I can’t reveal details about the talks we’re deeply involved in. I can say that the working title was “Roger Ebert presents Fill in Words Here,” and that it has now become “Roger Ebert presents At the Movies.” Gene Siskel and I started using that title way back in 1980, when we left PBS for Tribune Broadcasting. I can also say the Thumbs will return.
I can also say that we held video tests with several potential hosts two weeks ago in Los Angeles, and know who we will use. We also know we will have a strong web presence. We will go full-tilt New Media: Television, net streaming, cell phone apps, Facebook, Twitter, iPad, the whole enchilada. The disintegration of the old model creates an opening for us.
Back when Siskel and Ebert had their movie review show At the Movies, I didn’t pay it much attention, because I generally didn’t take many movie critics’ reviews to heart when deciding what to see. Sure, sometimes I was curious about what certain critics, including Roger Ebert, thought about a movie, but their reviews didn’t sway me much. And because sometimes Ebert would hate a movie that I didn’t think was so bad, seemingly not getting the idea behind the movie, I kind of got this “grouchy guy” vibe from him that turned me off. I therefore didn’t really follow the changes that At the Movies went through, though I did know via the news about Gene Siskel’s passing, Richard Roeper becoming the new co-host, and Roger Ebert’s fight against cancer. All that said, I still wasn’t a regular reader or fan of Roger Ebert…until I started following him on Twitter. IIRC, Andy Ihnatko’s frequent tweets to Roger Ebert made me curious about what Ebert posted on Twitter, and I ended up following Ebert that way. Well, once I did, I was treated to a ton of interesting posts, including this one about Ebert’s upcoming movie review show. What grabbed me most was how he said that the new show would be taking full advantage of “new media”, creating a major online presence for the show. I’ve always railed against people in the movie and music industries wanting to hold on to the old way of doing things, shunning technology, digital downloads, the whole shebang. It is awesome that Roger Ebert is one of the people in the movie industry who doesn’t share this luddite attitude. I fully look forward to the new show coming out, and highly recommend that if you aren’t already following Roger Ebert on Twitter (@ebertchicago) that you do so ASAP.
FREAKING. AWESOME. Now I have to finish reading the other volumes I have (I’ve only read the first one all the way through, but I totally loved it!)…
I don’t have the energy to work up a froth over the latest dumb move by the movie studios. I’ll just quote a bit of the article from Variety:
“Could first- and second-class DVDs help increase sales?
That’s the hope of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, which has told its accounts that it plans to launch a DVD program that creates two classes of discs. One is a premium retail version that contains added-values such as digital copy; the second is a stripped-down version for rentals.”
Why do I still get amazed by all of this anti-consumer behavior? It’s not like it’s new. Psh. I hate the move because it just sidesteps the fact that movie studios aren’t producing good enough movies that make people want to buy them. Well, of course, there’s also the economy factor, but don’t I think punishing people who rent movies is the answer. I hope that if Fox does go through with this, “rentailers” will just go out and buy the full versions and rent them out instead of the stripped versions as suggested later on the in the article. But we’ll see what happens.
Since it’s a rather old movie, I wasn’t really aware of it until I’d seen the pilot for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and had read reviews comparing the rant in that pilot to the rant in Network. I sort of looked up info about Network and added it to my Netflix queue, but I still haven’t watched it yet. Well, I think I’m going to watch it sometime this weekend, finally. I think it’s fitting, considering the annoyance I have with the TV networks.
Looking up Network in Wikipedia also led me to look up the movie Wall Street, which has nothing to do with the TV networks, but has a fair amount to do with the stupid crap we’re going through with the economy.
Both of these movies had popular quotes that show up from time to time in US pop culture. Network had, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!” While Wall Street had, “Greed is good.” I think it’ll be cathartic to watch these movies this weekend. Join me, won’t you?
So excited! Tonight we are going to see Wargames (the original 80′s movie, Ladies and Gents) on the big screen. I love this movie. It’s one of the movies that influenced my love of computers and technology, even though I was already leaning that way. We’d seen some commercials before a couple of the movies we saw recently about Fathom Events showing Wargames in theatres for one day, supposedly in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the movie. I think it’s more to pimp the straight-to-DVD release of the 2008 sequel to Wargames. I am really not that interested in the sequel at all; I can’t imagine that they could’ve done a good job with it. I am grateful that they’re re-showing Wargames on the big screen anyway. I never got to see it in the theatre. By the time I’d seen it, it was on HBO. Of course, with many movies that I saw on HBO, I watched it several times, whenever it was on.
Anyway, I don’t know how widespread this Wargames screening is, but I highly recommend going to Fathom Event’s site to see if it’s showing near you.
Once again, I write a blog post here to save people on Jaiku from having to read through a long comment…
Actually, there were some people there already at 10, but luckily the theatre we were in didn’t have a movie going, so we were able to just walk in and pick our seats, instead of waiting in line to get in. I was a bit worried when I saw a bunch of people sitting around in front of a couple of the theatres, but was surprised to see ours was line-less. If we had shown up an hour later at 11, which was a more reasonable time to show up, we would’ve had a hard time finding seats in the stadium seating part of the theatre.
I was worried that they’d be harrassing us all to leave our cell phones in our cars because of cameras and all that nonsense, so we left our phones out in the car’s glovebox. I felt so “cut off” from the net while we were waiting in our seats…couldn’t even post a Jaiku that it was lucky we showed up at the theatre when we did. And it was all for naught, because everyone else had brought in their phones, of course. There wasn’t even anyone at the door asking to see ticket stubs or anything! It was like we had full run of the whole place, which was strange.
So there we were, with no phones, no books, nothing much to entertain us (besides a bit of convo and some snark about the teeny boppers all around us) for 2 hours except for my 770, which I did bring in with me. No WiFi, but we did trade off playing games like MaemoDrac (solitaire), Battlegweled, and Marbles. Honestly, I should’ve brought Half-Blood Prince with me, so I could’ve continued reading it (I had just re-read Order of the Phoenix to remind myself of the story before the movie came out, and was moving on to HBP in preparation for the 7th book’s arrival). There were some people who showed up in costume, including a couple people in rather elaborate costumes of Dumbledore and Snape. But the majority were just teens, tweens and parents. I felt kind of old. *smirk*
The 770 held out (its battery level was at half when we got to the theatre, so I put the screen brightness down low) and helped entertain the hubby. We took turns playing games, but I stopped after a while so my eyes wouldn’t hurt and give me a headache. After a bit of a glitch and slight delay in starting the previews and movie (slight audience tension and restlessness), the feature presentation played, and it was pretty good. Of course there were bits of the book that were left out, and some story bits twisted around, but I thought it was a decent adaptation of the book. There were things that kind of bugged me, but I won’t discuss them now. I look forward to hearing what the various Harry Potter podcasters thought of it. If you’re considering seeing the movie, I would recommend going. It’s well done, and supposedly the director of this film will be back for the next, so this is a chance to get used to his style.
Anyway, it’s quite late, and I should get to bed soon. Just wanted to type up my Order of the Phoenix experience (as best as I can remember and describe it at this late hour) since I was cut off from the world while I was waiting at the theatre. Now counting down to the 7th book release on the 21st…yay!
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Snakes on a Plane was awesome! That is all.
Okay, probably not, but I sure like this particular idea. I heard something at work that reminded me of the tones that David recorded to thwart the lock on that clinic they temporarily held him in. Then I thought that those simple tones would be an awesome, geeky ringtone. I don’t have a touch-tone landline that could simulate the tones, but I can just bust out my Wargames DVD and record the sound. But don’t tell anyone, else the MPAA come knocking on my door… *rolling eyes*
Quick link before I go to bed: an NBC affiliate review of X-Men 3
I agree with it.
Okay, Kids. I just got back from seeing X-Men: The Last Stand, and I have to say that it was awesome (I know I like to use that word)! I am semi-familiar with the comic books, thanks to a couple of my cousins and my own comic book purchases, but I didn't follow all of the storylines regularly, and eventually my interest faded (especially when I realized how much money I was sinking into buying the various X-Men series!). I started reading the Ultimate X-Men series soon after the first X-Men movie came out and rekindled my interest in the comics. So my opinion of the movie is probably not going to be the same of someone who has a deeper knowledge of the Phoenix Saga storyline (like my cousins ), but I think that those more familiar with X-Men will enjoy the movie despite the changes that have been made.
It's likely that I'm going to see the movie in the theatre again (an occurrence that is increasingly rare nowadays, thanks to all the drivel that the big movie production houses like to foist on us), so I'm going to try to familiarize myself more with the Phoenix Saga, and read some other viewer reviews of the movie to try to get more out of a second viewing. Actually, this is the first time in a long while that the hubby and I went to a movie that had sold out showings. I guess I didn't really realize the interest in this movie was so high. I'm very happy that this is the case, though, because I think the X-Men franchise is worth all of the attention it's getting.
The special effects were pretty good, of course, and the action sequences were well done. I get the impression that the director, CG specialists, and cast had fun using different mutant powers. As was shown in the trailers and commercials, some kind of vaccine has been developed that can permanently suppress the mutant X gene. Mutants end up on both sides of the issue, with Magneto and his "brotherhood" army vehemently opposed to it and willing to start a war over it, while other mutants are interested in getting the "cure" and becoming normal human beings, ending their lifelong persecution. While the issue wasn't too deeply explored, I think it got an okay treatment. It could probably have been developed more, but I think Brett Ratner probably wanted to err on the side of action scenes than philosophical debates, a la The Matrix (and before you all get into a huff, I know some people think The Matrix was sort of flippant about the philosophical issues it tossed about; it's not my intention to debate that particular issue).
My bottom-line for the review is that I think it's worth seeing in the theatre at least once or twice. I'm pretty selective now about which movies I chose to watch in the theatre, given how much tickets are now, and how disappointing some movies can be (Silent Hill, anyone? Major blech.), so the fact that I would consider watching X-Men: The Last Stand in the theatres again is saying something.
Oh, and one last thing. If you go and see it, make sure that you stay until the very end of the film reel. Let's just leave it at that. Please comment here and let me know what you think! It'd be great to get an X-Men discussion thread going here.