new york times

use this first

You ever notice these days that when you are watching a movie the dialogue seems way too low in comparison to the soundtrack and special effects? It’s like the sound engineer has failed to stick a compressor on the audio, it’s categorically annoying (similar – if not worse – than a baby crying in the near vicinity of your personal sonic space on a two hour flight), and it is becoming ever more popular within the film industry. It started off as a Bay-ism, were one would find themselves either becoming a manual compressor with the power of the remote control, turning it up at the talky dialogue based parts, only to turn it back down when the action kicked pack in – we find ourselves sitting in our homes behaving like automated oscillators. There is also the subtitle option, which is quite handy if one decides to sit and watch a movie in the small dark hours of the night. Then there is the headphone option – that’s when s**t just starts getting crazy. Well, you catch my drift; it’s a problem, and it’s goddam annoying (goddam you Michael Bay, why you gotta go ruin everything…). (more…)

A recent piece in The New York Times by Alexander Huls explains to normal people what us geeks already know, midnight showings rock. Not only that, but they tend to be the only time those attending actually pay attention to the movie they just dropped $10+ to see. Huls, like a lot of cinephiles, is upset at the changes in movie-going culture. The texting, the talking, fuck, people even answer their phones in theatres now because they just don’t give a damn. Movie ettiquette is dead. That is unless you catch the movie at midnight.

Of course, the etiquette of a midnight screening is different from bunch of film snobs intensely and silently taking in a feature, but it is no less reverent. You’ve been to a midnight showing, you know what I mean. Think about the last midnight show you caught, was it The Avengers? Probably. Did you cheer? Did you gasp? Maybe even, cried? You were engaged with the film, there’s nothing more a filmmaker wants from an audience. Huls explains the midnight experience,

…these die-hard fans turn the midnight show into a frenzied jamboree. The auditorium is stuffed with noisy, agitated true believers, ready to explode in thunderous cheers; they elatedly chatter at the slightest eyebrow twitch of a beloved character on-screen. This audience is loud, interactive, pumped up and ready to geek out. To the dedicated cinephile, the midnight show might sound like a nightmare.

It’s not. I have learned to adore the midnight show as a moviegoing experience. It has become the one lure that draws me unhesitatingly back to the theater. It’s not just a raucous party to be endured. It’s the one way in which movie theaters can still reliably fulfill their most sacred function.

And that is to be enjoyed. You should have fun at the movies, and you’ll never have more fun than sitting with an audience that literally cannot wait to see the movie. Really. That’s why they camped out the night before so they’d be first in line. Hell, even the fans who aren’t quite at that level of fanaticism show up three maybe fours hours early to snag a good seat. We attend midnight screenings where we’ll be up usually till almost 3 a.m. because we want to be there, not because it’s Friday night, we’re bored, and need something to do.

Huls goes on to say,

That joy also ensures that you will never, ever see a cellphone light up or hear anything but deathly stillness during scenes that don’t merit enthusiastic responses. In fact, midnight movies — when they’re quiet — are some of the most reverent movie experiences I’ve ever had. People will literally shush you one second into the movie. What more could anyone ask from a moviegoing experience than an audience that actually both quietly respects and vocally worships the movie you’re collectively seeing? Being surrounded by that always swells my movie-buff heart as I think, This is why I go to the movies.

I still remember the shocked stillness of the theatre as the title sequence for Star Trek came on screen after witnessing that gut-punching opening scene.  You’re watching the shuttlecrafts drift away from the giant Romulan ship after having just seen the Kelvin, along with Kirk’s father, explode. You could hear a pin drop.

Make sure you check out the Huls whole write-up, it’s a great read and it’ll make you proud to be part of an experience so cool and unique.

What are some of you’re favorite memories from a midnight showing?

Source: The Mary Sue

Spider-Man Musical is Seemingly Screwed

JP-SPIDER-articleLarge

When something has such as long string of bad luck, it is not uncommon to believe that it is cursed.

And, the upcoming Spider-Man musical, entitled “Spider-Man: Alone in the Dark,” fits that description to the letter.

The play, directed by Julie Taymor with music written by U2‘s Bono and The Edge, has been delayed yet again. Not only that, last week two stuntmen broke some bones during the practice of a stunt.

According to the New York Times:

It’s supposed to be the biggest, costliest, splashiest show of the Broadway season, but so far it’s just the most troubled. Executives with “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” said Thursday that the opening of the oft-delayed, $60 million musical would be set back once again, this time by three weeks, meaning it will miss lucrative Thanksgiving week, forgo an attention-getting bow over Christmas, and open during the box office doldrums of January.

The first performance was supposed to be in nine days, on Nov. 14, but this is a show that its famous creators — the director Julie Taymor and U2‘s Bono and the Edge — are laboring to finish. The two-dozen flying sequences are being worked out and still require safety approval from the state Department of Labor. The music, marking the Broadway debut of the U2 frontmen, still isn’t synchronized with special effects, plot and dialogue. Scene-to-scene transitions, essential for rhythm and safety, aren’t complete. Two actors have been injured hurtling through acrobatic rehearsal sequences.

No one can even say for sure if the musical will be two and a half hours long, as expected, until run-throughs start.

With all the problems the play is suffering from (the stunts, dialogue, music, scene-to-scene transitions, etc…) really makes you wonder. Will anything go right for this show?

Or more importantly – Will it be as good as Spider-Man 2, or as awful as Spider-Man 3?