Down and Out at the Movies

I hadn’t been to a movie since I saw Star Trek in Imax at the beginning of the summer, and I had wanted to see District 9, so I snuck out this afternoon to the AMC theater in my neighborhood. I settled in for the previews and got a string of reminders of how the movie industry has lost its way.

Of the previews I saw, two were for vampire movies, one was for a zombie movie, and another was for Pandorum, a movie by the producers of the Resident Evil series that looks almost exactly like any other of the indistinguishable Resident Evil series. This last movie stars Dennis Quaid, who managed also to appear in the trailer for Legion, which is about a group of misfits in a diner saving humanity from an onslaught of angels. Right.

Is this the best Hollywood can do? I mean, really, do we need two vampire films in the same set of previews? And is anyone in the business noticing that one of the summer’s more original movies, Up, and a well-written comedy, The Hangover, made tons of money?

While I’m feeling cranky, let me also point out how I increasingly prefer watching movies using the projector and Blu-ray player I set up in my basement over going to the theater. Today’s reason is image quality. I have a five year old projector, hardly top of the line, but at least the image I project is in focus. I got to see District 9 with an odd focus problem–the bottom center of the screen was out of focus, but the rest was more or less OK. For $7.75 (and that’s the discounted matinee price) it would be nice to see a nice image.

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