Longform

AMC Theatres’ CEO Says He’s Open to Texting in Theaters, Which Is Still a Terrible Idea

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by Matt Singer April 14, 2016 @ 11:12 AM
Alamy
Last month, I tried out the new 4DX theater at the Regal Cinemas in Manhattan’s Union Square. Seating in the theater is assigned and it was a packed house; by the time I bought my ticket, my only choice was in a solo seat wedged between two other parties. To my left, was a couple in their 30s. To my right, was a guy who looked to be in his early 20s. When the movie started, he took out his cell phone and began taking pictures of the screen. He snapped a photo of the title card; of Superman’s first appearance; of the debut of the new Batmobile.

Bloopers in the Credits: The Best Way to Tell if a Comedy Stinks

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by Matt Singer April 8, 2016 @ 12:12 PM
Universal
The Boss is not a good comedy. At times, it is impressively unfunny. In 99 patience testing minutes, I laughed out loud just once. (If you must know, it was when Melissa McCarthy described her vagina after a rejuvenation surgery as resembling a “soft silk purse.” That’s funny!) As the credits finally rolled on the press screening and I gathered my belongings, I thought to myself “That was exactly the sort of cruddy, heavily improvised, flop-sweat drenched unfunny comedy that typically ends with outtakes and bloopers.”

Why Hollywood Needs to Protest More States With Anti-LGBT Bills

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by Erin Whitney April 1, 2016 @ 3:02 PM
Netflix
Hollywood recently took a major stand against LGBT discrimination by protesting Georgia’s religious liberty bill. Though the fight was won on Monday when Georgia governor Nathan Deal vetoed the bill, there are still a handful of states with pending legislation against the LGBT community that Hollywood can and should boycott.

If You Like Your Movies Physically As Well As Emotionally Assaultive, You’ll Love 4DX

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by Matt Singer March 31, 2016 @ 9:12 AM
Warner Bros.
Movies are the most immersive art form ever created. At their best, they are almost literally transportive. But apparently, they’re not quite immersive or transportive enough. Over the last couple years, studios and exhibitors have hatched up a series of new gimmicks designed to bring customers “inside” the movie (and to bring studios and exhibitors further inside their customers’ wallets), from 3D to IMAX to D-BOX. The latest is 4DX, which has been around in various parts of the world since 2009, but just debuted in New York City this week. According to its official site, which bills the format as “the ultimate in state of the art technology delivering a fully immersive cinematic experience,” 4DX advances “the movie theater experience from watching the movie to almost living it.”

Blockbusters Need to Stop Taking Sequels For Granted

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by Matt Singer March 28, 2016 @ 10:43 AM
Warner Bros.
This is it. The moment you’ve waited nearly two hours (and technically more than two years, since the film was announced at Comic-Con 2013): Batman and Superman are going to square off. God versus man. Day versus night. Collateral damage ignorer versus criminal brander. Who will prevail? We’re finally going to know!

Wonder Woman Isn’t Enough to Save ‘Batman vs. Superman’s Women From Injustice

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by Britt Hayes March 25, 2016 @ 6:53 PM
Warner Bros.
Even before the early reviews began rolling in, the trailers solidified Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman as the most exciting attraction in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Audiences agreed, as Wonder Woman — whose name isn’t even in the title of the film — ranked highest in a recent poll that asked fans which character they were most eager to see in Zack Snyder’s superhero epic. As predicted, Gadot’s debut is definitely the best thing in Batman v Superman, and although her part only makes up about seven minutes of the film’s 150-minute runtime, those few minutes are riveting — but not enough to justify Snyder’s unfortunate treatment of the remaining female characters.

The Queerness of Pee-wee Herman, From the Closet to Netflix’s ‘Big Holiday’

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by Erin Whitney March 22, 2016 @ 10:26 AM
Netflix
Pee-wee Herman has long existed in a queer space, though one only subliminally alluded to. Paul Reubens’ feminine boyish persona, oscillating between effeminate gay man and asexual man-child, has long played with ideas of gender expression that comment on an underlying queerness. From the drag queen genie Jambi in Playhouse to Pee-wee’s episodes of crossdressing, from his makeup and exaggerated feminine gestures to the fluctuating inflections of his comical voice, Pee-wee has been deconstructing gender and sexuality norms all along while disguising it as campy comedy. Yet Pee-wee never directly acknowledged the queerness of his imaginative universe and even struggled with embracing it, as an early episode of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” shows. In the Season 2 episode “Pee-wee Catches a Cold,” the host reveals the daily secret word as “Out,” and then immediately falls ill, as if weakened by the idea of being out to the world. But after a 28 year absence from the big screen, Pee-Wee is finally coming out.

The Seven Kinds of Netflix Recommendations

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by Matt Singer March 8, 2016 @ 8:42 AM
House of Cards. Orange Is the New Black. Arrested Development. BoJack Horseman. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Daredevil. Master of None. Jessica Jones. Over the past three years, Netflix has built an impressive roster of original content to rival the libraries of any major cable network. If you’re in the market for streaming serialized content, there are few better places to go.

Just How Racist Is ‘Song of the South,’ Disney’s Most Notorious Movie?

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by Matt Singer March 4, 2016 @ 10:19 AM
Disney
Along the western edge of Disneyland, rises a craggy peak of mossy cliffs, tangled tree roots, and thorny briar patches. This attraction — part animatronic carnival, part kid-friendly log flume — is known as Splash Mountain, and thanks to the technical wizards at Walt Disney Imagineering, it really looks like an authentic summit. But of course, it’s not; it was built in the late 1980s at a reported cost of some $75 million. It’s a very fun ride — and possibly the strangest in the entire Disney empire, since it’s essentially a giant $75 million monument to a movie that Disney has kept out of circulation for more than 30 years.