Posts Tagged ‘Movies’



my friends have been trying to get me to go see the room for almost a year.

and i know ben wrote about it way back in july, and normally i wouldn’t write about something again, but the room, well the room, just needs to be written about.

ben mentioned how awful it is. and it really is. everything, the script which makes no sense and is really just a string of one non sequitur after another thrown together, the production, the cinematography, the art direction, it’s all just atrociously awful. many times if you would have looked at me during the showing, you would have seen me with my hands on my cheeks, mouth open, stunned.

they kept telling me, “turn your brain off.” but i couldn’t. i just sat there stunned at how horrendous this movie is. i was also told that was normal. that a return visit allows you to just revel in it without trying to think about it.

it’s also like rocky horror, in that audience participation from throwing spoons to yelling at the screen is encouraged and part of the experience. many an amateur comedian practiced their material yelling at the actors on the screen.

so yes, score one more for the plaza theater (also your atlanta home for the aforementioned rocky horror, which i have never gone and seen in this city), which is showing the room every month on the last tuesday. the room is the sort of thing that keeps the plaza in business and makes it a success even in the face of overwhelming odds. we’ve written about the plaza many times and we’re huge fans.

the room is just one more reason.

I Know What You Watched Last Summer…Sort of

Call it healthy curiosity, call it chronic nosiness, but I* always want to know things about other people. The cashier at Walgreens, the bus driver, construction workers, everybody. I suspect that I’m not alone in this, but our social norms don’t allow strolling up to strangers and interrogating them about their breakfast preference, income and relationship with their parents.

Maybe that’s where the overheated, monotonous fixation on famous people comes from in pop culture. It’s not polite (or, in some cases, legal) to photograph your next-door neighbor and speculate wildly about who the people coming and going from her apartment might be. But it’s considered just fine to do it to someone we see on TV. Would the world be different if it was okay to want to know a little bit more about people right in our neighborhoods instead of being told everything about people we don’t even care about?

For better or for worse, we might be on our way to finding out.

Check out this infographic at The New York Times showing the relative popularity, by ZIP code, of 50 frequent Netflix rentals in Atlanta and 11 other major metro areas.

The map can be moved around a bit by click-and-drag, and the results can be sorted by alphabetical order, popularity or by the movies’ respective Metacritic scores.

There are limits to what the map really tells us, though. The fact that a lot of people rented something doesn’t mean that that they all liked it, sat through the whole thing or watched it at all. I just returned the first disc of Mad Men, utterly un-watched, after having it sitting around for a week. But just my having had it in the house contributes to its popularity rating.

Also, the viewing habits of a pretty small group of people probably unduly influence the results. Some people just love movies and are about as discriminating as a starving goat in a compost heap about what they’ll watch. Subscribers with the more expensive plans are probably less selective, so wouldn’t those households’ choices influence the results a lot? Finally, there’s no way of telling just how many people in any one ZIP code even use Nextflix. Cable, Redbox, the ubiquity of bootlegs or even a good library keep lots of people off the Netflix bandwagon, so it’s impossible to know just whose preferences we’re really looking at. Strangely, there’s no accompanying article to explain how or if any of those factors were considered.

Even just a sidebar telling how the reporters created the map, how long it took to put it together, what tools they used to create it and how easy or difficult it was to get Netflix to share the data would have been great, but maybe they didn’t have time to get the infographic and a story done by deadline.

All that said, it is really cool and I spent a good 20 minutes playing with it. Census data it’s not, but there are some conclusions you can jump to things you can learn about your neighbors.

*The cart is well in front of the horse here, as I’m posting this before I’ve even finished my “Hi! I’m Tamra”-type post. But this was much more interesting than talking about myself.

your phone’s ringing, dude.

kudos to the plaza theater for staying relevant in the days of megaplexes, netflix and corporate run art-house theaters. the main thing the plaza has done to stay profitable is to create a whole host of “experience” events that combine a movie with other elements to create a night people will pay for. generally these include older movies that people love to see and may never have seen on a big screen.

last night i checked out the plaza’a flicks and giggles which takes place on the last tuesday of the month. the gig is they have a live comedy performance, usually a stand-up, show some trailers for classic comedy movies and then show a classic comedy flick.

thanks to tessa i found out they would be playing joel and ethan coen’s classic the big lebowski which is probably my favorite movie of all time.

what a blast. the comedian was decent, they showed trailers for fletch and raising arizona both of which would be great movies to have for flicks and giggles in the future, and then i got to see one of my favorite movies on the big screen. what is it about seeing a movie you love on the big screen after years that is just great? i dunno, but for $10 it was a bargain. i’ll totally check it out again.

horray for the plaza.

there is a great article in access atlanta today about the couple that bought and saved the plaza theater:

“It hit us: It’d be cool to try to keep that place open,” Jonathan said. “So we called and said, ‘How much you want for that place?’ I don’t know why. We just did it.”

They met with a broker, looked at the books, stopped by a bank.

Jonathan: “Finally we said, ‘Wow. I guess we can actually do this.'”

The joking stopped. Asking price for eveything but the leased building: $100,000

“I totally remember sitting at the dining room table going, ‘You want to do it? Are you sure we can do this? Maybe we shouldn’t do this,’ ” Gayle recalled.

Jonathan’s tie breaker: “It came down to, ‘I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. Let’s just do it.'”

So like a hipster remake of an old MGM musical, the Rejs did it. Almost two years later, they remain unlikely saviors of Atlanta’s oldest continuously operating movie house. For how much longer remains an open question.

the article goes on to discuss how the bread and butter of the plaza hasn’t been indie films like the owners thought, but rather special events like slasher flicks, grease sing-alongs and art shows in combination with films.

a quick check of the plaza’s web site shows some pretty neat stuff coming up including sideshow art combined with the movie killer klowns from outer space. who could beat that?

h/t to the atlmalcontent who says in his post, “the least cinephiles can do is help them break even by supporting the Plaza, real grass compared to the AstroTurf sameness of the multiplex.”


Screen on the Green Starts May 29

Atlanta’s much anticipated summer classic film festival, Screen on the Green, hosted by Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and Peachtree TV, in conjunction with the Piedmont Park Conservancy, will return for a ninth season, May 29 – June 26 in Centennial Olympic Park. At sunset each Thursday, Screen on the Green will present a free outdoor showing of a classic film on a 45-by-24-foot movie screen.

I feel (not the good kind of) funny about SotG being a) in COP and b) not brought to me by TCM.

I’m sure I’ll get over it.

The lineup:
Thursday, May 29th– Jaws
Thursday, June 5th – Big Mama’s House
Thursday, June 12th – Chicago
Thursday, June 19th– E.T.
Thursday, June 26th – Viewers’ choice of Back to the Future, Footloose, or Rocky

Other fine print from The Man:
The films start at sundown (approximately 9PM)
Come early to reserve your space, bring a picnic dinner, your family and friends.
ABSOLUTELY no pets, alcoholic beverages, or glass containers allowed!! Please leave all high-backed chairs, grills, umbrellas home. Bags will be searched (help! I’m being oppressed!)

Screen on the Green plans to return to Piedmont Park once drought subsides.

Soooooooooooo…are you going this year?

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