Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Miami Advice

Nine days until we move, which will continue for some time to be my latest excuse for why I haven't been posting. However, today the boys went off to summer camp, so Jo and I took advantage of some free time and a distinct lack of babysitting fees to check a flick: Michael Mann's Miami Vice.

The movie was excellent. In my opinion, Michael Mann is a terrific filmmaker, with a keen eye and a willingness to linger on faces and on unconventional subjects (I think of Madeleine Stowe in Last of the Mohicans as an example of the first, and the places the camera tracked during the lovemaking scenes in the new movie). Mann filmed this in HD digital as well, all natural light, which makes for a gritty look, especially in low light scenes.

It's a quiet movie, too. As a matter of fact, Mann repeats a trick he performed in Mohicans. The scene where Nathaniel and his father and brother bring the Munro sisters to the besieged fort involves cannon fire, and I think most directors would have called for loud explosions from the get-go. But Mann understands that those weapons are being heard from a distance, and that our sense of what is happening can be highlighted by this. In Vice, there is a gun battle that comes pretty damn close to the thrill we experienced in Mann's Heat, only sometimes the guns are once again sometimes quiet, distant.

Which brings me to a complaint. In BC, the movie is rated 14A, which means "anyone under 14 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Parents cautioned. These films may contain violence, coarse language, and/or sexually suggestive scenes."

My understanding reading the above is that the cinema can't stop idiot parents from bringing small children to movies like Miami Vice. But dammit, if I go see an adult movie in a theatre, I would prefer to be there in the company of other adults. Yeah, the two or three-year-old was reasonably well behaved, but the sounds of a toy truck driving on the floor and the sometime-chatter were irritating beyond belief. They had a daughter, too, about seven. Stupid parents, and a ridiculous situation for the two of us to be put in.

And so I add another reason to the ledger of why I don't go see many movies anymore. Commercials, prices (admission and food), babysitting, idiots with mobile phones, idiots with kids...

Anything else?

On the basis of your comments, I will add Miami Vice to my list of films to see. I also plan to see Talledega Nights, being in need of a good laugh, and having heard positive comments from someone else whose opinion and judgement I trust.

Anything else? I saw Clerks 2 recently, and the film was projected with what seemed to be not enough brightness. I couldn't believe it. Like you, I am enjoying the filmgoing experience less and less every year. I'm in NYC from 15-22 Aug, and will try to see at least one or two movies while there.
Hey Derryl - haven't talked to you in some time! I just sent you an email this evening, hope you get it. Just noticed that you are MOVING!! Where to? If my email didn't get to you, my address is: patricia.taylor@shaw.ca. By the way, you should check out the movie "Little Miss Sunshine"...definitely loved that show! Also recently went to see "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Who killed the Electric Car." Not 3 Bad... Anyways, I hope to talk to you soon!

I used to see *every* movie in cinemas because I was such a fan of not only movies but the whole movie-going experience. I was a 2 or 3 movie a week guy.

But the annoying, inconsiderate, bleating audiences slowly wore me down.

Now I have a projector at home, and cinemas have all but lost my patronage. I watched the prices of projectors drop and drop, and when one of the very highly reviewed ones reached a nadir of $500 and held, I nabbed it:

Sanyo PLV-Z1 for $500

The Z1 is exactly what I wanted: higher resolution than the DVD sources I use, native 16x9 for great anamorphic images plus 1-click aspect switching, LCD rather than DLP because I fear the "rainbow effect," bright enough to use in a non-pitch black room, loads of inputs to handle everything from component video to a computers, physical "lens shift" on both axis so you can place the projector far off-centre, and incredibly silent operation. Oh, and thousands of dollars less than a plasma TV.

No seat kickers, no cell phones, no crying children, no prattling teenagers, your choice of screen size (mine's 8 feet wide), and highly convenient start times.

It's the future, I tells ya.
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