Saturday, September 13, 2008

Film Exhibtion in Baltimore- August 2008

This month, some passing observations from my filmgoing meanderings:

Seeing a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Poster In the Lobby of the Charles

Although this did not come to pass, and may have been a joke on the part of the staff, I still was shocked to walk by this poster one evening. Was this a dream or a hallucination? I think it may reflect an interesting moment in the decision-making process on what to exhibit.

The Coming of Tyler Perry to the Senator

In the midst of the run of Tropic Thunder at the Senator, it became clear that the next feature, opening this weekend, was to be the new Tyler Perry film, The Family that Preys. I have nothing against the filmmaker or his films, but this is either a sign of his work earning a new cachet of respectability or of the Senator courting a new audience. Is it simply that this film is projected to be the No. 1 movie in America this weekend? It seems probable based on Perry's box office record, as the post-Batman pond drain that is the anemic weekend box office can have what are essentially flops as the No. 1 movie in America (Hello, Bangkok Dangerous!). In any case, I hope the Senator tucked away enough Bat-dollars to hunker down for a now Harry Potter-less fall movie season.

Poster Battle: Burn After Reading

When I first saw a poster for the new Coen brothers film up at the Charles, I thought "Yeah, Right." The Landmark had an epic run with the excellent film No Country for Old Men, and I was certain they would grab whatever was next. Then I found out it was a farce in the vein of their more out-there comedies, and that the reviews were coming in mixed at best. I then thought "Okay... Maybe." Then I started to catch the media blitz for the film, with the few stellar reviews plastered all over the paper and other media, and I knew that it was destined for the Landmark and the Senator. The Senator did decide to open it at the much smaller Rotunda, which may be a sign of lack of confidence in the film. If it does get bad word-of-mouth, it could get dropped and then be picked up by the Charles a la The Visitor. The big question: is this new film more The Big Lebowski or The Ladykillers? We shall see.

The End of the "Grab Bag" Revivals at the Charles

The grab bag revival series winded down with a micro-run of Kubrick (The Shining, Dr. Strangelove), some out-of-sequence early Bond (Goldfinger, Dr. No, From Russia with Love) and one remnant from the proposed (but apparently scrapped) French revival series (The Earrings of Madame De...). The Charles revival series is now on to a run of Preston Sturges films, and I, for one, am very pleased. The usual comprehensive list is available in the lobby.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Films Viewed (August 2008)

Super High Me
Unfaithfully Yours
La Collectioneuse
A Modern Coed
Underground (Kusturica)
The Dark Knight (IMAX)
Pineapple Express
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Edge of Heaven
Man on Wire
The Last Mistress
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Dr. No
Tell No One
Hamlet 2
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
Glengarry GlenRoss
Hissy Fits
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The Wrong Man
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Cut)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Extended Cut)
The Charles
The Senator/ The Rotunda
The Landmark
Other (BMA, DVD, On Demand, Suburban Multiplex)
Total: 24 features, 2 shorts (13 in theaters)

Notes: I must admit I am impressed by my volume this month! Of course, keeping a yearly August movies list on another (more personal) blog was the grain of the kernal of the idea of this one, so it comes as no suprise that I have seen a lot of movies this month, the dead end of summer, the dog days of August.

It is sad not to be able to note or look forward to another screening at the BMA. I wish Eric all possible success in finding a new venue for this great series, and point you in the direction of an interview with our fearless curator conducted by The Sun's Michael Sragow.

I guess I will let the list speak for itself this month. I went to Video Americain a great deal, filled in some blanks, made it out to the Charles for some great arthouse fare, and saw a not very good Star Wars movie. Up next will be film exhibition in general in Baltimore. As we move into the fall and the one year anniversary of this blog, I will be keeping my eye on things around town, needless to say.