May 22nd, 2015 — Memorial Day Edition!!



Theater ThursdaysHello again, my fellow geeks and geek-ettes!

Right outta the gate, let me say that I’m sorry the column hasn’t been kept as up to date as I would like and as I’ve done a fair job of doing for the last couple of years. I went into a full-time position at the theater where I am a Manager and even though I was working a lot before, it seems that my work load has doubled now. I’m not complaining. No, I’m defiantly am not complaining, because I love what I do. I love the job itself and the people I work with. The only downside is that it has left a lot less free time to do the other things I love, namely keeping this column on the cutting edge of current, and it’s also left little time to be able to go to meet-ups and hang with the other people I love: all of you, my Charlotte Geek Friends.

I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to do my best to fix that. It may lead to shorter columns at times, not the novel length reviews I’ve done in the past, but maybe that’s a good thing. I’ve been told that perhaps there shouldn’t have to be a dinner break in the middle of reading a review.

I have also moved the heavens and earth to free up my schedule to be able to attend ConCarolina’s this year! I was in shock when I realized it was coming up NEXT weekend, but there is no way I’m missing the chance to say hello to Saul Tigh in person, even if he IS a Cylon.

But for right now, lets cover some of the things that I have, to my own shame, failed to cover over the last few weeks.

Unless you have been in a coma or lived under a rock, you are aware that MARVEL’S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON hit theaters like a small Nuke on May 1st and, like a vacuum, sucked up record-breaking amounts of cash. It failed however to match or better the first films record-breaking 207 Million Dollar opening weekend. Of course, that seemed like all some blogs and web sites wanted to talk about. The shine is wearing off the Marvel films, they said. Myself and another manager talked about this one night and we both agreed that it’s a weird world when 191 Million Dollars in 3 days is thought of as a disappointment.

The first film had the advantage of being the first time we saw all these guys and girl on-screen together so the build up was almost more than we could take. This time, even though the film is amazing and has, if possible, more action packed smack-downs than the first film, we know…sort of.…what we’re going to be getting, so there were a lot of people who waited a few days to come to the theater and brave the lines and bad parking to catch it. And it was really only a few people.  The film came in at 16 Million dollars less, which isn’t all that much when you get to that level of film making.

Most of the people I’ve talked to about it have loved it. I’ve seen it 4 times in IMAX (the perk of working at a theater) and each time I’ve caught something I missed before. The script and the entire film are so loaded and packed with cool things for the eyeballs and ear balls that it’s almost….no, it IS…Impossible to catch it all on first view.

This Month has also brought us the return, after 30 years, of Mad Max Rockatansky to the big-screen. After 12 long years of trying, Writer and Director George Miller finally put Max behind the wheel of another giant truck in the nuke blasted wasteland of a future Australian outback in the visually stunning and emotionally punishing MAD MAX: FURY ROAD  ( R  121 Minutes).

When Miller first started talking about this film back in 2003, Mel Gibson was still on-board to go mad. In the years between then and now, Mel Gibson went mad all by himself out here in the real world and to be fair, got a little too old for the role, so the role was recast with Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Locke) going mad as Max.

If you haven’t seen the film, then pause your reading of this and go NOW and watch it.

*tick tock* *tick tock*

Okay, now that you’ve seen it, wasn’t that insane??

In the age of digital wizardry and anything is possible special effects, I want you to ponder the fact just for a minute that 99% of everything you saw on-screen, all the insane and suicidal stunts were done FOR REAL. It was almost all practical effects. The guys on poles, swinging from car to car? Real. The motorcycles jumping cars and trucks? Real. Max hanging by his feet a foot off the ground as the truck goes at crazy speeds? Real. The insane tornado’s and dust storms that engulfed the entire crazy train of cars and trucks? Yeah, that was actually digitally rendered.

Like I said, 99% real deal practical effects.

That ALONE is reason enough to see this mind bending two-hour car chase.

This weekend brought us something we don’t see very often. An honest to goodness, family film from Disney that carries a PG rating and features what looks to be some amazing effects and a fun, fast paced story.

I am talking of course about TOMORROWLAND  (PG  110 Minutes) which stars George Clooney as a grumpy and disillusioned scientist who, with the help of a teenage girl, attempts to return to Tomorrowland, a place where all the greatest minds live and are free to invent things that could change the world. Now, why he was expelled from Tomorrowland in the first place, who built the place, when it was built and other pressing questions are sort of explained during the course of the film, but honestly I thought they could have done a better job of that.

I liked the film. I wanted to love it, but it was a swing and a miss for me. Very beautiful to look at but there were a few too many loose ends for me to really love it.

The only other film opening this weekend was the unwanted and unneeded remake of Tobe Hooper’s 1982 cult classic POLTERGEIST  (PG-13  93 Minutes) Starring Sam Rockwell. The first film scared the living daylights out of me when I was a kid. I was 11 years old when it came out and didn’t sleep good again until I was 12.  I’m sure the new film will crank up the cgi and the clangy sound effects to juice the jump scares, but it most certainly won’t harbor the deeply disturbing and creepy vibe of the original. But the teenage girls will scream and grasp their teenage boyfriends hands in fright so I’m sure it will do fine at the box-office.

Well, that about does it for me this go-round, but as long as the universe and the Crimson King don’t waylay me this coming week, I’ll be back right here next week and we will discuss geeky things once again…

Until then, Keep the Projector Threaded.