I’ve Stopped Watching Trailers

Well, not entirely. But I’m cutting back significantly. Let me explain.

Our story begins here. It’s a little off topic, but this is the scenario that bleeds into my main thesis. Starting about three years ago I started to notice how much of my time in the theater was spent watching trailers. There are some chains around here that will show over twenty minutes of trailers before the start of the movie. Twenty minutes! Add to that some commercials, an ditty about buying concessions, a thank you message about keeping silent during the movie, another message from Kung-Fu Panda about not texting during the movie, a message about how great digital projection is, a show off of the soundsystem in the theater that we’re listening to DTS surround sound and another telling us the theater is TXH certified (which of course most people don’t even know what that means – they think it’s a sound system). So let’s see: I showed up to a 5:00pm screening of Spider-Man 2 at 4:40 (to ensure I’ve got a good seat and have time to pee and all that) and now just spent 30-35 minutes watching what is essentially advertising and the movie hasn’t even begun yet. So I’ve been in my theater chair for almost an hour before the opening credits roll. So now a two and half hour movie just became a three and half hour movie (a shitty one too I might add). Whew, that was exhausting! And just to throw salt on the would, I’ve already seen all these trailers (some more than three or four times) on the internet or in other movie screenings. Insert frustrated scream here.
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Motion Seats. Stupid.


To me, 3-D movies have always been just one big gimmick to get people into the seats and convince them that they have to pay more for the “more immersive” experience. Well hold on to your hats (literally) because thanks to the wonders of D-Box technology, movie patrons of the new decade will now experience the movie in a much more physical way: your seat will actually move “in perfect sync” with the action on screen to give the viewer the feeling of actually being part of the movie.

And this isn’t a new idea that is simply in the development stage; this is something that is happening. Now. In my city. At the already bombastic tourist trap known as the Mall of America (which I already loathe at an indescribable level), the multi-plex within is installing 30 of these motion seats in one screen room which will premiere on May 21 with the movie to be announced later (gee, you think it will be Terminator: Salvation?). Oh and it will be $7 more per ticket for the experience (i.e. $18).

Here’s an edited version of what appeared in our local paper last week:

Moviegoers will feel as if they are living the action – experiencing every explosion, car chase and even flight scene … the movie is coded, frame-by-frame, to create customized Motion Effects resulting in subtle, refined movements that work in perfect sync with the action taking place onscreen.

“The movements that these seats make are sophisticated and refined; moviegoers will not be jostled around the entire time, rather they will feel much more a part of the movie,” stated President and CEO of D-BOX Technologies, Claude Mc Master.

While audience members will experience motion during action sequences, the seats will remain still during the quieter, dialogue-driven scenes and come equipped with individual adjustable settings to customize each experience.

Now my initial gut reaction to this is highly skeptical and negative. I don’t always (if ever) want to be immersed physically into a film. As a one time novelty experience or something to bring the kids to as a treat, fine. I can maybe get behind this. But if this is the way of the future, you can count me out of any theater that does this. Even if I can turn it off on my seat, you’ve still got the annoyance of the crowd around you either making yelping sounds or just moving all over the place. And you thought text typers were distracting; ugh!

I also question what “highly refined” means. If this feels anything like a rollercoaster in terms of smoothness, then no thanks. I’ll go to Wally World if I want that. Nope, personally I’d rather sit quietly, eat my popcorn and let my imagination go through the proverbial motions for me.

This is the first set of these seats to appear in Minnesota and only the third in the country. I’ve never even heard of these before. Has anyone actually experienced this set-up with a full scale, wide release, feature length film? I’m curious.

* The picture above is my mind’s eye of the experience. The actual seats look a little more appealing and what we’ve already come to expect from theater seats…

D-Box seats

Odds and Ends for a Friday When No One Cares About Anything but Star Trek

First off, Apparently in Russian John Connor isn’t quite as invulnerable as well thought. Check out this skull-crushing one sheet:


Of course we can’t go a full week in the third row without some sort of (post)-apocalyptic film discussion. So check out this highly intriguing little trailer for The Rejection (via Quiet Earth). It blends sci-fi dreariness with an interesting love story. Oh and the chick is hot.

And since it is Star Trek weekend, maybe you should catch up with some canon. Here are all 172 of the “Star Trek: Voyager” episodes played simultaneously at 14x normal speed. Now you can proudly say you’ve seen them all!

Cinecast Episode 116 – Knowing is Half the Battle


Episode 116:
We’re back with a little Knowing this week. A lot of Knowing actually. Then it’s on to some other tidbits of goodness, DVDs and Spike Jonze.

Click the Audio Icon below to listen in:

Below the fold are the Show Notes…
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The Look of McG’s Post Skynet World

Art from Terminator: Salvation

Not to sound like a party pooper because I am looking forward to, to what I’m sure is the distaste of a few regular readers/contributors around these parts, McG’s Terminator Salvation. Admittedly one of the things I’m most looking forward to is the post apocalyptic vision of the future which I’m hoping is going to be more than just a few short clips in the background with loads of crazy, three million cuts a second action in the foreground that don’t allow you to take in the surroundings.

The folks at Wired recently had a chance to talk to McG about the look of the film and he shared some of the concept art for the project and the first thing that came to mind was “Hugh. You couldn’t come up with something more, I don’t know, original?” Granted, destroyed worlds will always look similar, especially when the basis is the cities we currently reside in, and though I can’t quite pinpoint what I had expected (it’s one of those things that when you see it you say “YES! That’s exactly what I had in mind!”) I certainly wasn’t looking for a rehash of H.R. Giger and The Matrix. And yes, I realize that there’s some overlap there since some of The Matrix designs were directly influenced by Giger’s work.

They should really have hired Syd Mead. I’m assuming he was busy.

I’ve only posted a couple of the images. Head on over to Wired for the whole lot.

Art from Terminator: Salvation

Christian Bale Loses It

Christian Bale in American PsychoI don’t usually bother to check out these gossip tidbits but stuff this juicy is just too good to pass up and when it reaches levels like those we haven’t seen since the David O. Russel vs. Lily Tomlin debacle, you have to take a second look.

I discovered this via the good folks at Cinematical who picked it up from the gossip wires of TMZ. Apparently, the audio was recorded on the set of the upcoming Terminator Salvation when some poor schmuck, from the sounds of it the cinematographer, walked into a scene in the middle of shooting. Bale loses it and let’s the f-bombs fly as he rips the guy, if it is indeed the cinematographer that would be Shane Hurlbut, a new one.

On the one hand, I find this a little humourous and on the other a little scary because I can just picture Bale screaming, red-faced, veins and eyes popping.

This is really not safe for work as every second word is the f-bomb but if you’re really curious, just be sure to turn down the volume a little. Now that you’ve been warned, check out the audio here.