Potpourri

Just a little bit of everything (don’t worry–it’ll be bite-sized)

AMC 18 Chattanooga: Not happy.  They add a 6:15pm Imax 3D showing Spider-Man: Homecoming, but that’s all.  They seemed determined to squeeze every dollar they can out of the movie-goer in the name of profits as 6:15 is not a matinee and they don’t have to charge matinee prices, but the full Prime cost.  Looks like I’m not going to see Homecoming, after all.  AMC 18 Chattanooga may have just lost a customer as I refuse to give them anymore money just because they are a monopoly (only Imax 3D theater for popular movies in the city).  Competition (i.e., other Imax 3D theaters in the area) wouldn’t allow them to pull this type of stunt as customers would just go elsewhere.

*Note to all politicians (current and future): THIS is why monopolies are bad.  Capitalism ONLY works when there’s CHOICE in the marketplace.

174 Days and Counting: That’s how long a story of mine has been under consideration with a particular market that I’ve not submitted to before.  I personally consider 90 days to be my limit, but I recently saw where this particular market had responded to someone else’s submission in about the same time-frame (although it was an outlier), so I waited, but that has passed and still no response.  Queried them about it today.  If no response by August 1st (perhaps sooner), I’m withdrawing and moving on to the next market.  Personal comment (it is a short-story, not a novel.  It shouldn’t take half a year to make a decision on it).

The Heart of What Was Lost: Close to finishing this book. Not sure if I’m going to review it yet.  If I do, I’ll post it here or at Goodreads.com (or both).

 

Not Happy with AMC at the Moment

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Image Source: Rental Car Momma

So, this blog catches me on “travel” day, so it will be a bit shorter than normal.  Right now, I’m not to pleased with the local AMC Imax theater in my area.  Blog readers will know that I did a post earlier this summer that talks about AMC buying out my local Carmike theater, raising prices, and eliminating size options at the concession stand.

This last night, while looking at the movie showtimes for Spider-Man Homecoming (SP:H), I discovered that the AMC 18 (in my area) is NOT offering Imax 3D showings for Matinee times.  Starting today, through the rest of the week, you can only see SP:H at the 7:15pm and 10:15pm showings.  If you want to see the movie during a matinee showing, you only have the option (at my local AMC 18 theater) to see it either in Real 3D or Imax 2D.

What are they thinking?  While this seems like a local management move (probably to improve revenue as theaters generally charge more for evening showings) rather than a corporate move, this is still a move that handcuffs those of us who are not interested in seeing the movie during the evening by limiting us to less than optimal showings of the movie.  Real 3D tends to be much darker than the brighter Imax and while 3D is sometimes not worth the extra money, for a special effects driven movie like Spider-Man, this time I feel 3D will be worth extra money, but thanks again to short-sided choices, that is something that is out of my hands.

I do have options, however.  Thanks to a comment from a reader on the blog (thanks libraryladydella!), I do know of a cheaper alternative that I will investigate later this summer.  For now, I’ve decided to probably try the Majestic (formerly, the Bijou).

The Majestic does seem to have SP:H in Imax 3D during matinee times, so this looks like the best option for right now.  The irony is I stopped going there some years ago because they didn’t hold a movie in theaters long enough (Peter Jackson’s King Kong), while the Carmike theater (the one bought out by AMC) did have it and had a better projection system.  It looks like with SP:H, I’ll be returning to see what the Majestic’s renovated theater looks like.

The local AMC theater in my area should be very worried as there is a chance they are going to lose me as a customer thanks to a incredibly poor choice of Imax 3D showtimes for such a high profile movie.

UPDATE: Looks like I was wrong about the Majestic theater having a Imax 3D screen.  I seems that they do not; it looks like the only Imax 3D screen (outside of the Chattanooga Aquarium’s screen) in the local area is AMC East Ridge 18.  So it looks like my only choice this weekend is: Imax 3D at 7:15pm and 10:15pm or Imax 2D at 4:15pm.  Grrr.  As it stands now, it looks like at the moment I won’t get to see Spider-Man: Homecoming this weekend.  Now I’m really not happy with AMC.

Time to catch up on the Tour De France, do some yard work, and start reading for my summer class that starts on Tuesday.

Bleh, some companies, in pursuit of the all-mighty dollar–really know how to take all the fun out of summer.

Ranking the Spider-Man Movies

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Image Source: Superhero Wikia (Art by John Romita)

I think I may have mentioned it on the blog before, but in case I haven’t, Spider-Man is my favorite superhero.  I really gravitated towards him in high school and his athletic abilities and biting (no pun intended) humor really won me over as a character.  I’ve seen several sites ranking the Spider-Man movies, so I thought I’d get in on the act myself.  Following is a list of the current Spider-Man movies so far that I’ve ranked in order of my own personal preference as to the best (& worst) of the Spider-Man universe (regardless of studio, be it Sony or the MCU).  I’ll be updating this post both when I see Spider-Man: Homecoming and when other movies are released with Spider-Man as the primary character.  As with my Marvel post, I’m going to try to keep things spoiler-free, but (as always) I can’t guarantee that things that I mention won’t spoil things for knowledgeable Spider-Man fans.

Spider-Man_2_Poster_Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

Spider-Man 2

This is by far my favorite Spider-Man film.  This film had everything that I wanted in a Spider-Man film: the idea of personal responsibility, the idea of with great power comes great responsibility, great special effects, great villain, great internal character conflict, great external conflict and an ending that gets it (mostly) right.  There are some things that this movie gets wrong, but is as accurate a depiction of Spider-Man as a character and as a comic (so far) that I’ve seen as a movie.  Things were changed and manipulated in Spider-Man 2 that is different from the comic, but I can see the reasons for each change.  To me, this stands as the (current) definitive Spider-Man movie.

Spider-Man2002Poster_Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

Spider-Man 

Okay, so I like this one, but not nearly as much as its sequel.  I think my enjoyment for this one was muted because it is an “origin” story and I know Spider-Man’s origin like the back of my hand at this point.  Seeing the character evolve (especially when you already know the story) isn’t nearly as impactful as seeing an original adventure featuring the character and I think that’s what hurts this one the most.  Also, the changes the filmmakers made didn’t seem to be needed (unlike the sequel), so I didn’t really feel that the Spider-Man that I knew from the comics and games was presented on-screen faithfully.

The_Amazing_Spiderman_2_poster_Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

Amazing Spider-Man 2

Okay, this one is one that the critics and I disagree on.  Critics hated this movie.  I think it is okay.  Not great, not horrible, but in the middle.  I liked the fact that they tried to incorporate the “Gwen Stacey” storyline and that they had the guts to try to replicate it on-screen, even if it didn’t hit/work just right.  I also like that Peter and Gwen were young adults, not high-schoolers and that eliminated one of my dislikes of the first Amazing Spider-Man movie, teen angst (see below).  Too many villains and too much “convenience” really hampered the story and brought it down in my opinion.

The_Amazing_Spider-Man_theatrical_poster_Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

Amazing Spider-Man

In a word (or two), teen angst.  This is what kept me from seeing it in the theaters and why (along with a modified retelling of the origin story) kept me from seeing it until much later when I was able to rent it cheaply.  For me, I made the right choice. It wasn’t as bad as I feared it would be, mostly because of the actors’ performances, but Spider-Man/Peter Parker is better when he is put in the young adult role, not in the teenage role.  Yes, I know he started/was bitten as a teenager, but the stories that helped grow the character and push him into mainstream consciousness are not his teenage years, but his young adult ones (as a photographer for the Daily Bugle, trying to make rent, trying to hold up his relationships with family and friends, while at the same time trying to be Spider-Man and live up to “Great Responsibility” creed).

Spider-Man_3,_International_Poster_Wikipedia

Image Source: Wikipedia

Spider-Man 3

Easily the worst of the Spider-Man movies.  This is a prime example of filmmakers not trusting their source material and cherry-picking it for what they want without understanding why it works.  Venom should have been awesome in this movie.  The whole Peter/Mary Jane marriage sub-plot should have worked, the antagonist/ally sub-plot should have worked, but no one tried to understand the storylines from the comics.  Venom works, not because he is a psychopath, but because the symbiote  loves and hates Peter Parker.  It doesn’t want to turn Peter into a “dancing fool” as the movie portrays, but it wants to join with Peter.  When he rejects it, it hates him and wants to kill Peter and it knows everything about Peter Parker–it knows just what will affect him physically and psychologically–and it can disguise itself and be anyone at anytime.  Now throw in Peter wanting to marry Mary Jane and there is the plot that the movie should have followed.  Again, an almost horror take on the superhero genre similar to where Avengers: Age of Ultron should have gone.  How can Peter protect himself and his future wife (i.e., when the movie opened she should have been his fiancé) from a psychopathic killer out for his blood when he can’t even tell where and when that killer is going to strike?  I have the original Venom storyline and I know how that character can be used in stories based on the original writer’s (David Michelinie) interpretation and the original artist’s (Todd McFarlane) illustrations.  What audiences got instead was a watered-down (way down) version of this story without very elements that evoke menace in the character/story.  I could go on, but you get the picture–this one is bad, both because it is bad and because of so many missed opportunities.