It's that time again. The time where I tell you about The Incredible Suit's incredible idea of getting loads of bloggers to write about a Bond film, in order, every month until the new film is released. Read all about it here.
This month is Goldfinger, so here's my now customary musical offering:
I went to a very peculiar cinema last weekend. It was in foggy Londontown and was unlike any cinema experience I have ever... er... experienced.
The tickets were extremely expensive, and I soon found out why.
At first, I thought the effects were a little shoddy, opening as the movie did on what was blatantly a matte-painting of some trees, but this soon faded to a fully immersive 3D environment, the likes if which I have never seen.
The 3D is so 3D that they don't even need a screen, just a raised area and a space in which fully three dimensional characters and props are projected for your amusement.
It's like you're actually there! I felt like I could reach out and touch the performers! If I hadn't been sitting ten rows away from them. Or if I had really long arms.
It even had an interactive laugh-track, in a post-modern nod to ropey old sitcoms, which was presented in uncannily convincing surround-sound. It was almost like being in the midst of a live studio-audience.
It's a game-changer. It raises the bar so high, there is no bar.
And the name of this revolutionary cinematic technique?
They call it "The Atre".
The feature I watched in "The Atre" was a new one from Neil LaBute, the bitter misogynist behind "In the Company of Men" and "The Shape of Things" (which are good) and the remake of "The Wicker Man" (which is shonky piss-ribbons), so I was expecting dubious sexual politics, rambling sweary dialogue and bees being poured on people's heads.
I was only disappointed on one count.
Jack from "Lost" was in it. He worked very well in this new-fangled organic 3D, and was a whole world away from noble Jack, playing a borderline racist, sexist ignoramus with a slovenly braggadacio that was often accompanied by the immersive laugh track. I think he has a bright future in The Atre when it catches on.
He also has a scary beard, but not a beard of bees, unfortunately.
The pretty teacher from "Rushmore" is in it too, but she isn't as good as Jack, her American accent wavering occasionally, and only seems able to pitch her performance as whiny and self-absorbed. It's worth bearing in mind that LaBute directed this turn, so this is very possibly just how he sees women and not Rushmore-girl's fault.
The movie was daringly filmed in a single take, with a static shot brilliantly framed to allow us a view of the entire interior of the cabin in the woods where the action takes place. I say "action", but what I really mean is "conversation".
The movie is just Jack and Rushmore-girl having a chat for about an hour and a half, but don't let that put you off. The chat reveals all sorts of wacky (although not entirely unpredictable) twists and character traits to keep you interested, and both characters get some decent monologues to get their teeth into. As 3D showcases go, it's better than fucking "Avatar".
And, another benefit of the revolutionary presentation of The Atre is the interactive behind-the-scenes materials. It felt like Neil LaBute actually walked right past me as I sat in my seat. Almost as if I could've run at him and poured bees on his head 'til he screamed "NOT THE BEES!" if I'd wanted to. I did want to, but there were no bees to hand. Still; IMMERSIVE.
So brace yourself for the future of 3D entertainment: The Atre. It's the closest you can get to actually being there without actually being there, even though you're actually there!
You know when you were a kid and you used to draw battle scenes, making sound effects for every explosion and grisly death as you drew it?
Something like this:
It can't have just been me who used to do this, and I know because Zak Snyder has apparently decided to do it on a cinema screen for his upcoming film "Sucker Punch".
The promotional material I have so far seen for this film seems to communicate with me on some kind of primal level. Snyder appears to have tapped into my juvenile lust for chaotic fantasy battles in a manner hitherto unseen; but he isn't satisfied with appealing to just one base, juvenile obsession, so he has populated his film with characters that look like this:
So he's speaking directly to my inner child and my inner horny-teenager. Take the fantasy chaos of my childish scrawlings up top, add a soupcon of fitties in bondage gear, and you get this:
So I was already on board with this film, due to the unfettered boyish glee that everything I've seen from it inspires in me, and then the movie's promotional team did something unfair. They sent us the single greatest display standee I have ever seen in my tenure at the cinema.
Here's a handily annotated photo:
Seriously, this thing is just outside the projection booth and is a source of continual distraction.
Of course, the film has the potential to be a load of bum-gas, but the combination of giant robots, samurai, fetching ladies, Nazis (although they look more WWI, so probably a bit knee-jerk to call them Nazis), dragons, guns, swords, fishnets, explosions, aeroplanes and video-game logic all make an excitable voice in my head squeal "BEST FILM EVER" whenever I ponder its quality.
The film is released on April the 1st, so it could all be an elaborate April Fool's trick to exploit my perpetually arrested development, but I doubt it.
Basically, if you can watch the trailer below and not think "I have to see that", my inner child doesn't want to be friends with you anymore. So ner.
Slowly but surely, more details are coming to light about the impending end of projectionism as we know it. Apparently our fate will not be decided until some time in May, and then the first wave of installations is scheduled to kick off on the fourth of July.
Independence Day. We thought that was funny. We spent quite a long time doing Bill Pullman's "we will not go quietly into the night" speech, and I even got to say "we've got a panic on our hands on the fourth of July". It's kinda like cinema gallows humour.
Another telltale sign of the oncoming storm was the subtle hint delivered by two blokes turning up and spending two days fitting network cables all throughout the projection booths.
I don't like people being in the booth. They don't belong there. And these chaps were ALL OVER the booth, strewing wires and tools over the floor as they casually made the preparations for our obsolescence.
I hid from them.
I went and sat on the stairwell for most of the time they were there. I didn't cry or anything. Much.
After they'd gone, I crept out and surveyed the damage.
They actually tidied up after themselves pretty well, apart from one glaring error:
Not only did they come into our personal space with the express intention of setting events in motion which would bring about the projection apocalypse, they did so whilst TEARING DOWN A POSTER OF MEGAN FOX. A poster of Megan Fox DRESSED AS A CHEERLEADER!
I don't care if they had to fix the cables to the wall, you do not take a man's Megan Fox poster down, let alone a Megan Fox poster providing decoration for a small group of anti-social men in a dark and confined space! What kind of people are we dealing with here? They're not human!
This leads me to surmise that these agents of digitalisation were, in fact, automatons themselves. Only a replicunt would touch another man's Megan Fox poster without permission. Fucking robots.
So my blog was deleted a couple of days ago and I was locked out of my Google account. It was pretty weak.
I was going to write an actual post about this, but there's not much else to tell. It was some sort of technical error and the Google gods sorted it out last night. Balance is restored to the universe.
The moral of the story is "back up your blogs, kids, cos when a year and a half's worth of your prattling vanishes in the blink of an eye, it can be a little depressing".