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Film Festival...On Vacation...Rare Restoration...

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Mar. 25th, 2010 | 09:41 am

are the only instances where I think I will ever go see a movie in a movie theater ever again. I went with the Complication to go see Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" last night and was wholly unimpressed. CGI - Shmee Gee Eye, and Burton completely missed the point of the original work by sexualizing Alice, and turning into just another hero on a fucking quest. Against a goddam dragon? The Jabberwock wasn't a dragon! the whole point of that poem is that it's unfathomably horrible and indeterminate, whatever nightmare the reader has. And how could a 20 year old Alice be so much thicker than her little girl incarnation? Also Newsflash! - Alice and stupid Americans ignorant of geography and history - England was trading with China since 1600, and the Portuguese were doing it even earlier. But who the hell cares if Alice is just a dimwitted stubborn ill-educated dunce? Personal development? Finding herself? Summoning up the courage to avenge the weak? Saving the Day?

Whatever.

It's only been the same goddam story since Gilgamesh, which I remind you at least had hairy bearded man-on-man action. 5,000 years of this story and I'm over it. And you can save the day all the day long, and stupid human beings are going to just fuck it up all over again anyway. How about not saving the day huh? How about sounding the trumpets and emptying the vials and just letting the human race end it's filthy pointless existence once and for all and let the dolphins or orangutans take over.

God I hate movies in theaters nowadays. The overly loud 30 minute commercials, the 3 public messages about turning off the cellphones, the trailers that batter your ears and eyes with levels of recorded information shot forth at such an accelerated speed to attract the most severely impaired ADHD patient in the world, the feeling that the $10 or $17 you just forked over was a waste of money, the slack jawed mouth breather latecomers that act like they're surprised they're late, when heaven knows they're always late to everything in their life anyway, the highway robbery and poisonous fare at the snack counter, the idiots that feel that their inane comments are vitally important to convey to their partially deaf or stoned out seatmates.

It's just not entertaining anymore to see movies in a theater. And don't talk to me about the "Big Screen" or the quality of the sound. The amount of retinal real estate that a movie takes up is not any bigger than my TV does from 10 feet away. And movie sound nowadays is so distorted towards explosion effects and the thumping bass that dialogue is muddied and the concept of moments of silence like you would have had for minutes at a time in a Tarkovsky film are long gone. At home I can be comfortable and stretch out, have good popcorn or a beer, or a cigar. I can take a break and pee. Or if the movie is great I can watch a part of it again, or if it sucks I can change the movie or do something else. And I don't have to drive to a theater and park. Or wear pants.

And if the movie is an "indie" or from overseas, then the audiences in those little theaters are a little more bearable, although there's always some old coot that jingles his change in his pocket or a chronic cougher and disease vector close by that can't find her crinkly cellophaned lozenges in the bottom of her suitcase sized megapurse. Just once I'd like to see that Blob monster drop down from the ceiling on that bitch.

The Rant is Over. All Clear. Return to Normal.

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Comments {14}

Jagged little transitional object

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from: sunsmogseahorse
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 02:52 pm (UTC)
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Hah, you beat me to the part about pants. I watched a film naked last night because that's how I am at home. I've given up on cinemas.

An excellent screed.

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Pud

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from: stivalineri
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)
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Curmudgeons Unite! or not.

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Jagged little transitional object

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from: sunsmogseahorse
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
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With no pants :)

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mlr

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from: mlr
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
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wow...
but that's a nice building. it looks so harmless and tranquil.

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Pud

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from: stivalineri
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 04:04 pm (UTC)
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You can't see the goggle eyes and the ravenous toothy mouth ready to eat up money and leisure time? (Actually nowadays it's been put to a more benevolent use as an antique mall and party space.)

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mlr

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from: mlr
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
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oh. i guess i didn't see. i must be the kind of dolt who might wander in - or follow a rabbit down a hole in pursuit of a dragonquest.

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Terry E. Christian

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from: otterdaemmerung
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
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I'd much rather see you in the leather or uniform attire of your choice. If the good Lord had meant for us to run around naked, we would've been born that way. ;-)

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Pud

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from: stivalineri
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 09:22 pm (UTC)
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Funny you say that, I have an aversion to being unshod except when swimming, bathing, or sleeping. Other times I've at least got some boots on.

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Terry E. Christian

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from: otterdaemmerung
date: Mar. 25th, 2010 10:04 pm (UTC)
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Other times I've at least got some boots on.

I think I just came a little.
Seriously, though, I'm just the opposite, much as I hate it. I love the look of boots--especially my heelplated Corcorans and my tall linesmens, but they don't love me. The first thing I do when I get home is to remove my footwear; nothing feels quite right on my sensitive otter feets. I guess it's partially my rural Arkansan upbringing!

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isledemoi

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from: isledemoi
date: Mar. 26th, 2010 10:18 am (UTC)
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Wow! Hope you are feeling better after that exorcism... I agree that going to the cinema can be a disheartening experience but I try to go to day sessions and never Friday or Saturday evenings when the 'mob' are in attendance. I know you have discounted it but I do appreciate a big screen and good sound quality and still manage to lose myself in a good film at the cinema. If someone talks I am most ready to tell them to 'shut up'. It's nice too to watch a film at home but I kind of like the community atmosphere of sharing the experience in the cinema - it's a bit of an event and a good reason to get out of the house with friends.

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Pud

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from: stivalineri
date: Mar. 26th, 2010 10:49 pm (UTC)
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I have gone by myself for matinees sometimes and it isn't so bad. But even music concerts and operas are full of blitheriots as well. I guess I'm just getting crantankerous.

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Caestus

Thank-you.

from: caestus
date: Mar. 26th, 2010 09:03 pm (UTC)
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Well said.

I had no interest in the Burton/Depp wankery and you have made me less likely to see the film. I thank-you for that in addition to thanking you for the other excellent points.

It take some solace in the fact that les Montréalais are more mannered at the cinema than other places I have been, but that is really not the glowing endorsement it sounds.

My love for going oout to the cinema really died with the closure of the IMAX theatre in Calgary. Yet even before I was driven to near homicidal disgust. I recall witnessing Disney's wonderful failure with Fantasia 2000: an audience full of yapping children and their parents carefully explaining what the triangles set to Beethoven's Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor were doing. The child was actually behaving and quiet: he seemed quite rapt, yet his mother insisted. What are they doing? Being fucking triangles.

Over the holidays, I visited my family and my sister, cublet and I went to see Avatar--which I have ranted on elsewhere--and had to tell, repeatedly, a woman shut the fuck up. Buckett added: There's something seriously wrong with you if you cannot follow the plot of a James Cameron film. Why did we bother?

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Pud

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from: stivalineri
date: Mar. 26th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
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I do think people are getting dumber as time goes by. It could be the very passivity of watching screens for entertainment, and not using the mind to imagine imagery the way radio does or books do, or playing and singing music ourselves.

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from: tkn1114
date: Apr. 3rd, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
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At a flashing glance, I thought it was the River Oaks Theater! You know I literally shared walls with them when I had Island right next door? Ten years worth. My god, no time for horror stories yet! But what memories that flash brings back... Sigh!

America is getting dumber. You should see the sheep playing with their game thing on the train. I look at them uniformingly doing the same thing and I'm reminded that it makes sense.

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