Archive for May, 2010

31
May
10

Her First Movie

Her First Movie

Friday 05-28-10

As my yearlong Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man Blog mission experiment continues I have to remind myself how it affects my personal life. Fortunately I have a great girlfriend who understands my movie compulsion and supports my blog and all things movies I enjoy. So whenever I get a chance to include my friends, family or better yet, my girlfriend Jane with my movie adventures I get extra excited about the adventure. This blog post is covers such an adventure that I get to share with a special little girl.

Jane’s daughter is about to turn 5 years old. “Little C” or “C” as I will call her, has watched movies at home on video and TV. However she has never seen a movie in a theater. Jane requested late last year that she wanted to share Little C’s first movie experience with me. Little C is still a little wary of scary images and loud noises, these things do bother her. Also, we are wary of bringing her to a theater cause she loves to talk and ask questions during movies at home. These of course are things she has to learn not to do during a visit to a movie theater.

            Over the past couple of months Jane and I have been talking to Little C about taking her to her first movie. She has been very excited about this. Jane and I have also been teaching her about the rules of talking during a movie. Jane came up with two rules that Little C now knows by heart, but tends to ignore from time to time. The two questions revolve around asking questions during the movie constantly. 1st rule – hold your question and wait for the movie to answer it for you. 2nd rule – If the movie doesn’t answer the question by the end, then ask a grown-up after the movie. With this understanding we asked if Little C would want to see the movie Océans (2009). This documentary movie is done by Disney Nature and is narrated by Pierce Brosnan. Disney Nature released the documentary Earth in theaters last year, which I saw and enjoyed very much. Océans was released last month for Earth Day. It was still playing but only in one theater, which fortunately was 15 minutes from Jane’s house. We showed C an online trailer of Océans on Jane’s computer, and C was very excited about seeing her first movie.

            On the day of the show, I arrived to pick Jane and Little C I could tell how excited C was to see her first movie. We went to the theater in my car. When we arrived the excitement was building for Little C. Before we went into the theater we sat down and reviewed the talking during the movie rules. After I bought the tickets for the three of us Jane took C over to the video game and toy machine section of the lobby. She did this so C couldn’t see all of the candy and other sweet temptations behind the concession stand while I bought her kid pack that contained a small soda, popcorn and fruit snack.

After I got our snacks I met up with the girls and headed to our theater. C was so cute while see walked down the theater hall. Everyone she passed she told she was seeing her first movie. During this time I was very enthralled with Little C’s actions and reactions upon entering the theater. In a way I was living vicariously through her. The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was probably Disney’s re-release of Peter Pan (1953). However I don’t remember most of the details. At least I was going to remember Little C’s first visit.

            When C first walked in after Jane opened the door, she was cautious because of how dark it was. The theater was stadium seating so she had to walk along the side of the theater before she could see the screen and seats. When she got to the point of seeing the size of the screen and all of the seats she stopped in amazement and surveyed the setting in front of her. I then stepped in front of her and then carefully guided her of the outline lighted steps. I picked our seats that were about ¾ of the way back from the screen. I checked with Jane and she approved of the seat location. Little C is sensitive to loud sounds so I though this would be a good location for her to enjoy the movie. There was only one group of people in the theater for this showing as well. It was a family of three adults and two kids. Little C chose the aisle seat; Jane sat between C and myself. When the movie started C was very excited. During the movie C couldn’t help but talk during the film and ask questions. We reminded her of the “rules” from time to time. During the movie Jane was getting a little frustrated with C but we were happy that the movie wasn’t full and the other group in the theater couldn’t hear her. Al least C didn’t thrown a tantrum from being constantly reminded to not talk. Her overall demeanor during the film was good and she had a great time. After the credits started to roll C wanted to walk around the front of the theater next to the screen and orchestra pit. I jumped in front of her and led the way. I remember how exciting a big theater was when I was a kid. You want to run around the whole place. So C and Jane followed me as I led the way and we carefully jogged around the front of the theater before we exited. That was fun, hadn’t done that in a while J.

I thought the movie was good. Its amazing the amount of sea creatures that were shown that I had never scene before. The film crews that got the shots were amazing and very brave in some parts. This was a great movie to see on the big screen. Overall Jane and I were happy with Little C’s first movie experience. After the movie Little C asked if she could come back to the movies tomorrow. Jane explained that going to the movies for C would be a treat and done only at limited special times. Knowing that I was doing two movie marathons in the next four days I was happy that those rules didn’t apply to me :-)

– Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  57

  • February        2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 15
23
May
10

Letters To Juliet & My Grammy! Robin Hood VS. MacGruber!

Letters To Juliet & My Grammy! Robin Hood VS. MacGruber!

Wednesday 05-19-10

My yearlong Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man mission continues as the summer movie season starts to hit its stride as June approaches. Please check out my earlier bog posts to catch up. Now on with my further adventures:-) Today I planned my movie marathon at my favorite AMC Theater south of Atlanta. Its seems like its been awhile since I’ve been here. I know this theater like the back of my hand; I could walk it with my eyes close. As I purchased my movie ticket I got a free coupon I could use for free large popcorn and large drink or a free movie ticket. Since I can only use the ticket on a movie that has been out for two weeks, the coupon was worth more to me on the popcorn and drink since my movie ticket was only $5.00 since it started before 12 noon. A large drink and popcorn costs about 12 bucks.

The first movie on my marathon today was the romantic comedy Letters to Juliet starring Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Egan. This movie was sweet and fun. Amanda Seyfried plays an American girl on vacation in Italy who finds an unanswered “letter to Juliet” — one of thousands of missives left at the fictional lover’s Verona courtyard, which are typically answered by a the “secretaries of Juliet” — and she goes on a quest to find the lovers referenced in the letter. Amanda was great in the role, but Vanessa Redgrave whose character wrote the letter in question to Juliet was the one who stole this movie. Her character hit home with me too cause she reminded me of my step grandmother Hildegard on my moms side. I never new my mom’s mom cause she died four days before I was born. This hit my grandfather hard as you can imagine. About 3 years later he met Hildegard on a ski vacation in Europe. They both had lost their spouses and bonded very quickly and soon got married in a very romantic setting. In the early 2000’s both Hildegard and my grandfather died within a year of each other. Vanessa Redgrave’s character Claire reminded me so much of Hildegard I was reminiscing of my fond memories of her. I remember as a kid writing my own letters to Grammy Hildegard. She and my grandfather bought me my first typewriter and an early computer known as a Commodore 64, which I still have. A side note of fun interest about Vanessa Redgrave’s character, is that her long lost love in the movie is played by her real life husband Franco Nero. Their chemistry on screen is obviously translated from something real: -) Towards the end of this movie I realized I wish I were watching this movie with my girlfriend Jane. I know she would be enjoying this movie with me. This is when I knew I would be seeing this movie again with her soon.

The second movie on my list to see was another romantic comedy called Just Wright starring Queen Latifah and Common. Queen Latifah plays a physical therapist that falls for the basketball player (played by Common) she is helping recover from a career-threatening injury. This is what I call a “time released” movie. A basketball themed movie being released during the NBA playoffs is a smart move, in theory. However this movie only made about 8 ½ million opening weekend so I think it will be considered a flop unless it picks up over the next few weeks. I did enjoy this film. It wasn’t great but it was entertaining. My only problem was seeing musician turned actor Common play a romantic lead. I’m used to seeing him in badass action type roles, which I like him in. He’s in cool flicks like Terminator Salvation, Wanted, American Gangster and Smokin’ Aces. He needs a little more acting chops to pull off a romantic lead. He has cool charisma to pull it off with more practice. Queen Latifah was good in her role. She nailed her part. She’s charming and funny.

The third movie I took in today was my most anticipated one for this marathon, Robin Hood (2010) starring Russell Crowe and Cate Blanchett. Russell Crowe plays Robin Longstride, an archer in the army of Richard Coeur de Lion who fights against the Norman invaders and becomes the legendary hero known as Robin Hood. Now I must mention that I was skeptical about Russell pulling off Robin Hood, isn’t he a little old? Also when does this movie take place during the mythical Robin Hood lore? I’ll address these concern’s shortly. Going into this movie I avoided any spoilers if I could cause I didn’t want to have any more expectations. Ridley Scott is the director, so I knew the movie had to be in good hands from the start. Ridley Scott’s resume as a director is very impressive. From the start and throughout the rest of the movies I was very impressed with the casting, sets, costumes and look of the overall movie. Cate Blanchett in my opinion is one of the most beautiful actresses of our time. In addition she is also one of the most talented. She plays Marion Loxley. Now matter how much they tried to “dirty her up” in certain scenes, she still looked beautiful. SPOILER ALERT. Most Robin Hood movie plot lines somehow involve Robin Hood already an outlaw in Sherwood Forest and rescuing the Fair Maid Marion from the evil Sheriff Of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gizborn or whatever. This is not that movie. This movie is a prequel of sorts. This movie revolves around Robin and his crew fighting for King and country and getting involved in a ruse before Robin becomes a “Hood”. My favorite part of the movie was the scenes that involved Robin and his “merry men”, you know Little John, Will Scarlet, Allan A’Dayle etc. Don’t worry, they are not merry and are not referred to as such :-) After the movie I made a quick visit to the bathroom and headed to my next movie. Outside the theater entrance to my next movie I was sending a text picture message to Jane, which included a movie poster to the upcoming flick Killers she expressed interest in seeing with me.  A woman named Toni who I recognized was in the same row with me in the theater while watching Robin Hood then approached me. She asked me what my opinion of the movie was. We both agreed that we liked the film overall and the direction it took with the different side of the Robin Hood story. After the movie I decided that the older version of Robin didn’t bother me even though I was used to seeing younger versions in past films. Besides his character is mythical, who’s to say he wasn’t older and wiser anyways:-) Toni then told me she was ready to see her next film, although she wasn’t sure what it would be. Like me she liked to get more than one movie under her belt per visit. If I see her again I think I’ll interview her.

The last movie of the day was seeing Iron Man 2 for the second time. I really liked this movie and I new I’ll see more than once. However, I realized after seeing this movie for the second time was one of my biggest pet peeves was realized after watching this movie. It’s when you compare a movie trailer you saw to the actual movie you just finished seeing. I hate when you see cool scenes in trailers that don’t make it to the theatrical version of the film your watching in the theater. Most times you get them in the video release later, but it bugs the fuck out of me when you don’t get the scenes you think were promised to you in the trailers. For you Iron Man 2 movie nerds there are two scenes you don’t see in the actual movie. The first one is when Pepper Potts kisses Iron Man’s helmet and tosses it out the back of the plane, and just as Iron Man jumps for it in a free fall he says “You complete me”. The other scene you don’t see is when Scarlett Johansson character Natalie Rushman is being instructed how to use Iron Man’s gauntlet energy blast hand by Tony Stark. You wont see these scenes in the theater. Those bitches better include them in the blu-ray.

Sunday May 23, 2010

Four days later I had an opportunity to squeeze in a quick movie marathon on a Sunday. There were two new movies opening this weekend and I didn’t want to wait till the middle of the week to see them. I had to work a quick 6-hour shift from 5am to 11am. I made plans to visit the smaller 14-screen AMC Theater near my work right after I got off. Although this theater seats are old school and not in a stadium theater set-up I like the free parking and theater set up. I also like the fact they set out free movie posters on a first come first serve basis near the concession stand. Before I left I snagged some The A-Team (2010) posters. Cant wait for that movie:-) 

The first movie I saw today was MacGruber, which is another SNL (Saturday Night Live) TV skit turned movie. This movie stars Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Ryan Phillippe and Val Kilmer. MacGruber is called back into action to take down his archenemy, Dieter Von Cunth, who’s in possession of a nuclear warhead and bent on destroying Washington, D.C. This movie was hyped in trailers as the “Best SNL movie since Wayne’s World” and the best action comedy since Beverly Hills Cop” I disagree with both of these claims. I didn’t have any high expectations for this film, which I’m glad I did. The movie was funny but very silly. Its rated R for language, gross out jokes and bare butt nudity, (you get dude bare butts not lady bare butt :-( ). If this movie were rated PG-13 it would have totally sucked. The r-rated humor is what kept this movie floating, somewhat. I would recommend this movie only for a video release, don’t waste your money for a theater ticket.

The second movie I saw was Shrek Forever After (2010) starring the vocal talents of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Antonio Banderas. I saw this movie in 3-D. It was awesome just as I got out of the theater from which I just saw MacGruber, I walked across the hall and walked into Shrek Forever After in 3D. I brought my own 3D glasses from home so I was good to go. This 4th film in the series is supposed to be the last. I have to say I really enjoyed this final chapter where a bored and domesticated Shrek pacts with deal-maker Rumpelstiltskin to get back to feeling like a real ogre again, but when he’s duped and sent to a twisted version of Far Far Away — where Rumpelstiltskin is king. By far my favorite character in this series is Puss in Boots voiced by Antonio Banderas. The alternate version of Puss in Boots is very funny. I really enjoyed the 3D of this film. I would recommend seeing in 3D. If this is really the final movie of the series it was wrapped up with a nice bow. Personally I think it should be done too. Crap, I need to remember to get to a MacDonald’s to get my Puss in Boots collector’s glass before its too late!

The third and final movie of my movie marathon for the day was Iron Man 2, again, for the 3rd time. I know I’m pathetic :-). Haven’t gotten tired of this flick yet. Towards the end of the movie I was getting a little sleepy due to the sugar crash I was having. My girlfriend Jane gave me some Fun Dip candy yesterday that I hoovered most of during my movie marathon today. Nom nom nom, love that stuff!

Stay tuned movie peeps, more to come! – Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  56

  • February            2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 14
17
May
10

Sequel Or Prequel?

Sequel Or Prequel?

My Movie Sequel Or Prequel Wish List Of Shoulda Coulda and Can do!

05-18-10

Which movies do you think a sequel or a prequel should have been made? I know you have a favorite one-shot movie sitting on your video shelf. Every time you watch this movie you yearn for more after the credits roll. You’re thinking what could happen next? Or what happened before? I want to see more! In the last 20 years sequels and prequels for movies have flourished. Whether they are good or not sequels or prequels to popular movies are almost always inevitable. Most movies nowadays almost always have a sequel planned. Movies stars sign contracts to trilogies before the first movie comes out.

This article isn’t about a remake, that’s for another blog entry. This is about sequels or prequels that should have been made. Everyone has his or her own opinion; since this is my blog you get mine. But I did want to get the opinion of others, which I share below. If I was older my list may have been much different, but lets face it, the movies that made the most impact on me come from the late 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.

What I wanted to do was get a wish list of movies people would liked to have seen a sequel or prequel made. Or even movies that should have had one made when the original cast could have been assembled. Now keep in mind this would be a sequel or prequel that of course wouldn’t suck:-). I polled my friends and co-workers their wish list of sequels or prequels. Now some of these movies listed below may already have a sequel / prequel planned. If that is the case, then it will seem like someone was listing to us. Here is the list of suggestions from the poll I came up with along with some from my own list including my Top 10 below:

Sequel wish list:

–          Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) Eleanor, the beautiful car lives!

–          The Incredibles (2004)

–          Cloverfield (2008)

–          Swordfish (2001)

–          Independence Day (1996)

–          The Dark Crystal (1982)

–          New Jack City (1991)

–          G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009)

–          Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)

–          Hancock (2008)

–          Old School (2003)

–          The Italian Job (2003)

–          Jumper (2008) (Cool movie that set up for a sequel)

–          Nikita (1990) (“La Femme Nikita” USA Title)

–          Mystery Men (1999)

–          Push (2009)

–          Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

–          Spaceballs (1987) Come on, Spaceballs 2: The Search for more Money!

–          Super Troopers (2001)

–          Zombieland (2009)

–          Wanted (2008) Angelina Jolie aint dead, no way!

–          Top Gun (1986) I see Cruise back as a badass instructor showing new peeps who is still boss, but without a volleyball scene.

–          Outlander (2008) Great underrated sci-fi film with aliens and Vikings!

–          Ninja Assassin (2009) Who doesn’t want more Ninja’s?

–          The Killer (1989) (Dip huet seung hung, Chinese Title) I would love to see Chow Yun Fat and John Woo team up again for the further adventures of this iconic Hong Kong actioneer. The Killer aint dead, no way, he lives!

–          Doomsday (2008) Great futuristic sci-fi film set up for a sequel

–          Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) I would love to see and older Ferris who becomes complasent and stuck in his way. But he finds the fun again and gets another day off reluctantly!

–          Avatar (2009) Its gonna happen, you know it is.

Prequel wish list:

–          Demolition Man (1993) Those damn 3 sea shells need to be explained!

–          Grosse Pointe Blank (1997) I would have loved to see how Martin Blanc became a hit man.

–          Highlander (1986) I know the TV show flashed back into time, but it could be cool to have a full length feature film done in the past with a new immortal.

–          Zombieland (2009) I put this under sequel but a prequel would be cool too.

–          Transformers (2007) A prequel would be cool, we know there are sequels on the way.

–          Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) A young Lara Croft starting her adventures would be cool.

–          First Blood I would love to see a prequel with John Rambo in Vietnam.

Below is my Top 10 list of Sequels or Prequels that I think should have or should be made:

10 – Sequel: Galaxy Quest (1999) The further adventures of Jason Nesmith and crew would be so much fun!

09 – Sequel: Zoolander (2001) I want to see more Zoolander and Blue Steel.

08 – Sequel: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)/ Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) These two movies were actually one movie split up into two volumes. The further adventures of Beatrice and Bebe would be awesome!

07 – Sequel: Willow (1988) Madmartigan, Sorsha and Willow Ufgood, we need to see more of this magical world.

06 – Sequel: Tango & Cash (1989) Great cheesy buddy cop film. Could have been a great sequel. Yeah I know, never gonna happen

05 – Sequel: The Goonies (1985) The offspring from the Goonies kids need to have an adventure with some of the original cast!

04 – Prequel: The Matrix (1999) There was a prequel anime done for the DVD release, but a prequel movie trilogy would be cool.

03 – Prequel: Star Wars (1977) (I know they already released the prequel trilogy and the Clone Wars cartoons. But I would love to see Jedi Knights of the Old Republic Trilogy based on the Video games and books. A look back at 1000 years of the Jedi)

02 – Sequel: Serenity (2005) I cant get enough of this wild west space crew from the short lived “canceled too soon” TV show “Firefly” (2002)

And my #1 sequel request is…

01 – Sequel: Léon (1994) (“Leon: The Professional” USA Title) How cool would it be to have Natalie Portman back as a grown up professional hit man, er woman!

I’ve bet you’ve got some more suggestions, lets hear em!

– Spartan Phoenix

10
May
10

Iron Man 2 Sleepover / Record Movie Marathon Visit

Iron Man 2 Sleepover / Record Movie Marathon Visit

Thursday May 6th, 2010

The summer movie season begins in May. Being a big movie fan and nerd, this gives me movie chub. The first projected blockbusters usually release in the first week in May. Last year it was X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This year it’s Iron Man 2. My movie marathon is Thursday May 6th, 2010. Iron Man 2 doesn’t officially open till tomorrow Friday May 7th. So starts my long tradition of the midnight summer movie premieres. Iron Man 2 was premiering at midnight after my movie marathon today. So I made the ambitious decision to start my marathon at 11am for the first movie on Thursday and end it approximately 2:30 am Friday morning after the midnight show of Iron Man 2. That would add up to about 15 ½ hours in the same theater, watching 7 movies. This would be a record movie marathon for me. My previous record was a 6-movie marathon, which I’ve tied several times. The first time I did six-movie marathon was when I was working in Norfolk Virginia. I did a 5-movie marathon at a local movie theater with 16 to 20 screens. After my 5th movie I left and went to another movie theater that served food on a table while you watched your movie. That 6th movie I saw that night was The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Now the theater was doing a special Iron Man double feature later that evening. At 9pm they were showing the original Iron Man and then the midnight premiere of Iron Man 2. When I bought my ticket for the 11am movie I also bought my tickets for the Iron Man double feature, which was at a discounted price. Before I get into Iron Man 2 lets go over what I did prior. On to the marathon!

My first movie I scheduled in my movie marathon started at 11am. The first movie I saw today was City Island starring Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, and Emily Mortimer. Andy Garcia is the patriarch of the family, who is a corrections officer in real life, and a hopeful actor in private. This movie is a small gem. I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I haven’t seen all of Andy Garcia’s films, but I have seen quite a few of his. In my opinion this is his best film to date. I hope he gets an Oscar nod for this role. It’s funny, intriguing and uplifting. Great film, go see it!

The next film I saw was A Nightmare on Elm Street, the remake staring Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger. Jackie Earle Haley recently got acclaim in last years Watchmen. I’m not a big horror film, there are a few I like and the original Nightmare on Elm Street and a couple of the many Freddy Krueger sequels I did like. This new version wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I liked the darker non-campy route this new version took. I thought Jackie Earl Haley’s portrayal of Freddy Krueger was good. He was entertaining too. My only problem with Jackie for this role was that he was too short. To me Freddy is a tall imposing character that translated well when the original actor Robert Englund portrayed Freddy. Don’t get me wrong I really like Jackie as an actor, but he is a short man. While I was watching the long shots of Freddy in this movie no matter what camera angle short man Tom Cruise movie tricks they tried Jackie’s Freddy Krueger character was too short and distracting for me. The close ups where great though. I would recommend it to anyone that does enjoy horror films and the original Nightmare movie.

The 3rd film I saw was Furry Vengeance starring Brendan Fraser. It’s a family comedy about local woodland creatures that don’t want their homes disturbed and get revenge on a human real estate developer who threatens their homes. This movie is a kid’s movie, which is why it didn’t appeal to me. I knew that going into to this film, but I was curious to see how funny this film might be. It’s too silly for adults but I’m sure kids will get a kick out of it. I decided to take a 15-20 minute nap during the middle of the film. I don’t think I missed much.

The next film was one I tried to see at my last movie marathon but it was only playing at select theaters so I couldn’t see it then. I’m glad I finally made time for this film. It’s called The Perfect Game starring Clifton Collins Jr. and Cheech Marin. Its Based on a true story, a group of boys from Monterrey, Mexico who become the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series. I’m a baseball fan and I like seeing baseball movies especially during baseball season. This move has a great cast and heart. I think anyone could enjoy this film even non baseball fans. Clifton Collins Jr. was great in this film. I’ve become a bigger fan of his since I saw him in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day. He’s a great character actor. This movie proves he can be a great leading actor.

The 5th film in my movie marathon was Our Family Wedding starring Forest Whitaker, Carlos Mencia and America Ferrera. It’s about a young bi racial couple’s upcoming wedding that is complicated by their father’s petty feud. I’ve been trying to squeeze this film in my marathons for over a month now. I was surprised it was still playing. The theater only had two showing of this movie but the timing worked out great. I enjoyed this film more than I thought. Most of the humor was racially based, but not in a negative or derogative way, just a poke fun way. Trying to see Latino family and an African American family work together on a wedding was very funny. Check it out on video when you get a chance. Cute film.

Ok, now on to the Iron Man Double Feature! These movies are 6 & 7 in my record setting movie marathon. Iron Man 2 was playing on three screens for the midnight show. One of these screenings was in the IMAX Theater. When I bought my double feature tickets I made sure I bought one for the IMAX, or should I save “converted IMAX” :-) When I got into the 9pm showing of Iron Man 1, I noticed it was about 50% full. Before the movie started we were told by a very tall Secret Service looking theater staff dude that anyone who bought the IMAX ticket for Iron Man 2 would receive priority seating. Score! I was seating next to a fellow Iron Man nerd, a kid who looked like he was in his early twenties. We had the empty seat between us otherwise known as the “man buffer seat” or “Nope were not gay” seat. He was a nice guy. But then he went into Iron Man comic book lore that I didn’t have a clue about. I smiled and pretended to know by nodding and saying things like “Dude, I know, that would be cool!” and “Scarlet Johansson’s portrayal of Black Widow should be epic!”  Iron Man1 was fun to see on the big screen again.

After Iron Man 1 the IMAX Iron Man 2 ticket holders like myself were herded to a special line just outside the Iron Man 1 Theater. It was about 11:15 pm. There were only about15 of us in this line, which didn’t bother me cause I knew I would get a great IMAX seat. After about a 10-minute wait, the tall Secret Service looking theater staff dude asked us all in line to follow him. We headed towards the main lobby, hung a left and entered a staircase. We then all walked up one flight of stairs, through a door, which emptied out on to the 2nd floor of the theater which you, could look down on your left and see the main lobby of the theater. We walked a little further down the hallway and entered the IMAX Theater on the right, which we all then spread out and claimed our seats. This was cool. When it comes to IMAX seating I’ll get to the theater extra early to make sure I get the best seats. I want the perfect balance of sight and sound.

One of the best things I like about midnight movies and movie premiers is people watching. About 5 minutes after I took my seat they released the hoards. People started pouring in. Another theater staff personnel informed us that all three screenings of the Iron Man 2 midnight shows were sold out. They asked us to move toward the center of the theater so others could sit with their friends. No man buffer seats for this show. Many theatergoers were wearing their Iron Man shirts. Some children had Iron Man toys, not many kids though, so I was surprised to see any. There was a very large man about 300 to 400 pounds taking up two seats that sat to rows behind me. It’s a good thing the armrests in this theater slide up and down. There was even a dude who wore a blonde Barbarella Jane Fonda wig. He also had no shirt, just some type of small fishnet half vest. To top off his outfit he also had red and green toy ray guns that lit up when the trigger was pulled. What the fuck? Oh well, at least he was having fun.

Another great thing about the premiere of big summer movies is the new movie trailers of upcoming summer flicks or big fall and winter releases. When the lights went down and the curtain raised the trailers rained down on us. There was about 20 minutes of trailers. The trailers I saw were Robin Hood, TRON Legacy, Despicable Me, Toy Story 3, Inception and Jonah Hex. There was a couple of more but I forgot. When Iron Man 2 started you could feel the anticipation of excitement, it was so strong among everyone, it was like Christmas morning with your family and every gift you asked for lying at your feet glistening through the ripped up wrapping paper.  I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel. Iron Man 2 was so much fun. The cast was great. I even liked Don Cheadle ’s portrayal of Rhodey. Don Cheadle Replaced Terrence Howard after the first one. As usual Robert Downey Jr. was great. I’ve got a man crush on Robert. I’ve always liked his movie roles. I’m happy he’s turned his life around. I’m going to go on record and say that I liked this sequel better than the first one. Don’t get me wrong the first one was great and still it, but this second one turned it up a notch. If you see Iron Man 2, don’t forget to stay till the end of the credits. There is a secret scene at the end, which gives a tease to another superhero movie coming out next year I think. I love those secret ending scenes! 

One last thing, according to http://www.imdb.com/ Iron Man made a killing at the box office. This pass opening weekend it grossed about $128 million.

As I expected I got out of the theater about 2:30 am. The reason I called this blog entry Iron Man 2 Sleepover is because it felt like a camp out sleep over at my local theater especially since I went in on the morning of May 6th and left May 7th 15 ½ hours later. I also called this article a sleepover cause I then headed over to Jane’s house for a sleepover of our own :-) Yeah, yeah, peace out peeps!

– Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  49

  • February            2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 7
04
May
10

My Top 50 Guilty Pleasure Movies

My Top 50 Guilty Pleasure Movies

05/04/10

So, what is your favorite guilty pleasure movie? You know, the one you might be embarrassed to admit to. The type of movie you might crash out on the couch and watch alone with a pint of ice cream on one side of you while a bowl of gummy bears sits on your lap. What exactly is a guilty pleasure movie? I searched the web and realized that different people have their own definition of a guilty pleasure movie. As I searched other guilty pleasure lists I found myself disagreeing with many of the movies listed on them. Mostly because many of them weren’t embarrassing to admit that I liked. Many of them were cult classics too. Come on man, that’s why it’s a guilty pleasure.

A guilty pleasure movie is not a blockbusters or cult favorite. John Hughes films are immediately disqualified cause of how revered they are. Cult favorite movies are revered as well so that’s why I veto them. I recently took a poll of my friends, co-workers and posted a poll on my Face book site. I played judge and vetoed some suggestions for the reasons I listed above. Some may have qualified as a guilty pleasure a while ago, but now falls under cult classic or are now revered and or are not panned by critics. I will list my top 50 Guilty Pleasure movies of all time below. But before I get to that I wanted to share a shorter list below that I got from the recent poll I took. Keep in mind that I allowed some guilty pleasure movies suggestions that are considered chick flicks cause they were chosen by dudes! :-)

Here are some Guilty Pleasure Movie suggestions I recently polled.

–          Spice World (dude pick)

–          Notebook (two dude picks!)

–          Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion (dude pick)

–          Selena (dude pick)

–          Legally Blonde (dude pick)

–          Step Up (Or any dance movies from the last decade)

–          Youngblood

–          Vision Quest

–          Love Actually (dude pick)

–          Cant Buy Me Love

–          Space Camp

–          Private Eyes (Tim Conway & Don Knotts)

–          Crossroads (Brittany Spears)

–          Bring It On

–          Parent Trap (dude pick)

–          Girl Next Door

–          Last Man Standing

–          Mr. & Mrs. Smith (girl pick:-)

–          Flash Gordon

–          Cool Runnings

–          For The Love Of The Game

–          Kickboxer

–          Bloodsport

–          Leprechaun 3 In The Hood

–          The Cutting Edge

–          Ace Ventura Pet Detective

–          Phenomenon

–          Beavis & Butthead Do America

–          Staying Alive

My award to the best Guilty Pleasure Movie suggestion listed above goes to “Leprechaun 3 In The Hood”. The runner up spot goes to “Cant Buy Me Love”.

As I mentioned before there were some movies that may have been listed a guilty pleasure before, but I vetoed because they have now become cult favorites. Or the movie just is too cool or too popular to be considered a guilty flick. Remember I had veto rights! These are a list of such vetoed guilty pleasure films films.

–          Road House (Cult classic now, even more now due to the passing of the great thespian known as Patrick Swayze)

–          Show Girls (I originally let this one go as a guilty pleasure movie, but now list it as a cult favorite. I had to go to the jury on this one since I found out that there are Show Girl parties. Its official, it’s a cult classic now)

–          Wedding Singer (Come on, this is by far the best Adam Sandler flick. A movie about the 80’s where Billy Idol plays himself! Awesome movie revered by many!)

–          The 5th Element (This movie is just way too cool and was ahead of its time. For some reason though, you either hate it or loved it. LOVE IT!)

–          Red Dawn (Cult classic by far. This movie scared the shit out of us back at the end of the cold war days. Also starred the late great Patrick Swayze)

–          Starship Troopers (I had this movie originally listed on my list below, but realized that it was a huge hit and may be considered a cult classic now. Besides, this movie is just too fuckin cool!)

 Below is my Top 50 Guilty Pleasure Movies. I own over 850 movies on DVD or Blu-ray (a few on VHS still too). I had to sift through my entire movie collection for my favorite guilty pleasures. When I was done I ended up with 117 guilty pleasure movies. What does that say about me? J Anyways I cut the list down to 50. My list is in alphabetical order, not by favorite. The only exception to this is the first one listed, which is Demolition Man starring Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and Sandra Bullock. Demolition Man is my favorite guilty pleasure movie of all time. I never get tired of watching this movie. This is the movie where I got the idea for my blog handle name Spartan Phoenix J. Don’t forget to click on the movie name, it will take you to the IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) web site link with the movie info.

With that said here is my Top 50 Guilty Pleasure Movies. Enjoy.

  1. Demolition Man
  2. The 13th Warrior
  3. The 6th Day
  4. American Ninja
  5. The American President
  6. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever
  7. Black Rain
  8. Cobra (Love the car in this movie!)
  9. Corvette Summer
  10. The Count of Monte Cristo
  11. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
  12. Doomsday
  13. Double Impact
  14. Dude, Where’s My Car?
  15. Extreme Prejudice
  16. The Final Option (a.k.a Who Dares Wins )
  17. Fortress
  18. Free Enterprise (The ultimate Star Trek geek flick!)
  19. Grandma’s Boy
  20. Hard Target
  21. If Looks Could Kill (Richard Grieco at his finest!)
  22. The Island
  23. Johnny Dangerously
  24. Judge Dredd
  25. Keeping the Faith
  26. The Last Boy Scout
  27. Mr. Destiny
  28. Mystery Men
  29. Navy Seals
  30. Notting Hill (My favorite romantic comedy of all time!)
  31. The Octagon (Chuck Norris kicks Ninja ass!)
  32. Open Range
  33. Payback (My favorite Mel Gibson movie)
  34. Pump Up the Volume
  35. The Quick and the Dead
  36. Rapid Fire Brandon Lee’s 2nd to last movie before his passing)
  37. Raw Deal
  38. Rock Star (Hair bands, yay!)
  39. Running Scared (1986, with (Billy Crystal)
  40. Secret Admirer
  41. Shakedown
  42. She’s All That
  43. Showdown in Little Tokyo
  44. Spies Like Us
  45. Super Mario Bros.
  46. Tango & Cash (Man I wish they made a sequel, yeah I said it!)
  47. The Three Musketeers (Charlie Sheen, Keefer Sutherland)
  48. UHF (Weird Al baby!)
  49. Wing Commander
  50. Zoolander

Before I go please feel free to list your top 5 guilty pleasure movies in a post reply. Also please post any of your own veto suggestions of my own list and tell me why. Thanks peeps!

– Spartan Phoenix

01
May
10

‘Avatar’ Blu-ray Consumers Can’t Watch DVD

Its funny how timing works. I blog the reasons why I wont buy the first release of Avatar on Blu-ray, later that day I see this article on Yahoo.com about problems with new Blu-ray discs. It’s a problem that can be fixed, but still a problem.

Enjoy :-) – Spartan Phoenix

‘Avatar’ Blu-ray Consumers Can’t Watch DVD / by Mike Ryan · April 30, 2010

 An unusual glitch has angered some “Avatar” Blu-ray owners. For these unlucky people, since the disc won’t play on their Blu-ray players, their new “Avatar” DVD serves no real purpose other than to sit idly on the coffee table.

“When 3 out of 3 players in my house (Denon, Samsung and PC) won’t play it, then 20th Century Fox should be slapped with losses on this one,” said one irritated customer.

In reality, the disc works fine; the problem stems from the Blu-ray players themselves. In order to run optimally, the firmware for these fancy DVD machines needs to be updated regularly via a download from the Web. (“Firmware” is the program that controls the performance of an electronic device, which would be, in this case, the playback of a Blu-ray disc.) If a Blu-ray player owner doesn’t have a home Internet connection, the chances are good the player’s firmware will be out of date. Thus making “Avatar” — a movie that prides itself on being presented with only the most cutting edge of technology — unplayable with the older firmware.

Unfortunately, people without an Internet connection probably aren’t reading this particular story — or the hundreds of other pieces instructing new Blu-ray player owners on how to upgrade. So they’re not aware of the root of a problem. But while they may not have home access to the Internet, they likely do have a telephone. And they’ve been using their phone to flood retailers with angry calls.

Still, that only seems to be part of the problem for “Avatar” owners.

It appears the main culprit concerning playback issues with “Avatar” is, ironically, the disc’s DRM (digital rights management). DRM, which is the very technology meant to prevent bootleggers from illegally copying the film, is the very technology preventing people who actually paid for the disc from watching the film. Even with updated firmware, a lot of Blu-ray players weren’t prepared for these security measures.

Despite the security problems, bootleggers are having a field day. Pirated copies of “Avatar,” according to Los Angeles Times, were available as early as January.

Original article is found here:

http://movies.yahoo.com/feature/movie-talk-avatar-blu-ray-consumers-cant-watch-DVD.html