1/27/2005

Finally someone has the right idea!

So, apparently in some small Australian state they are proposing that not only should there be regulations on the ridiculous overpricing of snacks & beverages at movie theatres, but that people should be allowed by law to bring in other food. Now normally, I'm not stupid enough to buy anything at the theater (although I did buy a ridiculously overpriced box of dots when I went to see Elektra because I was starving and didn't have time to run out and grab something from a nearby place), but the price of snacks in theatres is really getting ridiculous (plus they need to offer a wider variety of food in my opinion, although some offer stuff like pizza, salads and sandwiches, most have they same small offering of popcorn, bad hotdogs and overpriced small candy). I luckily live in a small town and normally catch a bargain matinee for about 5 bucks, but add even a small soda and one of the cheaper snacks and it quickly becomes 10 or more. The biggest ripoff is the nachos. Nachos are essentially my favorite food to eat at any kind of entertainment (if they offered good nachos at the ballet, I'd probably go all the time), but theater nachos are generally a complete rip off. They offer very small bags of chips you have to open yourself and a small little container of cheese, and if you want extra, they charge you something like a $1.50 more. I understand that they make the most profit from their snacks, not movies, but maybe something in their buisness model needs to change because pretty soon nobody's gonna have the money to spend on it anymore (but us americans are slow to catch on to these kinds of trends that involve any kind of common sense, so maybe not).

So, as I stated previously, two horrible-looking horror films are opening up this weekend, and I don't really intend on seeing either of them. First up is Alone in The Dark, with Christian Slater and Tara Reid. I don't know how, but somewhere along the line Slater became the poor man's Kevin Bacon, even though he's a pretty good actor, and now he gets shlock like this. It's based on the series that actually started the whole survival horror genre, but has been not only irrelevant but dead since the Resident Evil series of games came along and really defined the genre. Not only does this look nothing like the series it's based on (did we learn nothing from the Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within?, I guess not, because they are also doing a movie based on the Doom games that is already reportedly going to have very little to do with the games), but it also stars talentless blonde Tara Reid. Reid's a hottie with several great magazine layouts to her name, but I rarely have seen an "actress" with so little talent that seems to continually get movie roles (maybe she's a poor man's Elisa Cuthbert?). On top of that, it's directed by Uwe Boll, who did the abominable House of the Dead film and is determined to ruin several other video game films that he has snapped up the rights to because unfortunately he knows how to make a movie so cheaply that it'll make a profit from the opening weekend alone before word of mouth really gets out.

And then there's Hide & Seek, starring previously distinguished actors Robert Deniro & Dakota Fanning. Deniro's been slumming it for awhile with his awful sequels to mildly amusing comedies, but the cheesy horror genre represents a new low and I bet at this point, Fanning will take any high profile job she can get, regardless of the fact that she's the best child actor in a couple of decades. I've always liked the idea of evil kids (one of the few horror films I actually enjoyed was The Omen), but this is going to be another one filled with cheap scares, big plot holes and an incomprehensible "twist" ending like every horror movie in the last decade or so. I seriously think the last horror film I enjoyed on any level was "Scream 3" and that whole trilogy was more of a campy comedy with slasher level violence than an actual horror film. Next week is not looking too good either, but there are a couple of promising films on the horizon, namely Constantine with Keanu Reeves and March looks somewhat interesting.

On the videogame front, Oddworld: Stranger came out this week for Xbox. I'll hopefully be able to rent it tommorow, even though the bastards known as EA are publishing it, the Oddworld games have always been very creative and entertaining while managing to make good social commentary, and this one looks to continue that tradition while taking the series in a fresh direction.
Then there's Playboy: The Mansion for Xbox & PS2. You get to live out every man's fantasy and be Hugh Hefner. Unfortunately, you don't get to just hang around the grotto and sleep with several girlfriends. You have to also run Playboy magazine, which means getting key interviews and knowing trends of the public so you can actually make money. Now if this all comes together it sounds like a pretty good idea, but my guess is they didn't put much thought into it and are just going to sell it on the Playboy name alone.

And that's pretty much it for now. I know Johnny Carson passed away this weekend. Everything that could be said has been said about the man who defined late night, so I'll just end with a fond farewell to the consumate entertainer who we invited into our room for 30 years. Goodbye Johnny and hope you are giving them one hell of a show up there...

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