Thursday, March 29, 2007


William Shatner has an online video show, which he calls ShatnerVision on In the current episode, he admits he "likes to attract stares at airports by flipping open his cell phone and talking into it like a 23rd century communicator." That is too funny.

Via Cinematical

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Netflix brings movies out of obscurity

First, I noticed a new movie called Numb on the Netflix new releases page, in the Sci-Fi & Fantasy genre. I like Sci-Fi very much, so clicked through. No one on Netflix has reviewed it yet, and it's been rated only 26 times. That's an obscure movie. I decided to check Numb on IMDB to see if I could learn more. (Can you believe there have been five movies in the last six years named "Numb"?). I scrolled down. Didn't recognize any of the cast or crew. It's done zero at the boxoffice. There's only two user reviews. But at the bottom, a teaser for the Moviemeter (tm) showed that this movie is climbing rapidly out of obscurity at a rate of 37% since last week.

Wanna know why?

I think it's because it's on Netflix's New Releases page. Since the movie was released on DVD a year ago, on April 2, 2006, its highest rank on IMDB was 39,429 on April 23, 2006. It went down to 74259 on Jan 7, 2007. This year, its average rank was 55,269, until this week. Since Netflix has offered the title, its rank has risen to 33,144.

What do you think?

Free cartoons

I love animated short films. LOVE them. Lurv them. Anyway, here's a bunch of clips hosted by the UCLA Animation Workshop.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

New Netflix discussion group

One of my Netflix Friends has started Netflix_Cinemajig, a new discussion group for Netflix subscribers who like anything out of the mainstream. You can read the Netflix_Cinemajig archives , or join the group and post your own reviews. It's a "fun, active, diverse" group who like to "discuss movies, directors, actors and anything else film-related," who also "play daily movie-related games to jog the mind, relieve that workday boredom and most of all, remember our love for the movies."

Monday, March 19, 2007

Netflix's most profitable fan

I know I should be ashamed of myself, but it took me 18 days to return my latest Netflix. I am on the 3-out plan, and so far this month, I have rented only three movies from Netflix. I returned two today. Contrast that to February, in which I got eight movies from Netflix.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

What's the deal with Carmike?

I have a bad feeling about the Carmike theater in Greensboro. I think it's the management. I have never forgiven them for ruining a movie for me. I was there to see a small film the same night that a much larger film (think Spiderman) was opening, and my film started a bit sooner than the other. Instead of making folks line up to wait to be seated, they allowed a bunch to gather in the lobby, blocking the ticket taker so those of us who should be seated right away couldn't get through. I spoke to the security guard about it, and he referred me to the manager, who shrugged her shoulders as if to say "What do you want me to do about it?" I suggested she use her staff to corral the crowd. She refused, so I requested a ticket refund and did not return to that theatre for years after. I only reluctantly go there now. If I have any choice of venues, I will do whatever I can to avoid going to Carmike.

On the plus side, Carmike is an early adopter of digital technology, but what good does it do to have great technology, if the theatre management doesn't take responsibility for what happens to the guests?

Now the Consolidated franchise has moved into town. Both the Consolidated theatres and Carmike charge over $8 for an evening show, but I'll drive further and pay slightly more to go to the Consolidated instead, because they are clean, well-staffed, organized. I have never missed a movie because of poor crowd management, even if I arrive at the last second.

I've never gone to the movies to be stepped on. I go to hear the laughter, or sighs, or surprise, to share the experience, to remember. If I saw Norbit at home on DVD, I would give it two stars, but in a theatre full of people, it gets a bonus star for surrounding me with laughter.