The Spectacle of the Silver Screen

atthemovies.png

So I’m continuing my adventures at my undisclosed location *cough* Atlanta *cough* and reporting my activities after they happen, as is my habit when off adventuring when I’m not making a public appearance. And one of the things I enjoy doing when on a trip is, after all the work is done, catching a late night movie. Like, at the theater, on a big screen with a comfy seat and a soda, not on your phone.

I was watching the conclusion of The Hunger Games, and I’m glad I did. The first one was OK, but the second one grabbed me in a way that no movie has since The Empire Strikes Back – not that I haven’t seen better movies, like, oh, I dunno, Mad Max: Fury Road or my favorite movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service – but I felt hooked into a series in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

And the movie delivered something else too: big screen cinema. My buddy Jim Davies has a theory that some kinds of stories are best suited for some kinds of media, and I agree. Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” would not work as a miniseries; it relies on the quick sharp punch of poetic language. Babylon 5, with its A and B endings and epic space battles would only work as series TV. The Martian movie was great, but it lacks the electric punch of that crackling opening and the games it plays with text: “Chapter 1: Log Entry SOL 6: I’m pretty much f*****.”

Each kind of medium emphasizes different elements – pure audio in radio plays; pure text in novels; an actor’s expressions in theater – and even within the medium of moving pictures, some are better suited to some stories than others. Animation emphasizes the impossible with the tools of graphic design, for example; while It’s possible to make a live action movie of Kiki’s Delivery Servicethey did – but they had to work enormously hard to create the imagery that the animation made effortless, and it still doesn’t quite have the same resonance. Even within a particular type of movie, the type of imagery has its own demands. Some images work at any size, others are best left as animated gifs or vines to be played on your phone … and some demand the big screen.

Movies are about spectacle; about imagery that can fill an entire theater. And, in one spectacular moment in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, in which an enormous tidal wave of oil fills the whole screen and roars down upon our heroes, my breath was briefly taken away — followed by the thought: yes, this should appear on the silver screen.

Movies have more value – in particular, having a shared experience with unchosen strangers, but more importantly, a shared narrative experience that builds a common bond – but it was a late-night show of an end-of-run movie, and the only people in the theater were a bunch of yapping effers in the back row, so that one bit was a bit spoiled for me.

But for one brief moment – actually, for many moments – I felt movie magic through the spectacle of the silver screen.

Totally worth it.

-the Centaur

The Spectacle of the Silver Screen

atthemovies.png

So I’m continuing my adventures at my undisclosed location *cough* Atlanta *cough* and reporting my activities after they happen, as is my habit when off adventuring when I’m not making a public appearance. And one of the things I enjoy doing when on a trip is, after all the work is done, catching a late night movie. Like, at the theater, on a big screen with a comfy seat and a soda, not on your phone.

I was watching the conclusion of The Hunger Games, and I’m glad I did. The first one was OK, but the second one grabbed me in a way that no movie has since The Empire Strikes Back – not that I haven’t seen better movies, like, oh, I dunno, Mad Max: Fury Road or my favorite movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service – but I felt hooked into a series in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

And the movie delivered something else too: big screen cinema. My buddy Jim Davies has a theory that some kinds of stories are best suited for some kinds of media, and I agree. Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” would not work as a miniseries; it relies on the quick sharp punch of poetic language. Babylon 5, with its A and B endings and epic space battles would only work as series TV. The Martian movie was great, but it lacks the electric punch of that crackling opening “Chapter 1: Log Entry SOL 6: I’m pretty much f*****.” It’s possible to make a live action movie of Kiki’s Delivery Servicethey did – but they had to work enormously hard to create the imagery that the animation made effortless, and it still doesn’t quite have the same resonance. Some images work at any size, others are best left as animated gifs or vines to be played on your phone … and some demand the big screen.

Movies are about spectacle; about imagery that can fill an entire theater. And, in one spectacular moment in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, in which an enormous tidal wave of oil fills the whole screen and roars down upon our heroes, my breath was briefly taken away — followed by the thought: yes, this should appear on the silver screen.

Movies have more value – in particular, having a shared experience with unchosen strangers, but more importantly, a shared narrative experience that builds a common bond – but it was a late-night show of an end-of-run movie, and the only people in the theater were a bunch of yapping effers in the back row, so that one bit was a bit spoiled for me.

But for one brief moment – actually, for many moments – I felt movie magic through the spectacle of the silver screen.

Totally worth it.

-the Centaur

The Spectacle of the Silver Screen

atthemovies.png

So I’m continuing my adventures at my undisclosed location *cough* Atlanta *cough* and reporting my activities after they happen, as is my habit when off adventuring when I’m not making a public appearance. And one of the things I enjoy doing when on a trip is, after all the work is done, catching a late night movie. Like, at the theater, on a big screen with a comfy seat and a soda, not on your phone.

I was watching the conclusion of The Hunger Games, and I’m glad I did. The first one was OK, but the second one grabbed me in a way that no movie has since The Empire Strikes Back – not that I haven’t seen better movies, like, oh, I dunno, Mad Max: Fury Road or my favorite movie, Kiki’s Delivery Service – but I felt hooked into a series in a way I haven’t felt in a long time.

And the movie delivered something else too: big screen cinema. My buddy Jim Davies has a theory that some kinds of stories are best suited for some kinds of media, and I agree. Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” would not work as a miniseries; it relies on the quick sharp punch of poetic language. Babylon 5, with its A and B endings and epic space battles would only work as series TV. The Martian movie was great, but it lacks the electric punch of that crackling opening “Chapter 1: Log Entry SOL 6: I’m pretty much f*****.” It’s possible to make a live action movie of Kiki’s Delivery Servicethey did – but they had to work enormously hard to create the imagery that the animation made effortless, and it still doesn’t quite have the same resonance. Some images work at any size, others are best left as animated gifs or vines to be played on your phone … and some demand the big screen.

Movies are about spectacle; about imagery that can fill an entire theater. And, in one spectacular moment in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, in which an enormous tidal wave of oil fills the whole screen and roars down upon our heroes, my breath was briefly taken away — followed by the thought: yes, this should appear on the silver screen.

Movies have more values – in particular, having a shared experience with unchosen strangers, but more importantly, a shared narrative experience that builds a common bond – but it was a late-night show of an end-of-run movie, and the only people in the theaters were a bunch of yapping effers in the back row, so that one bit was a bit spoiled for me.

But for one brief moment – actually, for many moments – I felt movie magic through the spectacle of the silver screen.

Totally worth it.

-the Centaur

How to react when your {book|comic} is made into a movie

Warren Ellis’s comic Red is being made into a movie, and a friend of mine commented how reasonable Warren Ellis seems to be about adaptation (as opposed to, say, Alan Moore, who is of course entitled to his own opinion). From Warren Ellis’s blog:

http://www.warrenellis.com/?p=8099

The tone: no, the film isn’t as grim as the book. The book is pretty grim. But it’s also pretty small. When I sell the rights to a book, they buy the right to adapt it in whatever way they see fit. I can accept that they wanted a lighter film, and, as I’ve said before, the script is very enjoyable and tight as a drum. They haven’t adapted it badly, by any means. People who’ve enjoyed the graphic novel will have to accept that it’s an adaptation and that by definition means that it’s going to be a different beast from the book. The film has the same DNA. It retains bits that are very clearly from the book, as well as, of course, the overall plotline. But it is, yes, lighter, and funnier. And if anyone has a real problem with that, I say to you once again:

Helen Mirren with a sniper rifle.

I mean, if you don’t want to see a film with Helen Mirren with a sniper rifle, I’m not sure I want to know you.

Amen to that.

-the Centaur

I figured out why my computer’s not working…

“Now that’s what we call a computer crash…”

More seriously, this is why when you really want to film something you need two or three different cameras. This really cried out for three: one closeup on the computer, one long shot on the shooting range to see it fly in the air, and one on the shooters.

-the Centaur

UPDATE: I had a discussion with friends, and there are at least two things the people in this video are doing that make them a hazard to themselves and others:

  • They’re TRAP shooting with RIFLES!
    From one friend: “This will probably surprise everyone, but in my opinion these guys are complete morons because they are endangering others. They are “trap shooting” with rifles! I think I saw one shotgun in the whole video. I’m sure my gun enthusiast friends will agree with me that unless these guys are at least 3 miles from any other people (and even in the deep woods of Tennessee, you can’t possibly be sure of that) they are endangering others by firing high-powered rifles into the air. As an example, a 30-06 rifle aimed at a high elevation can fire a round about 2.5 miles. Interestingly, the maximum range occurs at about 35 degrees elevation, not 45 degrees as one might think. When the round returns to earth, it’s still moving at around 500 fps, which is fast enough to kill someone.”
  • They have NO IDEA of EXPLOSIVE SAFETY:
    After reading that, I remembered something else bugging me and I went back and found it. Watch the video again closely for the following gem around 1 minute in: The guy fills the test chamber with explosive and a fuse, he tamps it in with a stick and wooden hammer, then he puts his body over the chamber when putting the books on it. Now, the first time that I watched this, I thought he tapped the whole wooden shaft into the hole, but you can see it lying on the ground later. Regardless, he’s putting himself in the line of fire with no thought of what might go wrong. From the other poster: “Yeah, I noticed that one too. I bet if it blew and tossed him into the air, his buddies would instinctively start firing until the smoke cleared and they realized it was him!”

Another of our gun enthusiast friends chimed in:

I certainly would agree about the trap shooting and with the care needed with black powder and fuses. There is no way to know, of course, but the woods in the background look pretty dense. If it’s all private property it could go for miles. Still I wouldn’t do that stuff with my rifles.

Ok, it’s all fun until someone loses a loved one. Be safe, all.