Tuesday, November 11, 2008

DVD watching


Megan reading.


Watching Movies at Home


I am not a member of the DVD generation although some sort of taping process has been around since my twenties. I still prefer to pay ten bucks and see a film on the big screen. Any movie at the Cineplex is better than a movie at home. I have trouble keeping my attention on a TV screen for more than an hour.

If I netflix an episode of say, Brotherhood, I'm good. But if I try and watch a two-hour movie, I almost always drift away after an hour. It drives my husband crazy. Friday night, we were watching The Bird With the Crystal Plummage and I left twenty minutes before the end. "Don't you care who the murderer is?" he shouted from the next room. "Didn't you pick this movie?"I didn't care and I did pick it.

Does anyone else strongly prefer their movies in a dirty theater with the smell of popcorn and people talking in the row behind you.

Also did anyone else see The Bird with the Crystal Plummage. It was one odd duck and I'm not sure how it ended. My husband wouldn't tell me.

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30 comments:

Tribe said...

DVDs have been the salvation of cineastes. There's nothing like watching a movie on the big screen, but twenty years ago...there's no way one could have seen most of those things one only dreamed of watching if it hadnt been for DVDs.

So...how'd you like Dario Argento?

pattinase (abbott) said...

I thought some of the scenes were amazing. But something about the dubbing real took me out of it. And it didn't make sense that she would not impale him. Phil loved it. Megan loved it. Defintely an influence on DePalma.

Tribe said...

Yeah, people talk about bad dubbing on 60s Japanese monster movies...but there is no worse dubbing in the Western world than that of Italian Giallos.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I would have assumed Tony Mussante could speak Italian to use him as the protagonist.

Randy Johnson said...

I always preferred the big SF movies on the big screen. Comedy movies don't seem a lot different from watching TV anyway. Dramas it depends.
It all been taken out of my hands anyway. Our local theater cineplex closed abruptly several months ago, leaving my little town with only one drive-in, open only on weekends and closed during the winter.
Even with the price of gas fropping a bit, the nearest towns with theaters are thirty-five to fifty miles away. It kind of closes off anything but weekends there for working stiffs with children.

Clair Dickson said...

See, I'm just the opposite. I HATE people talking in my movie. I barely attend the movie theatre (that's what I do for my anniversary with Hubby). I'd rather sit at home, pause it when nature calls, and have all my oof and drink there, and at reasonable prices.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We have to drive 20 minutes to a theater now and not a nice one. When we moved here, there were a half dozen theaters within ten minutes or so. I guess most movie watchers are with Clair. But I hate to stay home and I love to see movies right away.

Lisa said...

We have a great new movie theater fairly near by and we probably go about once a month or so, but most of the time I do like movies on DVD. Sometimes though, the first ten or fifteen minutes of a movie on TV is like a sleeping potion and no matter what I do I end up falling asleep. I think it's when I'm not sleeping well at night and as soon as I settle into a comfortable position on the couch, I'm out.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That's another problem I didn't want to mention, Lisa. Never happens in a theater. How could it will all those people checking their cellphone for IM.

Barbara Martin said...

I used to like going to the cinema, but now they're smaller, cramped and you have to strain your neck to look up at the screen, and then your eyes because you're too close.

Now I prefer the DVD which I can watch in the comfort of my easychair. If I fall asleep part way through I can always watch again when I'm awake.

David Cranmer said...

I don't like going to movies anymore. Talking, cell phones, babies crying et cetera drives me crazy. My wife and I go about twice a year and almost without fail someone ruins the experience. I do prefer the big screen but without the audience.

Scott Parker said...

Like Randy, I prefer the big spectaculars on the big screen while comedies and dramas can be played on the small screen. Thus, I'm making plans to see the new 007 film in the theaters and not, say, the new Brad Pitt film coming out in December.

When it comes to modern theaters, however, I'm not that picky. I don't really care about surround-sound digital whatevers. Just give me a theater *with movable backs on the seats*, movie popcorn with lots of that orange nuclear salt, and I'm good.

This past summer, I paid the big money to see "The Dark Knight" at the IMAX. Incredible experience. Then a few weeks later, my wife and I saw TDK in a small town with only one theater, a theater that was at least 30 years old. It was utterly charming to 'step back in time' and sit in a theater with a stage at the front, real curtains that opened, and the only sound coming from behind the screen. Charming place with character. Not like the megaplexes nowadays.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Amen to that experience, Scott.

Todd Mason said...

The Ritz Theaters in Philadephia and Voorhies, which were recently sold respectively to Mark Cuban and National Amusements, are still the most pleasant cinematic experiences handy to me, even if some of the theaters in all but the Ritz East are a bit small...and for old-school charm, there's the Bala Theater.

Certain things simply need to be seen on a screen that completely fills one's field of vision, such as the beautiful, stupid sf film SUNSHINE.

I have nodded off in the theater twice in living memory, once when dragged to the penultimate STAR WARS movie by Alice, who was young enough to be a nostalgic fan, once in THE BLACK DAHLIA, where De Palma continues to be influenced by his betters but never well enough influenced.

If you dug PLUMAGE, try Mario Bava sometime, Argento's greatest influence. And his films have something resembling a plot.

pattinase (abbott) said...

My childhood was spent tramping to downtown Philly to see movies in those beautiful theaters. We would actually wear heels and gloves, circa 1962 when I was fourteen.
I'm not sure I dug Plummage but my husband and daughter did. I'll take a look. Thanks. That Black Dahlia must be a doozy. Never heard a good word about it.

Todd Mason said...

Well, I'd be hard-pressed to come up with too many good words about DePalma's opera. Any of them. The cast saves CARRIE.

Todd Mason said...

When I wear white gloves to the theater, it just seems ostentatious somehow.

I'd be surprised, actually, if you haven't seen at least Mario Bava's BLACK SUNDAY or BLACK SABBATH (in Italian, THE THREE FACES OF FEAR) or both, back in the '60s or since. Bava loved Gogol. (And not to be confused with the oddly miscast film version of Thomas Harris's first novel BLACK SUNDAY, from the '70s. Robert Shaw the Israeli, and all that.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

That's because you omitted the heels.

No, I think I'm a Bavanovice. Which one of his films would you recommend?

Todd Mason said...

Atrocious dubbing (Tribe is right) slightly hampers the US version of BLACK SABBATH, and Fred Kaz's new music for that release it unusally bad for him, but if you can find the US version, I'd recommend that (the only version I know to be on DVD is the Italian release, where Boris Karloff is atrociously/distractingly dubbed into Italian, instead, though at least the other stories sound better, and it's subtitled...somewhere I have a Beta tape dub of the US release). But BLACK SABBATH is easier to find and pretty impressive (star Barbara Steele is bilingual)...KILL, BABY, KILL and LISA AND THE DEVIL might well be worth your effort to find.

Tribe said...

Todd, I have the Image Entertainment release of Black Sabbath...is that the version you recommend? The only other Bava that comes to mind is Shock...and, I don't know, on the strength of that and Black Sabbath all I can muster is a borderline thumbs up for Bava. The films are fun like a lot of Euro-trash...but I don't find them to be terribly satisfying by the end. Same thing for Dario Argento.

If I'm gonna watch European trash cinema I'll stick to Jess Franco.;)

ARCHAVIST said...

I love DVD'S - the extras when well done can really enhance the movie. And of course I often what DVD' as if they were books and watch several chapters and then pick it up later.

Todd Mason said...

Well, I don't see Bava's films as trash, or even Eurotrash fun. They are more like outsider art at times. I'm not as fond of the Argento's I've seen, since I do prefer narrative cinema (PLUMAGE is about as coherent as DA gets), but Bava can, when he wants, evoke genuine dread...and saturates his colors more than Douglas Sirk.

If you're looking for a Jess Franco experience, you don't want Bava, even his campfest DANGER: DIABOLIK! (from the BARBARELLA-esque comic about a guy who's a cross between The Phantom, James Bond, and Fantomas).

And, yes, the Image release is the one I have, too, on DVD.

Todd Mason said...

Was it the Fredric Brown ripoff that put you onto PLUMAGE, Patti?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Megan recommended it. I don't know where she heard about it. I've tended to only see the garden variety of Italian films-nothing like this. I would say I have seen less of these films than I should, because I have to watch them on DVD. If someone would show them on the BIG SCREEN, I'd be there.
I never thought of watching a DVD like a book, Archavist, but that may solve my problem of waning/flagging interest.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, one thing to also mention was the great Morricone music. Very effective.

tm said...

Among living directors, I'd say that Argento is the most internationally famous Italian these days, oddly enough (his daughter Asia Argento is coming up fast), or at least in the States. And since PLUMAGE is an unauthorized adaptation of a Fredric Brown novel...I, too, am a big Morricone fan. Argento has been prone to score his own films with his band Goblin, but not always.

Randy Johnson said...

Scott's comment reminded me that there is a small theater in the county, a town ten miles away. A very old theater, one of those with a balcony in the back.
The last time I attended, though, was to see Flash Gordon. You know, the one with the Queen soundtrack. That was 1980. I don't know what shape it's in now, but I think it's still operating.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We had one like that. It closed to enlarge and never reopened. Sad.

Barrie said...

I have not seen that movie, and now I've very curious about it!

Peter Rozovsky said...

I prefer my movies in a theater on a large screen, but that's like preferring rotary phones and Model-T's, I'm afraid.
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