More Regal Classic Movies – Raiders of the Lost Ark & Godfather Woohoo!

Boy, Regal REALLY doesn’t want you to watch their classic film series. I post on it regularly but it is only lightly advertised. This time I can’t even find the current offerings on their website and one has already been and gone (Back to the Future). They are still listing their Oscar series which has been over for weeks.

Classic films are shown Sundays at 2 p.m. and Wednesdays at 2 and 7 p.m. at select Regal, Edwards, and Cinemark theaters.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

6/1 & 6/4 – Raiders of the Lost Ark

6/8 & 6/11 – Saturday Night Fever

Dirty Dancing

6/15 & 6/18 – Dirty Dancing

The Godfather

6/22 & 6/25 – The Godfather & The Godfather, Part II (I’m not sure how the two will be shown – back to back or The Godfather at 2 and The Godfather, Part II at 7?)

A Little Local Theater Frustration

This is going to be an absolutely whiny post so feel free to skip past. My favorite local theater is Carolina Cinemas. They have a great combination of mainstream and arthouse films, fantastic food, good customer service.

Lately though I haven’t had a clear cut winner. This is a shame as I go to a ton of movies during the summer. I would love to have a theater that had all the things I look for.

Epic Cinemas

EPIC: My closest theater is great as it is only fifteen minutes away. They have nice screens and sound systems. Their prepared food is almost exclusively microwaved and they have the world’s worst pretzels. They often have nice promotional plastic cups. They accept DealFlicks but not Fandango and have a $6 Tuesday special (Sony and Warner excluded).

Carolina Cinemas

CAROLINA: Their screens and sound are quite good but just a touch below Regal and Epic. Their fresh, locally sourced food is a mixed bag but even a mixed bag easily beats the microwaved food of the other two. Soda refills are FREE for all sizes and are located outside the counter. They are about to accept Dealflicks but do not accept Fandango and they have a $5 Wednesday promotion (Sony excluded).

Regal Cinemas

REGAL: State of the art stadium theater seating equals Epic. Their upcharged RPX theater is the best in the area. The upcharge is annoying but also means that it is less crowded. They also have the only Coke Icee available. They accept Fandango but not DealFlicks. They also have a children’s movie program in summer where the other two do not.

 

Bad Neighbors

Recently I had the opportunity to sit through Neighbors.

Neighbors

 

Neighbors (2014) РRated R

A couple with a newborn baby face unexpected difficulties after they are forced to live next to a fraternity house.”

Do you think maybe we’ve gone too far? I’m a child of divorce and I sympathize with them.” – “My parents love each other, and I think it’s hilarious.”¬†(one of the few printable lines in the movie)

I am not a huge fan of gross-out comedy. That does not mean I don’t enjoy it – simply that it is not one of my chosen genres. I have enjoyed a number of Seth Rogen’s forays. This was not one of those forays.

There were only a dozen or so people in the audience and often a comedy needs a good house to generate laughter. No one laughed during the entire film and it remained silent as the patrons exited. I found several of the jokes amusing but most fell very flat.

There were some nice life lessons that, had they been handled better, would have been great. As it was Mac (Seth Rogen) & Kelly’s (Rose Byrne) aging out of the college group is stated more than demonstrated. Expected hijinks ensued but nothing was terribly original nor was there any particular logic in the script. Characters were ridiculously inconsistent.

The entire movie contained less gags than the trailer for A Million Ways to Die in the West.

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 5/27/14

 

Action/Adventure: Machete Kills

Anime: Kill La Kill

First Night

Comedy: First Night, HairBrained, Old Goats

Dear Mr. Watterson

Documentary: Dear Mr. Watterson, The Hidden Hand, The Institute, Mile…Mile and a Half, Are All Men Pedophiles?, Birth of the Living Dead, God Loves Uganda, No Woman No Cry, Superheroes, Vitality, The Source Family,

Drama: Live at the Foxes Den, The Rocket

Faith: Doonby

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Angels in Stardust

Foreign: The Wrath of Vajra, The Jewish Cardinal, Paradise: Hope, Twice Born, Pulling Strings, Big Bad Wolves

Abandoned Mine

Horror: Abandoned Mine, An American Ghost Story, Buck Wild

Television: Still more TEDTalks and new episodes of Longmire

Thriller: Berlin Job, Brake, The Suspect

DealFlicks – Deal or No Deal?

DealFlicks

 

Lately I have enjoyed doing a lot of business with Dealflicks. DealFlicks is a scrappy little startup. They offer discounts on movie tickets and concessions at theaters across the country.

I say scrappy startup because not all movie theaters are included. Locally, Epic is the only theater onboard with Carolina Cinemas starting up soon. This leaves out Flat Rock Cinema, Cinebarre, Fine Arts theater, Carmike and both Regal theaters.

Also excluded appears to be Warner and Sony releases, This is often the case with those two companies and bargain tickets of any kind. This means no bargain The Amazing Spider-Man 2 or Godzilla tickets.

Locally all of our bargains are a sort of 25%, which is disappointing as that isn’t enough to sell me. The ‘sort of’ is because they list Epic’s matinee price as $8 to give them a price of $6 but Epic’s actual matinee price is $7.50. Their deal with Epic does not yet include any discount at concessions.

Their system occasionally has problems communicating with the local theater though an email to their customer service department resolved my problem astonishingly fast. The other issue is that I have yet to find a way to use this in conjunction with the theater’s rewards program.

If you have a local theater they support, I would highly recommend signing up. While my experience of their deals have just been a slight discount in exchange for a bit more difficulty, they occasionally have deals where you can buy DealFlicks Bucks at a discount rate. Mother’s Day had a deal where you could buy $10 in DealBucks for $5. This allows me to buy the $6 discount ticket for $3, which is a great savings from the original $7.50.

Godzilla WYSIWYG

I took my wife to go see Godzilla this past weekend and then went again with my daughter on Monday.

Godzilla

 

Godzilla (2014) – Rated PG-13

The world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

You’re not fooling anybody when you say that what happened was a “natural disaster,”. You’re lying! It was not an earthquake, it wasn’t a typhoon! Because what’s really happening is that you’re hiding something out there! And it is going to send us back to the Stone Age! God help us all…

Clearly an executive saw Gareth Edwards’ 2010 film, Monsters. He wanted that film, only he wanted Godzilla in it. Lo and behold, Godzilla 2014 was born. WYSIWYG – what you see is what you get. This Godzilla film is pretty much exactly what you would expect from a melding of Monsters with the Godzilla franchise.

Unfortunately that is not always a good thing. As with Monsters, the humans are the focus of the picture. While this is good from an audience sympathy perspective, it is terrible from a desire to see monsters smashing scenery point-of-view.

Instead of a normal three act structure, Godzilla consists of two parts. The first half deals with humans and no monsters at all are seen. Yes, opening credits aside, Godzilla neither appears nor is even discussed for almost the first half of the movie.

This is a shame because the trailer basically lies. It not only gives you the impression that there is plenty of monster violence but also that Bryan Cranston is the star. Bryan Cranston is easily the best actor in the film but his screen time is very limited. I think he is just an excuse to tide you over until monsters show up.

Unfortunately our lead actor is Aaron Taylor-Johnson. While I didn’t think he was bad in Kick Ass, he is absolutely terrible here. You know you have a problem when not one but two (not especially good) child actors are better than you. Ken Watanabe looks pained at every ridiculous line he has to utter.

The script is an utter mess, jumping through various logistical hoops to get Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) into every scene, from Japan to Hawaii to California. When his son is not with him to be placed in peril, another child is separated from his parents just so Ford can rescue him.

The second half features plenty of wonderful CGI and rock ’em, sock ’em monsters. This assumes you have managed to stay awake through the first part. Gareth Edwards has a lot of wonderful visuals. He also loves reflections in water, glass, mirrors, and visors. The monster action is seen up close (though not as close as Pacific Rim), in fog and smoke, via telecast, from overhead, etc.and is very inventive.

While the movie is a mess, has terrible acting, and is downright dull for the first half, I still really enjoyed the second half. Just concentrate on enjoying your snacks during the first half.

Woohoo! HBO on Amazon Prime!

Amazon Prime

A long time ago, I said that if Amazon Prime wanted to distinguish itself, it would have to go big or go home. They have had some exclusives but most were just meh. Locking up Dora, SpongeBob, Team UmiZoomi, et al was a big feather in their cap. Netflix was still home for the adults.

A month or so ago, Amazon Prime announced a partnership with HBO. Today it went live. For once, the deal was actually MUCH better than announced. In point of fact, the content is simply amazing (albeit no Game of Thrones).

The Sopranos

* The Sopranos – The ENTIRE series!

Deadwood

* Deadwood – The ENTIRE series!

* The Wire – The ENTIRE series!

* OZ – The ENTIRE series!

* Seasons of True Blood, Treme, Carnivale, Big Love, Eastbound & Down, Six Feet Under, Flight of the Conchords, In Treatment, Extras, Generation Kill, Bored to Death, and Boardwalk Empire

* Full miniseries – Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Rome, John Adams, Mildred Pierce, Angels in America, and many more!

* Family Tree, Parade’s End, When the Levees Broke, You Don’t Know Jack, Hemingway & Gellhorn, Too Big to Fail, Little Britain USA, Twist of Faith, The Special Relationship, The Sunset Limited and still more!

* Comedy specials from Ellen DeGeneris, George Lopez, Lewis Black, Will Ferrell, Jim Jefferies, Bill Maher, Robert Klein, and Will Ferrell

I hope this deal lasts for a long time because I have sooooo much to watch.

Regal Simpsonville Stadium 14 and IMAX

I took my wife to the only Baskin-Robbins within a hundred miles of our house. It was her birthday and, as a child, she always used to get a Mudpie from them. Since we were out of town anyway, we stopped by their local theater which happened to be IMAX!

Godzilla

 

They had the usual assortment of lobby standees.

Train Your Dragon

 

I loved this sign on the way in to Godzilla. It made me laugh. At least personnel should be able to get inside earlier to clean.

Godzilla

 

 

I asked how long they had been open and they said four years. I was curious because their bathrooms were spotless and gleaming. The IMAX theater had a very nice screen and sound system but it would be hard to justify it as a regular expense as a matinee ticket was $17.50.

They have a handful of arcade machines shoehorned into a small alcove (I almost didn’t spot it). The usual assortment of Regal snacks were available. I tried the pretzel bites with cheese (the cheese was fine but the bites were microwaved with predictable results). They had some funnel cake fries that I missed out on trying.

I can see this theater being described as a hidden gem as it is located in the middle of nowhere. It looks like they purchased a large plot of land, mowed it under, and plopped down a huge movie complex. There is a shopping center down the road but nothing in the immediate vicinity. There was almost no signage visible along the way either.

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 5/20/14

 

Star Trek Into Darkness

Action: Good Guys Wear Black, Ready 2 Die, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Sanctum

Eddie Murphy Delirious

Comedy: Eddie Murphy: Delirious, Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty Sexy Funny, Jim Gaffigan: Beyond the Pale, Myq Kaplan: Small Dork and Handsome, Alpha House, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Documentary: The Baseball Chronicles, Dark Girls, Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy, Resolved

Drama: 8:46, Last Love, Tiger Eyes

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Family: Magic Journey to Africa, Cloud 9, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Television: 30 Days, More TEDTalks, Boss, Lightning Point, Jesus of Nazareth

Thriller: Evidence, 20 Feet Below, Swerve, Frozen Ground

R.I.P. H.R. Giger and Malik Bendjelloul

 

H.R. Giger

H.R. Giger has passed away at the age of 74 in Switzerland. While not part of the Hollywood machine, Giger, designed the iconic look of the Ridley Scott’s Alien. This endeared him to me as the Alien series is probably my favorite. Alien and Aliens are both in my top three films. I thoroughly enjoy the remaining four films and Prometheus, in spite of the quite variable quality of those endeavors.

Future-Kill

Giger also had a hand in the design for Species, a guilty pleasure of mine. He designed the poster for Future-Kill (above). He was a conceptual artist for Poltergeist II and his works were the basis of the videogame Dark Seed and its sequel. Unfortunately, Netflix streaming does not have any of his films. Amazon Prime has Species III but it is pretty meh.

Malik Bendjelloul

 

Malik Bendjelloul died on May 13th, 2014 as a result of suicide. He was the director/writer/editor/producer/title designer/illustrator of Searching for Sugar Man which won the Oscar for Best Documentary last year. Searching for Sugar Man is not available on Amazon Prime or Netflix streaming.