Archive for Opinion

Greetings followers of Ed’s Review. It seems like I’ve been doing this most of my life. It’s hard to even remember how many years it’s been since I started doing this. A little research shows that it’s been 5 years this month. The first review I ever posted was for an awful movie called “The Crazies” which was a remake of a George Romero horror flick from the 70’s. That was on July 15th 2010. It was in December of 2010 that I did my very first “Christmas Movies on TV” project which I have faithfully done every year since. Last year I swore I wouldn’t do it, and when I saw the list of new films for the holidays, I had no choice but to watch them and review them! Then I decided some months ago not to do it this year, and then something happened that made me sure I will. During the 5 years I’ve been doing this I’ve made over 1700 posts.

Have you heard of Christmas in July? The actual date Christmas in July is July 25th, naturally, but most folks celebrate it the whole month. The custom was started by a business in Australia that was looking to drum up some business in the middle of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere since the Australian Christmas comes in the middle of summer. It caught on, and has endured for centuries. This year, as soon as the smoke cleared from the July 4th fireworks here in the States, Hallmark Channel immediately threw up two channels of Christmas movies on TV around the clock. I tried to stay away, but I couldn’t. I saw some of my favorites coming up, and I just had to turn it on, and as soon as I did, I found myself losing sleep enjoying Moonlight & Mistletoe, The Christmas Card, Silver Bells. There’s nothing more fun for me than watching Scrooge in July, darn it. Music Choice on the cable switched to Christmas music, and I must admit this is the first year I spent half of July listening to Christmas music, but it was a lot of fun.

Changing gears. I watch a LOT of movies. I love movies, and I love going to the theater, although it’s getting really expensive anymore, but by using matinee pricing and discount days (Tuesday usually) I try to do it as often as I can. Some years ago a theater opened at Gardenwalk in Anaheim that had a 21 and over theater that was filled with large leather reclining chairs, and waitresses that brought drinks and snacks as you wished. This was a premium option, but it was interesting to only have adults and to sit in such a comfortable setting and enjoy a cocktail with the movie. Recently all of out theaters, Regal, AMC, Century, etc. have been ripping out their auditoriums one after another and replacing them with the large reclining seats. They also offer a full dinner menu, things like steaks and grilled salmon, and the chairs have a table like those in the first class section of a plane, and you can have dinner and a movie at the same time. This seems to be a really big deal in California, and I would imagine this is starting to happen across the country and across the world. It is truly a different experience to watch a movie in a setting like this, and really hard to stay awake. So far, except for the original over 21 theater, the prices have been the same as they were before. There is a mad charge, of course, for ordering dinner, but if you use the concession stand and just watch a movie. But I don’t know if this is going to change the landscape or not. Will there become Have and Have Not theaters with bargain basement prices for a normal seat and premium prices for the nice seats? How long before the nice seats are beat up and ruined by the unruly public? And what about the base price tickets with all the upsells for IMAX, 3D, Xtreme Digital,etc? When we went to see Antman last week they tried really hard to get us to go into the XD showing in 3D as there was a $5.00 per ticket upgrade for that theater. When we went in, it was nearly empty because nobody likes to pay the premium upgrades. How do you feel about that? Is it worth it for the Upgrade. To me, I guess it depends on the film. I plopped down the extra 10 bucks and went for the 3D and XD experience and I really enjoyed it. But would I have liked the film as much if I saw it on the regular 2D screen? I don’t know.

Finally, as I said, I watch a lot of movies. I don’t watch a lot of TV. But now and then there is a program on TV that I HAVE to watch. I started into Nashville, and I can’t give it up. I started on Bates Motel, and I catch every episode. When I saw the ads for Wayward Pines, I had to watch it. This week the final episode was aired, and that’s why I said I was Shyamalan’d. I want to turn his name into a verb. Shyamalan has a very weird style to his films, and I’ve been a fan since the beginning. I like to watch the technical aspects of a film, and I don’t get lost in the story to the point that I can’t tell real life from fiction, but I am not the best at catching hints and figuring out what’s going to happen. Shyamalan is rarely predictable though, and he’s sucked me in many times. In the original Shyamalan film, Sixth Sense, I went into it with no previous notion of what it was about. I was pulled in hook line and sinker and at the big reveal at the end, I was stunned, much like I was stunned many years before in The Sting. Many folks did not like The Village, but I was totally sold on the story, and watching this old fashioned community get by surrounded by a forest of evil monsters. When Ron Howard’s blind (in the movie) daughter went over the fence, I was again floored. I had no idea that was coming.

Well, Wayward Pines, if you didn’t know, was produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, and in keeping with his style it was very strange. The story caught me in the first 10 minutes, and I didn’t miss a second of the series. I even watched most of the shows several times to pick up anything I had missed. There are twists and turns in this story that are truly unexpected, and before you start into it, make sure you don’t know the details or it will truly spoil it. All of these episodes are up in On Demand, and there’s no doubt they’ll be on DVD very, very soon. I’ll try to let you know when I see them. But as I watched the final episode, the suspense built up to a fever pitch, and I realized there was only 7 or 8 minutes left to wrap this thing up. I couldn’t see any way they could wrap this thing up in 7 minutes. But wrap it up they did, but the surprise ending once again blew me away. I didn’t see that coming. Damn.

So when you’re watching a movie and really enjoying the story, and suddenly you lose all orientation and wonder what the heck just happened, let’s call it being Shymalan’d. It happened to me Thursday night. And during the last episode they previewed a new movie he’s got coming to theaters this fall. Here we go again.

Thanks for reading my rambles and feel free to use the comments to let me know your opinions. I would love to have your feedback.

Ed

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Happy Holidays for the FIFTH STRAIGHT YEAR from Ed’s Review,

Every year for the last five years, we’ve done a special thing in November and December called “Ed’s Christmas on TV Project” [Click here for the special page]

This year is no exception! Starting this week We’ll mix some holiday films in along with the regular reviews, but there is a list of hundreds of films that have already been reviewed. You’ll see them on the “Ed’s Christmas on TV Project” page, and you can recognize them as the titles will start with two snowflakes “**” in front of the name of the movie. These are films that appear on TV, on cable channels like Hallmark, and Lifetime, and all over the place. Many are available on demand and on Watch Instantly. I hope that if you are a Christmas Movie fan like I am, that this special list helps you find the gems among the clinkers are you enjoy your holiday viewing. Every year lots of new ones are released, and believe it or not, there’s still a few out there that I still haven’t seen. I’ll be scouring the schedule for new ones to add to the hundreds I’ve already done.

Season’s Greetings, everyone.

Ed Goettman

 

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Opinion – RIP Run Run Shaw

Back in the 1970’s I spent some time in the Philippines. There was a love there for martial arts that still continues today. In the years I was living there I was able to see many great Kung Fu films, but the very best were made by Shaw Brothers, the Hong Kong studio built by Run Run Shaw. He brought the popularity of Kung Fu to the world. Like Hammer Films always made the very best Horror Films, Shaw Brothers at the start of a film always meant it was a good martial arts film. Run Run Shaw was 107 years old. What a classy guy!

[Here is the Wikipedia entry for Run Run Shaw]

In another brief note. If you’re planning on heading out to see Paranormal Activity:The Marked Ones, you may want to stop and reconsider. I saw it last night, and my review will be coming up very soon, perhaps tomorrow, but I can warn you that it’s the worst film I’ve seen in a movie theater in a long, long, long, long time.

Ed

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Happy Holidays once again from Ed’s Review,

Every year for the last four years, we’ve done a special thing in November and December called “Ed’s Christmas on TV Project” [Click here for the special page]

This year is no exception! Starting this week We’ll mix some holiday films in along with the regular reviews, but there is a list of hundreds of films that have already been reviewed. You’ll see them on the “Ed’s Christmas on TV Project” page, and you can recognize them as the titles will start with two snowflakes “**” in front of the name of the movie. These are films that appear on TV, on cable channels like Hallmark, and Lifetime, and all over the place. Many are available on demand and on Watch Instantly. I hope that if you are a Christmas Movie fan like I am, that this special list helps you find the gems among the clinkers are you enjoy your holiday viewing. Every year lots of new ones are released, and believe it or not, there’s still a few out there that I still haven’t seen. I’ll be scouring the schedule for new ones to add to the hundreds I’ve already done.

Season’s Greetings, everyone.

Ed Goettman

 


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Hello friends,

I know I’m a movie guy, and I have never been a big fan of the Tony Awards. I always felt it was a party that I was not invited to. It’s kind of like the local morning “news” shows that is a huge party of inside jokes that unless you watch every day, you’re not privy to. Everything is funny, but you’re not in on any of the jokes. I’m a movie guy, and I think once when I was a little kid, my Dad drove (yeah, drove himself) down Broadway, but I’ve never seen a Broadway show. The closest I’ve ever been was the High School stealing old Rogers and Hammerstein musicals and the drama department putting them on with 15 year old kids singing and dancing. But my DVR was absolutely empty. I’ve been struggling for weeks to catch up on shows, and suddenly there were so many “season finale” episodes and my DVR went silent, so I decided just for hoots I would record the Tony’s. After all, Doogie Howser is the guy from “How I Met Your Mother”, right? And of course there’s his appearances in the Harold and Kumar films. 🙂

Well, I have to say, I was completely blown away. Neil’s opening number was absolutely awesome! It was perhaps the best opening number I’ve ever seen, even including the Oscars from the Billy Crystal years! This number had everything. It even had a magic trick that made himself disappear.

Then there were the musical numbers from the musicals. They were also very interesting. The Best Song at the Oscars is always so awful, that I really wish they would give it up. There is no “Hard out there for a pimp” type songs here. Broadway seems to be on a bit of a revival kick this year, and we got to see scenes from Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Annie, Pippin, and even the new shows were spectacular with the effects, staging, props, and such. Everything live, and they killed it. Neil was a great host who was pretty funny (although Mike Tyson looked like he was quite a bit annoyed at all the Mike Tyson jokes!), and he knew to keep himself scarce when he wasn’t needed.

All in all, it was by far the best awards show I have seen on TV in years and years. I really enjoyed it. I hope you were able to catch it. It’s nice to see how closely related the theater and movie business really is. It’s the same people. Cyndi Lauper performed a beautiful version of True Colors in an “In Memoriam” segment that was stunning. Great job guys!

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