Opening 10-17-2019 In Theaters: Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Zombieland: Double Tap, Jojo Rabbit, The Lighthouse

Wide opening: Zombieland Doubletap, Maleficent + Limited: Jojo Rabbit, The Lighthouse

Hump Day Wednesday. Also the day before the openings of new films in the theater. Such a great middle week day!

Kara has Thursday, Friday and Saturday off, so I’m hopeful we can see all four of the movies above, but finding some of the release screenings in our area can be challenging (a venting topic for another day).

Am excited to see more Halloween-themed movies this week, albeit they are sequels. Last week had an underwhelming Addam’s Family⭐️⭐️ but it did well at the box office next to Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ .

Maleficient: Mistress of Evil

Disney’s Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil Official Trailer

Has the look of something that could be very good. An epic fairy tale with some good-looking effects. I’m intrigued.

However, similar to IT: Chapter Two ⭐️⭐️½ I haven’t seen the first one and am worried I might miss context. Do like the subtitle: “Mistress of Evil” but I’m hit or miss on liking the newer Disney films (love many of their classics). That includes the newer Star Wars since they bought them from George Lucas.

This one is 2/10 for anticipation. Don’t know much about it other than what’s in the trailer, but the trailer generated a little interest. Am going in optimistic, looking to be entertained on this one, but it’s not something I’m clamoring to see.

Zombieland: Double Tap

Another sequel to a movie I haven’t seen. Maybe I can catch the double-feature that is showing in some theaters. It’s definitely an odd experience watching the sequel before the original. It’s like reading series books out of order.

Zombieland: Double Tap official trailer

After watching this trailer, I’m definitely more excited about this one than Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. Cool look of The White House with weeds overgrowing it. I’ve enjoyed some of Woody Harrelson’s films. Good to see they got the entire cast of the first Zombieland back, so this might be a more pure sequel.

Sacrilege, I know, but I’m not a huge zombie fan. Think they have been overplayed with the whole success of AMC The Walking Dead (which I do like that), but excessive zombie carnage could be fun.

This one gets 5/10 for my anticipation. I’m guessing Kara will want to see Maleficent before this, because she isn’t much of a horror fan. This is more horror-comedy, so maybe it will be more appealing to her. Will soon find out!

Jojo Rabbit

I’ve seen the most rewatch trailers for this film and have concern with Adolf Hitler being funny. Think I’d rather see Hitler handled in a horror film than a comedy. Let’s face it, the guy was just pure evil personified, but it could be ok.

Nobody in the theater was laughing at any of the satirical Hitler jokes, probably because they weren’t funny. Seeing Hitler dance around? It just isn’t working in the trailer for me.

The controversial elements of this film plus the fact that I do enjoy comedies puts this at 3/10 for my anticipation.

The Lighthouse

Have seen one trailer in advance for this one, but not much else is known. Let’s check out the trailer again:

The Lighthouse is a horror movie, we think

Hmm. Kinda corny music. What is this movie about? Not a very good trailer at all. Not seeing much that I want to see here. Luckily there are more trailers and one has a ton of views on YouTube, but reading through the comments I’m sensing others are confused too. I watched, saw a lot of quotes from critics saying it was great.

Went to Wikipedia to read more about what this was about:

The film chronicles the story of two lighthouse keepers as they are faced with solitude, but start to lose their sanity and become threatened by their worst nightmares.

So, it is a horror movie, good. That increases my curiosity. 2/10 for anticipation, but below Maleficent.

ANTICIPATION for Week of 10/17 MOVIES

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 10-17-2019 movies?

  1. Zombieland: Double Tap – 5 /10
  2. Jojo Rabbit – 3/10
  3. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil – 2/10
  4. The Lighthouse – 2/10

Are there screenings in our area to see these movies?

Zombieland and Maleficent are wide screenings, so they will be easy to be screened at Regal Cinemas (where we have an unlimited pass). The Lighthouse is showing at one Regal theater about 20 miles away. Jojo Rabbit looks like the wildcard, it isn’t showing as of this writing anywhere near us. So, that one may get passed unless it appears somewhere…

Are YOU looking forward to seeing any of these movies? If so, which one(s)?

The History Of Horror Films

One of the most famous horror scenes ever: the Psycho shower scene

Scare me.

Horror hasn’t always been about blood and guts being spilled. Perhaps some fans would define the “best” horror that way, but for me the best is whatever makes me feel fear. From a historical perspective, certain types of films have been prominent, also highlighting real life and fears of the time (EXAMPLE. alien invasion and nuclear war).

I’m sure this can, has and will always be debated, but being a horror fan to me, means appreciating, enjoying and being entertained by horror no matter what era it comes from.

HOW TELEVISION HAS CHANGED

Television has changed immensely since the 1950s. That and movie theaters were once the only way to view horror. Television and the edited versions from the theater with commercials added. Soon, came cable TV and soon premium channels like HBO (1972) to break up the ABC, NBC, CBS and independent model.

In 1975 the ability to record TV and then fast forward through the commercials via Betamax (eventually replaced by VHS and then DVD and then Bluray and then UHD) and then, wow, the ability to buy and watch the movies with no commercials.

THE INTERNET

And then in the 1990s the internet changed everything with TV again.

Today, my TV is getting the content not via antenna over the air or via cable, it’s all coming through the internet. Streaming channels have broken up and divided the massive movie libraries and distribute movies on a rotating cycle (some licenses are here, then there, then there, and then back here, and so on).

BUYING MOVIES HAS CHANGED, TOO

There was a time when we bought and collected DVDs like crazy. We built a library of over 700 movies before we stopped, realizing new, better formats would always be coming out, thus making our current library inferior format (and they did — Bluray, UHD, 4k, soon to be 8k and who knows what else is coming!).

Ang Lee just filmed Gemini Man⭐️⭐️ that few can even see in the native format, and only a small, few theaters can come close to screening. There arent’ any home players or televisions that can view the native format yet, either.

There will be. And in 5-10 years, what Ang Lee used to make his film will not be bleeding edge. There will be something new. Perhaps even in a few years when James Cameron rolls out all his new Avatar sequels.

At some point I realized there is a technology treadmill that I was working to buy the same content in a better format. And, so I’ve mostly stopped the neverending hamster wheel of buying content and focused more on only buying the heavily rewatchable movies. That list is much, much smaller. Those movies I’ll rebuy in better formats and/or just buy to stream for convenience wherever there is an internet connection.

Back to eras. The different eras.

So how are “classics” being defined? Any movie produced in the 1960s and earlier.

1960s and earlier

The era of Hitchcock’s superb movies Psycho and The Birds are classics. Horror in the classics era wasn’t about gore and blood, although there were some bloody horror movies. Depending on how far back we go in time, it was more about the creature, monster, the psychotic killer. Why did they kill and when were they killing vs. showing very much of how the killing occurred. An argument could be made that this type of “leave the details up to the viewer’s imagination remain the most frightening.

1970s – 1980s

In my era growing up, the 1970s and 1980s, John Carpenter’s Halloween and Friday the 13th were the “new” horror and sequels to these films could be expected at somewhat predictable intervals (every few year on Halloween, another Halloween movie). We enjoyed Stephen King and a wide variety of slasher films as fodder for nightmares, it’s the original classic films that jump started my first interest and excitement in horror movies. Showing more graphic gory kills began in these two eras, while in the past the horror was less visual and more psychological.

1990s

Then came the 1990s, the torture, game and birth of amateur/found footage horror era. The cringe horror era which seemed to focus more on self-mutilation at the hands of some sadistic mastermind (Saw) and/or a bunch of strangers brought together to figure out how they got to some strange place (Cube). Slasher mashups with mystery and horror (Scream). More of a thinking scary type of horror here. Creative ways to maim and kill people highlighted.

2000s – current

In 2000s and forward we’ve seen more technology/internet horror as well as a continued resurgence in reboots and remakes and more found footage and amateur film “real” horror. I would challenge this era among the weakest and least scary of innovative horror types.

I liked what Rob Zombie tried to do when rebooting Halloween, but it isn’t (and probably can’t be) as good as the original. It might take 100+ years before any worthwhile reboot/remake could be done with any great success. They are trying with Chucky. I think the continuation of sequels, like they’re doing with Halloween is a better path. It’s tough remaking horror when the original — the strong feeling and emotion of the original — burns fresh in the mind of people still alive.

Horror “Best Of” Lists Compiled by Others

Watching Gemini Man in 3D + HFR How Director Ang Lee Envisioned (sort of)

Kara and I both wanted to see Gemini Man⭐️⭐️ I told her we needed to see it the way director Ang Lee envisioned it: 3D + HFR (High Frame Rate):

Lee not only shot in 4K and 3D but also at an incredible frame rate of 120 frames per second (fps), five times the standard 24fps … it’s been the standard used by almost every single film ever been made since the 1930s.

While we pay a surcharge to see any movie that is not 2D, I felt it was important to see a movie that was shot in pure 3D in 3D and I was intrigued by the high frame rate (HFR). How would this look in the theater?

Kara and I were fans of the added experience of 4DX that we checked out in Las Vegas. We vowed to see more movies in 4DX in the future. Avatar is an example of a movie that was incredible in 3D. James Cameron didn’t just add on 3D in post production, he made the movie in 3D. When I first saw Avatar in the theater it was in 3D. So glad I did, because it blew me away. It reminded me, from a pure technology standpoint, of the first time in the 70s that I saw Star Wars.

Unfortunately, there are only 14 theaters in the US (none in Washington state) that can show this movie at 120 FPS. It is more likely that we’re watching at 60 FPS in Real 3D + HFR. I had to do some digging to figure out just how many FPS we’re watching it in? This post says Paramount is releasing the film in the following versions:

2D 4K 24fps
*3D 2k 60fps HFR
3D 2k 120fps HFR Dolby Vision
3D 4k 120fps HFR

Poked around Regal Cinemas for details and didn’t find anything. Maybe somebody reading can confirm or deny? I can only guess based on my limited time sleuthing that Real 3D + HFR at Regal is the marked with asterisk above, as that is the lowest frame rate for 3D. That same post indicated that no home bluray or UHD players are currently capable of showing 3D 4K 120fps HFR, so there are basically no places on earth, as of this writing, that the movie can be shown in the native format the director Ang Lee shot the film. The closest anybody can come to seeing it that way is through the 14 theaters mentioned above. What a technical mess. Guess we’ll have to review the best frame rate in 3D that is closest to us, which appears to be 3D + HFR (60fps).

So, with Gemini Man we are reviewing the movie itself and how and/or if 3D + HFR added in some measurable or unique way to the film. What was the result?

If you clicked the link and saw the two stars out of five at the beginning of this post, you know we weren’t too psyched about the movie, but the visuals in 3D + HFR, especially in some of the action scenes were cool. If only the story had been more entertaining, this could have been something really exciting and groundbreaking.

Oh, and just can’t think of Will Smith being that compelling in any movie. I didn’t even like him that much in MIB.

Opening 10-10-2019 In Theaters: Jexi, Gemini Man, Addam’s Family

Coming to theaters starting 10-10-19

As mentioned before, I try to avoid reading advance reviews, but can’t seem to avoid seeing the early Rotten Tomatoes critic score for movies opening for the coming weekend:

The critic early reviews are unflattering for Gemini Man, the strange looking Will Smith doppelganger action movie. I’m usually not in sync with the Rotten Tomatoes “pro” critics anyway, see Rambo: Last Blood and Ad Astra, so I’m not going to let these early negative reviews influence me.

Gemini Man trailer

I’ve seen this Gemini Man trailer more than any other in the last month. Hollywood is trying to pump us up big time here. Still, I watch this and think, “hmm, it looks OK.” I’m just not that excited. Maybe a 5 out of 10 on anticipation scale. I hope this movie has some good hooks and more than what’s shown in the trailer for action and blows me away. Nervous anticipation you might call this.

There aren’t any tomatometer scores in yet for Jexi or Addam’s Family, so let’s check them out.

Jexi’s synopsis:

Phil (Adam Devine) has a major dependency issue — he’s addicted to his phone. He has no friends, he has a job writing pop culture “Top 10” lists, and his love life is non-existent. But his Facebook status is about to change. When he is forced to upgrade his phone, the latest model comes with an unexpected feature… Jexi (Rose Byrne) — an A.I. life coach, virtual assistant and cheerleader.

Is it just me, or does this story sound similar to Her ⭐️⭐️⭐️½  starring Joaquin Phoenix? I wonder how many of these A.I computers will tell you how to live movies we’re going to see getting made? I know A.I is getting better, but the technology being this realistic is about as close as Star Trek’s famous transporter. Still, I’m not burned out by these type movies yet, so looking forward to watching this. Maybe it will be at least one I watch tomorrow.

Jexi (2019) trailer

I’m 4 out of 10 for anticipation seeing Jexi, Am thinking this will not be as funny as I want it to be. I’d rather see a great comedy than another drama like Her. But I’m keeping an open mind.

As for Addam’s Family? Didn’t realize this was going to be animated until very recently. For some reason — maybe it was just wishful thinking — I had hoped this would be live action. Not that I’m hating on animated films, but I just don’t get all that excited about most of them. Now, if they would go back to some of the Japanese and/or more adult-oriented animated films like Speed Racer, Heavy Metal, Beavis & Butthead Do America⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, The Simpsons Movie, etc, now these animated films I look most forward to seeing.,

The Addam’s Family (2019) trailer

Hmm, this trailer makes me about 2 out of 10 want to see this movie. Just not that excited or interested, but again, I’m going to go in and hope to be thoroughly entertained. The Peanut Butter Falcon trailers underwhelmed me, and yet that turned out to be our #1 movie in August 2019.

How much on scale of 1-10 anticipating the 10-10-19 movies?

  1. Gemini Man – 5 /10
  2. Jexi – 4/10
  3. Addam’s Family – 2 / 10

Never know exactly how I’ll feel until after seeing the movie for the first time, but have a sinking suspicion that Jexi might turn out to be my unexpected favorite of the three, but I’m rooting for Gemini Man to be more entertaining than my gut is telling me it will be.

Regardless how entertaining these films turn out to be, Thursday is my favorite movie theater watching day of the week!

Are you looking forward to watching any of these three movies? If so, which one?

Does It Matter that Joker Used Song from Convicted Pedophile?

The contentious inclusion of a song by convicted pedophile Gary Glitter in “Joker” has sparked a wave of criticism from moviegoers, with many concerned the disgraced former glam rock singer will be entitled to lucrative music royalties.

Joker: Convicted pedophile Gary Glitter set to earn big royalties

From the “didn’t know that” comes this news that Joker ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ is going to benefit a convicted pedophile. Could the use of this song be in any way a coincidence or did the song fit the moment perfectly? I remember the scene and thinking the song was a good fit and now I’m asking myself if I’d known this song was the work of a guy who had sex with a girl under 13 would it have colored my perception of the movie?

Yes, a little bit.

I don’t hate much in this world, but child predators are certainly in that wheelhouse. Really hate them. Which that emotion ironically fits into a dark movie like Joker.

The same way I despise that coward Roman Polanski who fled being prosecuted for his sexual misdeeds.

But.

I still think Rosemary’s Baby ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ is one of the greatest horror films ever. Not trying to be hypocritical, but a writer, director or actor’s political views (I don’t care much for Stephen King constantly railing about politics), personal activities outside the film she/he is in doesn’t significantly enter into whether or not I’m entertained by a film. Why did I take away a half star from that review? Probably because of my distaste for director Roman Polanskil It’s my way of saying perfection is marred by a despicable fiend who made the film.

I won’t take away a half star from Joker, however, because a pedophile’s song was used in one extended scene. It does seem at least strangely coincidental.

Unless the film has something to do with the creator’s politics or personal views or actions, I’m not sure any of this is relevant. Does it make for a clickbait link? Sure. Does it make for additional watercooler conversation about a movie which has been heavily promoted and talked about for the last couple months? Sure.

But do we care? Do you care? Some do. Here’s someone on YouTube talking in depth about Joker, this controversy and others:

Joker controversy discussion

Do I care? Sort of. Had I known this going in, it would not have prevented me from seeing the movie. It would have annoyed me and taken me out of being entertained for certainly that part of the film where the music was blaring.

Does it matter to you? I’m curious. Let me know.

Drinking Alcohol While Watching Movies?

The Cinnebar offered these juicy alcohol-infused drinks they called Jartails

While we visited the Cinnebar in Las Vegas, we saw these Jartails featured. We wanted to try them if we returned to watch another movie, but alas, seeing the godawful Ad Astra ⭐️ did us in for the day. Funny how seeing a movie you don’t like will ruin your desire to see more movies. The opposite of course is true.

There is a Cinnebar in Seattle, Washington. Is there one near you for 21+ dinner, drinks + movie?

This got me thinking about drinking alcohol when watching movies in the theater. Since, we’ve never tried it before, I’m curious about others who have? Did it relax you for the film? Or did it make you more tired? Anybody get drunk ever and watch a movie at the theater?

The only thing I’ve ever drank in the movie theater is soft drinks (Coca Cola, Sprite, etc). I don’t think alcohol would go very well with popcorn. Beer and popcorn? Hmm, probably not.

I know Kara is interested in trying the Cinnebar again. Maybe we can catch a new release soon and see how it impacts the movie experience? I hope it doesn’t make me go to sleep!

Ready For Joker? How Excited Are You? Movie Screenings Starting 10/3/19

Tecnically Joker opens on 10/4, but we can see it on 10/3 starting at 4pm

I guess it is a timezone thing (?), but we can actually start seeing Joker that opens on 10/4 on 10/3 starting at 4:00 PM PST. Kara mentioned wanting to go see a movie tomorrow and I’m hoping she’ll want to see this one. I’d rather go earlier, though like at 4pm than later, but we’ll see what happens.

Unless you’ve been completely off the grid the last month, this new Joker movie has created quite a bit of controversy so far. There is some concern that some socially-adverse people might commit violence in/around theaters. I am pretty sure these miscreants will be less likely to do this at a matinee over an evening showing, but am most hopeful no violence whatsoever is committed anywhere. This is a movie, after all. It’s fantasy, fiction. Nobody should ever get hurt going to the movies. Let’s not ruin something that is meant to do good in the world for mankind, not sow seeds of disharmony and evil.

Now, as for the movie itself? It’s #5 on my list of my most anticipated Fall 2019 films. I am curious to learning about the Joker’s origins. As I mentioned in the 1966 vs. 2019 Joker post, I’ve been historically partial to the more jovial, comical, zany joker played by Caesar Romero. That doesn’t mean I’m turned off to the concept of a much darker Joker, I just have tried those Jokers and not been as partial to them. Curious what Joaquin Phoenix brings to the table.

I am not too familiar with Joaquin Phoenix, so checked out his Wikipedia just now. Remember him from Walk The Line as Johnny Cash. I liked that film, and need to rewatch it. Phoenix has been in quite a few movies according to his filmography. Then checked out what Amazon Prime and Netflix have of his movies available to stream.

Of interest to me without just random watching starring Phoenix and available on Amazon Prime as of this writing (in no particular order):

  • Russkies
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • We Own The Night
  • You Were Never Really Here (Amazon Original)
  • Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far On Foot (Amazon Original)

Netflix as of this writing:

  • Her (I tried to watch this once before, a false start)

This gives six movies to explore starring Joaquin Phoenix. I like how the streaming services will have older movies featured at a new release. Smart marketing.

So, wonder how many others are looking forward to seeing Joker this opening weekend? You? Somebody you know? Use that comments area below to be heard if you like. Or blog it and pingback.

On a scale from 1 to 10 (most interested), I’m probably a 6 for Joker, maybe a 7 I’m curious to see what kind of dramatic tension comes out of it. By comparison I was a 10 for Rambo: Last Blood ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ and 9 for Terminator: Dark Fate PREVIEW. Other movies being released this 10/4 weekend include a solid 7 out of 10 interest for Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix) starring Eddie Murphy, 3 for Gemini Man and 2 for Lucy In The Sky.