Readers Lives #5

ReadersLives.jpgWow, there’s enough for a fifth! Would you believe it? Here are some of the words and thoughts emailed to me from the readers of the Movie Blog, on issues all about Movies. Let it be known that anything else is usually scrapped, including all those pictures of naked ladies that people send me.

This time we have:

  • My Dad telling us about a cinema sit-in
  • Filip telling us he’s the new baddie in Bond
  • M.W. talking about their fears over the 9/11 movie
  • Liz’s concern about the Canadian backlash against a serial killer movie
  • Billy’s appalled about the Wicker Man remake
  • Doug arguing belief against belief from Da Vinci Code
  • Kevin talks on his thoughts around a Batman Begins sequel
  • …and Norm reviews IMAX Magnificent Desolation

Enjoy, and please feel free to get some healthy debate going! As always, these views do not represent those of the Movie Blog, but of their readers…

Cinema Sit-In ProtestMy Dad
Last month the UCI in Cardiff, UK announced they were showing the Bollywood movie Ghajini, very popular it seems for people travelled to see the movie, and when it didn’t arrive…from the BBC:

Police were called to a cinema when customers staged a sit-in after the film they wanted to see was cancelled. More than a dozen friends refused to leave the UCI in Cardiff Bay after a copy of a Bollywood movie arrived too late for the showing. They stayed in the foyer for about four hours until police asked them to leave.

A group of friends had travelled from as far as Scotland for a reunion and to see this movie, so when it was announced that it was cancelled they offered to wait for the movie. It was refund only, too late to show the movie, so they staged a sit in and the UCI had to call the Police to move them on.

“We had been planning this for weeks and it was the only day we could get together to watch this movie,” he said. “People had missed appointments and classes and done everything to get there.”…

…A spokeswoman for the UCI apologised to the disappointed audience but said the delay had been out of the cinema’s hands. The film had not arrived from another cinema until after the screening was due to start, and, as it came in eight different parts, it would have taken about an hour-and-a-half to prepare for showing.

It seems like it all just got a bit out of hand. If that was explained to me I would understand the time constraints on the cinema, but considering the lengths of travel I would have asked for some form of compensation. After going through this I think any friendly offer might be out the window.

I remember once a group of us turning up for a screening of Event Horizon, only to find it not on, despite being advertised. A polite but firm conversation later and we left with more tickets than when we arrived, and they were free too.

FilipHouthoofd.jpgI’m the new Bond BaddieFilip Houthoofd
Filip reckons he’s the man, his CV looks interesting although I can’t find anything on IMDB.

FILM (feature length)
2005: Under the brigde ( Belgian production ) Pierre
2003: Dunkirke (U.K production, shot in France and London):sergeant Kirk
2001: Fatima mon Amour (Belgian production): Arkan
2000: Team Spirit (Belgian production): Buffalo Boy
1999: Blue Belgium (Belgian production): Louis
1998: Man van Staal (Belgian production): Jeff
1998: Shades (US-Belgian production starring Mickey Rourke: extra
1997: A Dog of Flanders (US production shot in Belgium starring John Voight
& Jack Warden) : lead extra

TELEVISION
Usually bit parts as gangster, pimp, croock, boxer or scum
2001: Pruimen en kaviaar (comedy series, Flemish stat;e channel VRT)
2000: Wittekerke (soap series, Flemish commercial; channel VTM)
2000: FC.C. De Kampioenen (comedy series Flemish state; channel VRT)
1999: Oproep 2020 (crime reconstruction show, VTM)
1999: Recht op Recht (courtroom drama series, VRT)
1998: Recht op Recht (courtroom drama series, VRT)
1997: Chris & Co. (comedy show, Flemish commercial; channel VT4)

Nicolas Cage in 9/11 movieM.W.
M.W. is concerned about casting and the portrayal of people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress…

I am concerned with the casting line up of Oliver Stone’s new project on 9/11 in NYC. If at all possible, relay this information so it will be known to the directors project assistance. Nick Cage is a great actor but not believable when it comes to Post Traumatic Stress, he showed his best attempt in (Windtalkers) and it was just a disappointment.

The closest portrayl I have seen of this traumatic condition comes from Tom Hanks (Saving Private Ryan), John Savage (Deer Hunter, Thin Red Line) and Chris Walken (Deer Hunter)….. I suffer from PTSD due to some events experienced in the line of duty. If this is going to be done, lets do this right. It’s that important. Thanks for your time.

Who can argue with that, or better, are you a sufferer and can you comment on the portrayal and how you think it should be shown in the movies?

Original Post: 9/11 Movie from Oliver Stone and Nicolas Cage

“Karla” or “Deadly” faces Canadian problems?Liz
The IMDB lists this movie as…

Based on real events, Paul Bernardo (Collins) and his wife, Karla Homolka (Prepon), kidnap, sexually abuse, and murder three young girls.

…and Liz is concerned about the movie facing problems being shown in Canada. Particularly that the film might not be shown and that people won’t know the history. I’m one of them, although not Canadian, I have never heard of this story until now.

Alot of Canadians are making a big deal of the up coming release of this movie and it being allowed in to Canada. I have never seen so much controversy about a movie. There have been many movies about serial killers ie..Charles Manson,Bonnie and Clide. This movie should be allowed to be shown in Canada as it is apart of Canadian history; if people don’t want to watch it then they shouldn’t. This is just my opinion on this movie. I hope that it comes out soon because i would like to see it. Question: will Karla be making any profit from this movie?

She talks about her concern about people not knowing what has happened and the killer walking free after her imprisonment. Can we get some knowledgeable people to comment on what the whole story was, what the movie is intending to cover, and some of Liz’s concerns?

The Wicker Man remakeBill
Thanks to Bill who wrote in after reading the Wicker Man remake article and felt he just couldn’t let it go without speaking his mind. Good on you Bill, you’re the customer!

I just wanted to let you know that yet another fan is appalled by the idea of remaking (or whatever they’re calling it) this fantastic film. I was only 3 when the film was made, but when I saw it for the first time at 15 got instantly hooked. I’m wondering if the new version is being made because studio bosses assume most people don’t know the original. To be honest, I was naively hoping that any remake would be true to the original (long) version of the film, but I suppose that was too much to hope for. I’m in agreement with you on the whole matter of Hollywood screwing up great British movies, though. Perhaps someone should try to find a British director who’d like to do a remake of Yankee Doodle Dandy and set it in London’s West End. That’d teach ’em! lol

That’s an interesting point. I wonder what the feeling would be if non-Hollywood took traditionally strong US movies and remade them in their style. I know that this has happened a few times with movies that aren’t quite US movies, but it would be an interesting thought to see. Or would it just be viewed as another remake, regardless of who was doing it? What do you think? What movies have been remade abroad from US originals?

Original posts: The Wicker Man director angry over remake and Hollywood and Nicolas Cage set to burn Wicker Man

Da Vinci Code vs BibleDoug
Doug points us to an article which counters the fictional discussion in the book of fiction The Da Vinci Code with another…[ermmm I’ll leave out that comment I think]…book, the Bible.

“In every age, there have been attacks on Jesus and the teaching of Scripture. Jesus has been an offense to the world from the very beginning. One recent attack is particularly beguiling because it is so entertaining. It’s author, Dan Brown, brashly assures us his account is based on the actual historical facts. But The Da Vinci Code paints either an uninformed or intentionally false picture of the early church. In this issue, we want to show you why.”

Well, if it’s a false picture, why not read something that is proven fact? Instead Doug points us to an article which fights fiction with belief, from the Christian History Institute.

Batman Begins sequelKevin
Kevin has a good thing to say about the future sequels from Batman Begins and also about the Joker casting…if there is any!

First off, one thing that should definitely not happen is take on how the sequels left off each time…I was affraid that the sequels were gonna have the same villains for each sequel like the previous crappy Batmans…

…Mark Hamill would be an awsome Joker, he’s got the looks.. but definetly not crispin glover, his face is too shallow unless he could gain weight?…

…for now Jack Nickelson has to be the best joker out of any Batman film or t.v show ever. His laugh, the costume design everything was fa nominal. It would be a good idea to go one step further and make the joker about the same age, same complexity and laugh.

But one thing for sure, Jack Nickelson should have been at least 30 to 50 pounds lighter in the original Batman. So I would say that the new Joker should be too… less than 200 pounds.

Kevin goes on to say that he’d like to name some possible actors that he believes would be good for the Joker, well Kevin, get commenting! As for you readers, is he right about Jack and Mark?

IMAX Magnificent Desolation reviewNorm
Here’s a review from Norm about something we don’t normally do look at, IMAX presentations. Here Norm goes to town on his review.

This review about a movie which sports the idea of ‘going to the moon in 3D’, using enhanced photography of the actual Apollo moon launches from the earlier era, all presented on the gigantic Imax screen using the
sophisticated 3D goggle system.

I definitely enjoyed the film. It did a couple of things that were important. It’s a shame that I have to bash it. Of course, a true fan of space travel will have to see it. But there’s still something very wrong with this film, and that makes me write my own critique in the following way……

What is evident these days is the perpetual grind of the accountants (the bean-counters). As the quote said in
“The Aviator”, from Hughes, “why do we want a bunch of bean-counters telling us what kind of airplane we can build”.

In the larger market, a Maytag washer/dryer, a music/stereo system, a lightbulb or a tool from Home Depot, all bear the
blatant mark of cheapness that can only come from the bean-counters. In the 1970’s music was presented on a very
expensively prepared vinyl disc, with heavy cardboard foldouts, and extensive preparation of the music, the notes, and the lyrics, all seen in large color printouts along with the records. By the 1990’s, the CD had made the process radically cheaper,
to the thrill of the accountants. The packaging was also much “cheaper” to the perception of customers. The lyrics were now too small to read, and the smiling pictures of the band too small to be seen. But the real trick is that by 2005, accountants want to sell you music without giving you anything at all. No pictures, no lyrics, no smiling color glossies of the band. They just have you pay for a credit card for ‘music downloads’, take your money, and they don’t produce anything at all. Nobody works there. The accountants always push to give less and less, until finally, they just take your money and give you nothing in return. In that sense, the accountants are identical to a street thief who takes your wallet at gunpoint. He too takes your money and offers nothing in return. And there are all sorts of stops along the way. “Magnificent Desolation” is about 30% down the road towards common thievery.

So how accounting cheapness shows up in “Magnificent Desolation” is as follows: It was not prepared to push the envelope and deeply impress us, it was instead a calculated device to make money. They did this by putting as little as possible into the film, then charging as much as possible for the results. Perhaps the virtually empty theater that I sat in was evidence of the TRUE results.

The best summary of Magnificent Desolation actually originates far away from movies, quotes from the fantastic entrepreneurs Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard. Along with saying “we never worry about profits, we worry about advancing technology, for then the profits will take care of themselves” they also said “we dread the day that accounting runs the company”. Clearly with IMAX this is now what has happened. “Magnificent Desolation” while giving you at least $4 worth of value out of an $8 ticket, and enough footage to smile about, is a pale ghost of the “Dream is Alive”.

Especially lacking was any type of 3D presentation of the fantastic Apollo rockets that lifted the entire mission in one piece from earth terrain clear to the moon, plus enough hardware to get back. No such rockets have been prepared so large, before or after that time. It would be as preposterous to omit a shuttle launch scene from “The Dream is Alive”. And yet,
that is what the bean-counters did in “Magnificent Desolation”. They couldn’t even be bothered to show a still black & white photograph of those rockets, much less a 3D cleanup and enhancement of some old 16mm footage, which even that would be a cheap thing for the accountant to budget for in his slimy little green-sheet ledger.

When I instead get, in lieu of the Apollo launches, is a roomful of idiot elementary children filling up about 10 minutes by time in a film such as this, and about 30% of the plot content, mouthing off that they would like to go to the moon. In this
nothingness, we can smell the obvious foul stench of the accountants.

I can’t run out and recommend such a film to my friends; perhaps that is why the theater was empty. Maybe someday
the bean-counters will figure out they will have to stop taking the Cheerios out of the carton if they want us to buy their cereal.

…and there we have it. Leave us your thoughts and comments on any of these stories, and see you next time.

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