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: Movie Formats/Viewing (theaters, discs, streaming, new inventions, etc.)  ( 24150 )
drinkanddestroy
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« #60 : March 07, 2021, 02:56:24 PM »

Audiences hold back, even as more movie theaters open

https://apnews.com/article/entertainment-new-york-awkwafina-north-america-new-york-city-715e7f01a34077b185fa82bb5ea82b94


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« #61 : October 04, 2021, 04:45:56 PM »

Netflix just got Seinfeld - and cropped the 4:3 show to fit the 16:9 widescreen. Idiots.

The most egregious example being discussed on Twitter: There is an episode called "The Pothole," in which George's keychain falls into a pothole, which is then paved over. Well the jackasses who had the job of cropping actually cropped out the titular pothole from the bottom of the image!!! (the alternative was cropping Jerry's and George's heads) https://twitter.com/thatoneguy64/status/1443961536079450117



https://nypost.com/2021/10/04/seinfeld-fans-slam-netflix-for-cutting-shows-ratio-size/

https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/seinfeld-netflix-hd-cropping-removes-jokes-183004013.html


Happily, the full series is available on DVD and quite cheap (around $15 per season)


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« #62 : October 20, 2021, 09:23:29 AM »

This is from the latest on-line Commentary feed, but it's behind the paywall so I copied it whole and am sending it on. I enjoyed it, and I thought you would too:

Will There Be a Nude Scene Ever Again?
Hollywood Commentary
by Rob Long

At the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, there are two large swimming pools. Both are ringed by colorful cabanas and festooned with fountains and amoeba-shaped nooks. But only one of them?a little more secluded than the other?allows something called, with mysterious glamor, ?European-style bathing.?

Meaning: topless. The hotel?s management took the idea of topless girls lounging around the pool and made it classy-sounding. But, as is always the case in these arrangements, the people who choose the European option are never the ones you want. The really attractive people are modestly wrapped and tucked in. It?s the ones born during the Eisenhower administration and the ones who take full advantage of the all-you-can-eat buffet who are splayed out in the desert sunshine, playing it as it lays.

But it?s the European-style pool that?s always crowded, because?and I realize that this sentence might get me into trouble?people like looking at uncovered breasts.

Not everyone, of course. And certainly not everyone?s. But in general, people around a pool?and people in a movie theater or watching television at home?enjoy a flash of skin. Naked breasts have been a go-to tactic for Hollywood since 1915, when Audrey Munson appeared in Inspiration, directed by George Foster Platt. Munson?s character was an artist?s model, see, so her nudity was contextual and appropriate and not in the least prurient. You can almost hear the justifications made to the actress at the first meeting: Are you nude? Yes! But so is the Venus de Milo! It?s art, honey. Plus: We?ll do it very tastefully. Like they do in Europe. They?re much more free there.

Nudity, even European-style, had but a brief exposure in the early days of Hollywood. By 1930, the Hays Code was in force. Nudity was forbidden, along with themes of white slavery and the depiction of working toilets. Breasts didn?t reappear in American films for decades, when the swinging ?60s and ?70s buried the old production codes in antiheroes, marijuana smoke, and topless scenes. And when the antique taboos disappeared, producers and studios ginned up the old arguments to convince actresses to take off their blouses: It?s tasteful, it?s organic to the story, it?s very European?

It was also a dependable way to get people into the theaters. In the 1970s, it seemed that every female lead had a shower scene or sat topless in bed next to her shirtless co-star. There were naked breasts in thrillers such as Dressed to Kill and dramas such as Klute and even comedies such as Animal House and Airplane. In most of those pictures, it wasn?t even sexual. The actress just happened to be half-dressed. It was safely titillating, like the pool at the Wynn. Toplessness was a clean way to be dirty.

It also kept the story popping along. The (to me) interminable scenes of complicated exposition in HBO?s blockbuster Game of Thrones were kept, um, interesting by the addition of naked people cavorting in the background. HBO?s satire of Hollywood, Entourage, was (again, to me) a repetitive and unfunny waste of time, punctuated here and there by a nude girl floating in a swimming pool. Its mob opera, The Sopranos, was partially set in a New Jersey strip club, which allowed Tony and his crew to discuss business while a couple of girls were doing a pole dance within frame.

In fact, HBO?s entire business model for decades could be described as European-style television. It was smart business, too, because the budget-conscious customer remembered, at the end of the month when he was cutting his expenses, that HBO delivered the breasts. And in a competitive marketplace, that was often enough.

The Sexual Revolution, of course, was terrific for guys but not so great for the gals. Actresses who balked at taking off their tops or resisted the arguments for nudity?tasteful or otherwise?were called prudes and, worse, conservative. It was not until the Me Too movement achieved powerful cultural velocity that Hollywood actresses militated against the topless scene. Jessica Alba, Keira Knightley, Megan Fox, and a lot of other big-name actresses refuse to do nude scenes, and the list is growing.

The arguments the actresses make are familiar. Nude scenes are mostly gratuitous and exploitative, written into screenplays by men, directed and produced by men, released by studios run by men. They are an example of women being subjected to the rapacious ?male gaze.? The scenes are shot in an atmosphere of leering disrespect. They are often captured digitally and then flung far and wide on the Internet, where the actresses are subjected to cruel and sexist message-board comments and criticism.

All of this is true, and yet: The audience historically likes to see skin. If they have a choice of which swimming pool to hang out in, you know which one they?ll choose. A film industry that ignores this might be a film industry in trouble. The first and most iron-clad rule of the entertainment business is, people do not pay for homework.

So despite their intentions, a newly woke, neo?Hays Code may be bad for show business. As a furious J. Algernon Hawthorne, played by British actor Terry-Thomas in Stanley Kramer?s 1963 mess of a movie, It?s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, declared: ?In all my time in this wretched, godforsaken country, the one thing that has appalled me most of all is this preposterous preoccupation with bosoms. Don?t you realize they have become the dominant theme in American culture: in literature, advertising, and all fields of entertainment and everything. I?ll wager you anything you like: If American women stopped wearing brassieres, your whole national economy would collapse overnight.? It may be the same for Hollywood.

On the other hand, some pretty fantastic movies were made under the inflexible yoke of the old Production Code. The great writers and directors of the Golden Age of movies?from, say, 1930 to (picking a movie at random) 1967?s Valley of the Dolls, which did not have a topless scene but desperately needed one?managed to tell some sexy, smart, sparkling stories on film. They worked hard to make complicated exposition interesting?think of MacMurray and Stanwyck hashing out the fine print of life-insurance policies; think of Peter O?Toole and Alec Guinness discussing Sykes-Picot?within the prudish and Victorian guidelines of the Hays Code.

And also: It?s not clear that an entertainment industry that?s more diverse and inclusive will result in fewer topless scenes. Box-office returns and streaming-service subscription fees mean exactly the same to a female studio chief as they do to a male one. As more women become powerful studio moguls, it?s just a matter of time before the old arguments come back, this time with a post?Me Too inflection: Yes, it?s a nude scene, but an empowering one! You?re in charge here, they?re YOUR breasts and it?s very much a moment of liberation and freedom from the male gaze?

To sum up: Naked breasts have been good for business, and putting them on film in the future may just require divvying up the profits in a more equitable way. Poor Audrey Munson, a century ago, didn?t have a production deal and back-end points and 10-episode commitment from Netflix. But when you own a piece of the pie?as most top-shelf actresses do these days?you might be more naked-breast-flexible. You have, as they say, skin in the game. After all, the second rule of show business is, give the people what they want. And what they want is European-style bathing. It?s just a question of who owns the pool.

Keira Knightley, by the way, has clarified her position on nude scenes: She won?t do them?unless the director is female.



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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« #63 : October 20, 2021, 11:12:19 AM »

Thanks, seen it recently from a face book link


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« #64 : January 20, 2022, 11:46:46 AM »

alcohol coming to movie theaters in NY

https://gothamist.com/food/coming-soon-ny-movie-theaters-beer-wine?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=shared_twitter

Cheers!


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« #65 : January 23, 2022, 05:21:35 AM »

alcohol coming to movie theaters in NY

https://gothamist.com/food/coming-soon-ny-movie-theaters-beer-wine?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=shared_twitter

Cheers!

This deserves a Gaspard Noe retrospective.


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« #66 : January 23, 2022, 07:43:23 AM »

alcohol coming to movie theaters in NY

https://gothamist.com/food/coming-soon-ny-movie-theaters-beer-wine?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=shared_twitter

Cheers!

Tempe Arizona had this starting in 1984; also had snacks like pizza.  Saw stuff like "Romancing the Stone" there.  Nowadays, some theaters here offer complete dinners with beer/wine and have a full bar.  Alcohol = $$$

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« #67 : January 23, 2022, 09:10:05 AM »

And in paris, you can buy a beer in McDonald's.

(Which actually isn't true anymore)


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« #68 : September 28, 2022, 10:17:13 AM »

https://www.slashfilm.com/673162/heres-why-movie-dialogue-has-gotten-more-difficult-to-understand-and-three-ways-to-fix-it/



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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« #69 : January 23, 2023, 09:04:43 AM »

Regal Cinemas is closing 39 theaters, including the one in Union Square in NYC

I have been to that theater many times. When it first opened, I was in 9th grade (1998) ? I don?t think it was Regal then, if I recall correctly it may have been United Artists ? I saw ads in the newspaper for it, I used to cut school and go there. Good times!

Full list of closures below

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2023/01/20/business/regal-cinemas-closings/index.html



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« #70 : January 23, 2023, 11:59:30 AM »

I too have frequented that cinema since my move to NY in 2008. This is very sad news.



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« #71 : February 03, 2023, 02:19:42 PM »

The color timing issue trotted out at length: https://filmmakermagazine.com/117844-color-correction-styles-film-restorations/#ref7



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« #72 : April 02, 2023, 06:05:41 AM »

Fantastic article on a museum honoring Hollywood backdrops. You have to register to read it, but registration is free.
https://thespectator.com/book-and-art/forgotten-art-hollywood-backdrops/

SAMPLE:
Quote
?[The exhibit is] a way to celebrate artists who never got screen credit,? Lippman says as he leads me past Mount Rushmore and down a hallway with two backdrops dominating each opposing wall. ?They credit graphers [in film credits] but not [backdrop] artists.?

Pointing at a label that lacks a name, Lippman explains that it?s a mystery who painted much of the work on display. According to Lippman, the studios didn?t keep a record of who painted what, and when they were done with a backdrop, they stuffed it in a dank warehouse, where they didn?t even bother to write down what film the painting was used in. Hollywood kept such shoddy records that Maness and co-curator Thomas A. Walsh failed to identify which films some backdrops were painted for. Take the backdrop depicting a lavish staircase. Nobody could identify its origin until a guest recognized the backdrop from a scene in Hitchcock?s Marnie.

This particular painting looks flat. Quite frankly, I?m unimpressed. But Lippman insists it?s magnificent. He encourages me to hold my iPhone camera up to it. Through my camera, the painting gains depth.



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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« #73 : April 30, 2023, 01:37:07 PM »

I got this email from Netflix DVD today:


For 25 years, it's been our extraordinary privilege to mail movie nights to our members all across America. On September 29th, 2023, we will ship our final iconic red envelope.

While times have changed since our first shipment in March 1998, our goal has remained the same: to provide you with access to the broadest collection of movies and shows possible, delivered directly to your door, with no due dates or late fees.

As the DVD business continues to shrink, it?s going to become increasingly difficult to achieve that goal. In our final season, we?ll continue providing you the best service possible, all the way to the very last shipment.

You may have some questions, and we've tried to answer them in our Final Season FAQ https://dvd.netflix.com/Faq - and if you want to share something with us, you can send feedback here https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd1DJybzVqIJ7pOBbDk8DiRAGhz1MnFX4KwuH9WtPLHMZoyvQ/viewform


We sincerely thank you for joining us on this amazing journey. We could never have shipped more than 5 billion discs without movie lovers like you. It's been a genuine privilege to share movie nights with you.

Pop the popcorn, fire up your player, and enjoy this final season of red envelopes.

Sincerely,
The Netflix DVD team



I'm sad about this. I (am one of the very few people who) still use this service.

I don't like the streaming service, as it has very few classic movie titles. (Also, having discs is better, because sometimes I want to see the bonus features.) Search for any classic movie in the streaming, and I'd estimate you have a 5% chance that Netflix has it. Search for the title on Netflix DVD site, and I'd estimate you have a 75% chance of them having it. 

I never want to buy discs before viewing the movie, so what I typically did was rent the movie from Netflix, and if I really like it to the extent that i want to rewatch and own it, then I'd buy it from Amazon.

truth is, I have not used the service much lately -- I've been paying monthly subscriptions despite probably making no more than one or two exchanges a year for the past two years! (may have been cheaper for me to cancel the service and just buy the occasional disc blindly) - because I have lots of movies from TCM stored on my dvr and don't have much time to watch movies lately and I'm trying to clear space n my dvr so when I do get a chance to watch a movie, I typically watch the dvr rather than a Netflix disc. Anyway, I've pretty much seen all the movies that I am dying to see; my Netflix queue currently has something like 44 movies, none of which I am absolutely dying to see.

But I was happy to have the service there, knowing that if I ever wanted to rent a disc, it was available.

There is a streaming service that has most titles available: iTunes, or Apple TV as it's now called, but I have that on my 15-inch laptop, not my 42-inch TV. I think I probably could get iTunes streaming on my TV, though I always hesitated to hook the wife up there -- I am a privacy nut and have heard about hackers or gov't using people's own internet-enabled smart TV's to spy on people. Also, I presume the streaming with wifi is not as reliable as a disc.

I could also try using Amazon streaming on my TV.

I guess I'll try hooking up the wife when the Netflix DVD runs out.

RIP



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« #74 : April 30, 2023, 05:03:01 PM »

I never want to buy discs before viewing the movie, so what I typically did was rent the movie from Netflix, and if I really like it to the extent that i want to rewatch and own it, then I'd buy it from Amazon.
Great strategy while it lasts. But as Travolta said in Broken Arrow, "The modern battlefield is a highly fluid environment." Things change, and the successful DVD aficionado changes with them. Time to start buying like a m***********.  Netflix is gonna be flooding the market with really cheap used discs, which should soften the market generally. And you'll want to get those while you can, cos if bulk buyers like Netflix are out, the whole market will be winding down soon. Get these discs while you can. And build your Culture Bunker.

Quote
I am a privacy nut and have heard about hackers or gov't using people's own internet-enabled smart TV's to spy on people.
I assume you've got a VPN account? OK, there must be some way in if the government really wants to get you, but I like slamming the door on the really aggressive retailers. And for a little extra, I can get my IP assigned to Japan.

Quote
I guess I'll try hooking up the wife when the Netflix DVD runs out.
Say what???



"McFilms are commodities and, as such, must be QA'd according to industry standards."
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