn’t aware that “Paranormal Activity” had one (really, no one knew what the movie was about before they saw it), so that was one exception.  I may make an exception for “The Exorcist” because it’s one of the highest-grossing movies ever made and “Rosemary’s Baby” because it is Roman Polanski.  Other than that, I’m out.  It’s not a moral objection; I just don’t want to see any sort of Satanic horror.





Random Factoid #125

30 11 2009

Something about 25 being a factor of 100 made me want to make this the factoid to start a new trend: whenever I can, I will include pictures with factoids to make them more visually appealing.  Sound good?  Let me know “yay” or “nay” in the comments.

So, without further ado, today’s factoid:

I love this irony.  The only time my ID was ever checked before going into an R-rated movie was 5 days before I turned 17.  That was to see “Paranormal Activity,” for those of you wondering what movie it was.





Random Factoid #77

13 10 2009

Whenever I buy tickets for the local AMC theater, I usually buy online from Movietickets.com.  After I buy a ticket, the site sends me an e-mail kindly asking if I would write a review of the movie I just saw.  Even before I started blogging, I submitted a brief something.  Yesterday, I submitted the first paragraph of my “Paranormal Activity” review and found out that I am among the top 250 contributors on their site.  I immediately swelled with pride because as a kid, I always dreamed of being a top reviewer on Amazon.com.  Although this is much less prestigious, I am still happy.

Paranormal Activity





REVIEW: Paranormal Activity

10 10 2009

Fear is a common emotion, and filmmakers constantly work to goad it out of us.  The horror genre is most likely to instigate the aforementioned sentiment, and directors often resign to employing quick thrills and flashy graphics to force it out of us.  But with four actors, one camera, and $10,000, Oren Peli has shown that fear can be found in even the most ordinary places.  He conceived “Paranormal Activity” out of his own fear, stating,

“I think a lot of people can relate to the question of what happens at night when you’re most vulnerable.  You have no idea what’s going on.  This taps into the most primal fear, if something is lurking in your home and there’s not much you can do about it.”

Peli’s vision of horror is nothing short of brilliant, finding the surreal in the real and the paranormal in the normal.  The result is a truly terrifying experience for audiences.

The story revolves around the haunting of couple “engaged to be engaged” Micah and Katie.  We enter the story in medias res as they are beginning to deal with the suspicious incidents occurring in their home.  A psychic tells them that the culprit is most likely a demon that has followed Katie since childhood and something has occurred to aggravate the spirit.  Although Micah laughs off the opinion, Katie is deeply bothered and scared.  Micah purchases an expensive camera set in hopes of capturing the demon on film, and the entire movie is told from the vantage point of the camera lens.  As the days go by, events seem to point towards the validity of the psychic’s opinion.  But will the camera capture anything other than a distraught and disturbed couple?

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