Tag Archives: movie theatres

AMC advancement

In December, I registered a complaint here and on Twitter about AMC Theatre’s brand new policy trailer.

amc theatresFeaturing their  ‘dot people,’ the short film has a bear eating cellphone dogs, and motorcyclists running over cattle.  It is weird and nonsensical (and obviously rather abusive to animals for no apparent reason).

A member of the AMC marketing department responded to my concerns on Twitter, which I appreciated.  And today I am happy to report  —

The policy trailer has been CHANGED!

The dot people are still the focus, but this time, two red balloons float from scene to scene, connecting the action.  It’s really very nice.  And no dot animals were harmed in the animation.

Thanks, AMC.

Dance, dance baby

I love a good documentary on a Saturday morning.

And First Position, which is currently in theatres and available OnDemand, is great.

The feature film documents the journey of six young ballet dancers as they attempt to qualify and compete in the Youth America Grand Prix in New York City, the most prestigious youth ballet competition in the world. 

This contest isn’t just about trophies or medals; it’s serious business.  The winning dancers receive full scholarships to top ballet schools and contracts to the most prestigious ballet companies in the world — jobs that are few and far between.

The filmmakers have amazing access to the dancers at home, in the rehearsal studio, and in the wings before, during and after their competition performances.  It’s pretty incredible…and no small wonder the documentary was named the audience choice’s first runner up for Best Documentary at the Toronto Film Festival where it premiered.

See?  Told you it was great.

Will-a-Mania

August 15th is a big day in music history.

  • 1969: The Woodstock Music Festival opens.
  • 1965: The Beatles play Shea Stadium.
  • 1935: Will Rogers and Wiley Post die when their plane crashes after take-off in Barrow, Alaska.

Now, you might not put Will Rogers in the same music sphere as the Beatles, but for a Broadway fan, The Will Rogers Follies — winner of the 1991 Tony Award for Best Musical — is a pretty big deal.

Prior to that show, Will Rogers was just a name in the history books to me.  Once a year or so in movie theatres, I did see cans passed to raise money for the Will Rogers Institute, which funds medical research in asthma, tuberculosis and pulmonary diseases….but that was the extent of my knowledge.

Keith Carradine’s portrayal brought Rogers to life — his years in vaudeville and radio, his common sense approach to life, his wife, his politics and witticisms, and his love and support for the then fledgling aviation industry.

I used to listen to the musical’s soundtrack in my car driving back and forth to work…back when I had a car and actually worked in an office.  It has amazing energy and lyrics — perfect ‘pick-me-up’ music.

Who needs a car?  I’m gonna listen to Will today.

It is August 15th.

Fight club

In yesterday’s Egg, I mentioned I was looking for a fight.

Today, I found one.

I am going to defend — almost a year after it hit theatres — the critical and audience pounding of the action film Knight and Day, starring Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz.

It’s available on HBO OnDemand right now.  (I assume that means it’s available on Netflix as well.)

I saw it in the theatre last summer and really liked it.  I remember being surprised that the reviews were so lackluster.  A quick visit to RottenTomatoes.com confirmed the movie was 53 percent fresh — not awful, but not great.

What was even more surprising was that the audience felt the same, judging the movie 52 percent fresh.

I’ve already watched it twice OnDemand, and I respectfully disagree.

Tom Cruise is at his action star best in this film, but the action is purposefully over-the-top, making it one of his best comedic performances.  Snaps to Tom for being willing to make fun of a genre that has been his bread and butter.

Cameron Diaz is the perfect foil for Cruise, too.  She has the energy and the presence to match him shot for shot.  Even when she is in damsel in distress mode, she is his equal on-screen.

The movie uses a lot of CGI to make the impossible possible.  Again, I found that as funny as the rest of the comedy in this film.  Maybe 48 percent of the audience members didn’t get the joke.

But you will.  I know it.

And if you don’t…we can just fight about it some more.

All wet

AMC Theatres recently replaced their Moviewatchers loyalty program with their all-new “AMC Stubs.”

As a longtime Moviewatcher, I have received numerous emails about the change, and promos about the new program have played before every movie at the theatre.

One of the ads centers around a favorite moviegoer memory.  A young man waxes poetic about watching the movie Titanic with his girlfriend.  As they both reach for the popcorn at the same time, their hands touch and at that moment, he knows she is the one for him.

Very romantic, butter and all.

I have my own Titanic movie memory.  I too saw it with a date, the brother of a co-worker.  He seemed nice enough during dinner, but after the movie began, I quickly discovered:

He was a movie talker.

He talked — aloud and loudly — during the entire film.  But he wasn’t talking to me; he was talking to the characters on screen.  “Don’t go down that corridor!”  “Be careful — he’s got a gun!”  “It’s sinking!  It’s sinking!”

Titanic may have lasted 2 1/2 hours, but it felt twice that long from where I was sitting…especially since I saw it with a group of my friends who were extremely entertained by the movie and the floor show my date was giving.

I didn’t see him again.  Titanic wasn’t the only thing that sank that night.

Ah, movie memories…

Trailers no more

Remember movie trailers in the olden days?

They promoted future movies to the captive audience waiting for the feature to begin, of course.  But they also gave the people who were running late another good 15 minutes to get to the theater.

Then the movie theaters added commercials before the trailers to make some extra dough, and suddenly movie audiences had a 20 minute window…which just made them later.

But today, movie trailers are become more and more the featured entertainment — a vehicle to get audiences in those pricey theater seats.

I’ll use “Twilight” as an example (sorry, but they do this stuff pretty well).

The “Eclipse” movie — third in the “Twilight” saga — is scheduled to hit theaters June 2010.  On Tuesday, Summit Entertainment released a 10 second “Eclipse” trailer as a “teaser” online.

Today they released the full 90 second trailer, and audiences who go see Robert Pattinson in “Remember Me” — opening this Friday nationwide — will see this “Eclipse” trailer on most prints.

Brilliant.  Summit is using the “Twilight” mania to drive audiences to “Remember Me.”  I’m sure a lot of these same people would have seen the movie anyway — since RPatz is the star — but the promise of footage of the upcoming “Eclipse” movie pretty much seals the deal.

My local AMC theater even advertises on their marquee when “Twilight” trailers are attached to films.  It’s whack…but it works.

Other films with equally rabid fan bases should pay close attention.

Those 90 second shorts can get butts in the seats.