January 16th, 2015 — Kevin Hart will be your Friend!

Theater ThursdaysLong Days and Pleasant Nights, my fellow geeks!

Sorry for the strange-sounding greeting, I have started re-reading Stephen Kings, The Dark Tower series for the 3rd time, but the first time in a decade and my mind is all aflutter with those slightly odd yet beautifully formal phrases.

Well, the holidays are over and the weather, as if on cue, has went from mild and almost balmy to….well, wintery. The time for the popcorn films seems to have passed, at least for a couple of weeks….and our attention turns to more adult fare. In a word: Oscar.

Yes, Oscar season is upon us again and several of the films that had super limited releases towards the end of the year are now starting to go into wider release and a few, thank the Gods, have made their way to our hometown of Charlotte.

As some of you know, I am a manager at Regal Stonecrest theaters  here and I know that in the last couple of weeks I have personally fielded calls about AMERICAN SNIPER  from at least 50 different people.  And every single person has said the same thing “…but the commercials said it’s coming out on Christmas day!”  and I have to remind them that the film opened Christmas day in New York and Los Angeles for a one-week Oscar qualifying run but it isn’t going into wide general release until January 16th.

Well, I’m not sure that was the best decision actually, as the early reviews have been unkind to say the least. Some reviewers have pointed out that there are some very dodgy effects towards the end, with one scene in particular really sticking out. It has to do with a baby nursery and a baby that it’s plain to see is a rubber doll.  There are also some ragged shifts in tone that some have found jarring. I can’t speak to the quality of the film, not having seen it, but I will be going in with lowered expectations.  If you are going to see the film, you might want to adjust yours as well.

Also, in regards to AMERICAN SNIPER, the studio decided almost at the last moment to release the film in IMAX, even though the film wasn’t intended for IMAX so it’s probably best to save the extra money and just watch it on a regular screen.

The second major release this weekend is NOT going to be an Oscar contender. It’s a film that feels much more at home in January. THE WEDDING RINGER is also Kevin Hart’s 18th film in the past year, if my math is right. It’s plot centers around a guy (Hart) who hires himself out to be the best man for guys getting married who lack the friends to do it. Because that happens all the time, right? And it happens enough….so much in fact….that there is a whole business built around it.

Yeah. Sure. Whatever. I actually like Kevin Hart as a stand-up and he can be likable on-screen, but this will be the 18th film of his that I don’t see. For those of you interested, the annoying snowman from Frozen co-stars in this as the guy with no friends but is somehow outgoing enough to meet, date and propose to a beautiful woman and have her say yes, but he’s too shy and bumbling to make friends…..the more I talk about this film, the more I dislike the whole concept. It feels like HITCH 2.

The last major release this week is also the biggest question mark for me. It’s a film that feels like it should be coming out either in a few Months or should have come out a couple of Months back. It doesn’t feel like a film that should be coming out in January.

The film I’m talking about is BLACK HAT which is the new film from acclaimed director, Michael Mann. Even if you don’t know the name, you know his work. He is responsible for the film that actually made Daniel Day-Lewis a sex symbol for a short-time, LAST OF THE MOHICANS.

He also wrote and Directed HEAT as well as COLLATERAL, THE INSIDER, ALI and PUBLIC ENEMIES.

He has been behind some of the best and most talked about films of the last Twenty-Years, so it just seems strange that his newest film, which stars Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth as an imprisoned computer hacker who is freed by the Government in order to help them track down a cyber-terrorist, would open with little fan-fare on the third weekend of January.

This film has been troubled since the beginning, with several delays and script issues, but Michael Mann can always be counted on to make an interesting film, if not a great one. To put it another way, his bad films are better than some directors best film, so I will be giving this one a very strong benefit of the doubt even as I lower my expectations.


Well, that just about does it for this week, but remember that the Oscar Nominations are coming out this morning….assuming you are reading this the very minute it is posted*, so next week, if all goes well I’ll have a rundown of the nominations as well as my guesses as to what and whom take home a little gold fella.

Until next time, Keep the Projector Threaded.




*and really….why wouldn’t you read it the minute it’s posted? I always assume that you set your alarm for 7:45 am on Thursday morning so you can get up, wash your face and get a cup of coffee in you before turning on the computer or your phone and tuning in to what pearls of wisdom….what brilliant string of verbs and nouns…..I’ve seen fit, in my wisdom, to bestow upon the world.  Of course I might also have done more than my share of drugs back in the day…that is also a possibility.