For the Love of Genre

This week’s MSN DVD column finds me banging my drum for Seven Soderbergh’s “Haywire” and Ti West’s “The Innkeepers”, two smallish movies that didn’t get nearly enough love during their theatrical runs.

They’re smart, and they’re very well-made, and they’re both surprisingly funny. Really, I can’t say enough about Sara Paxton’s goofy charm serving to make her a remarkably sympathetic horror heroine in “The Innkeepers” — and I don’t have to, becauseĀ she does it herself. And “Haywire” has one of the best ending beats of any movie this year, even if it set half of my preview screening to grumbling as soon as it happened.

You’re interested, right? Good thing they’re on disc, like, right now!

2 thoughts on “For the Love of Genre”

  1. Totally unrelated to this post, but regarding the common complaint that 3D movies are just too dark and murky – has there been any industry talk about just making the projectors brighter for 3D screenings?
    C’mon we can put a man on the moon, but increasing the luminance of projector – that’s beyond the scope of our technology? If they really want to get behind 3D and make it as spectacular and appealing, then maybe Cameron’s brother could invent some new technology. Or maybe the just don’t care. What do you think.

    1. Sadly, we haven’t put a man on the moon in quite a long time. šŸ™‚

      Problems with murky 3D mainly come down to the following factors:

      – Projectors that have insufficient brightness for the size screen in the theater. The brightness may be passable for 2D, but impenetrable once you put on 3D glasses.
      – Projector lamps dim as they age.
      – Some theaters intentionally turn down the brightness (especially for matinees) in a misguided attempt to make the lamps last longer (because they’re expensive to replace).

      I doubt that we’ll ever get some standardization enforced for 3D brightness, any more than we get standarization enforced for 2D. SMTE has published recommended brightness levels for various screen sizes, but it’s up to the theaters to actually follow through and meet those guidelines. Many are too lazy and/or cheap to do that.

      Michael Bay prepared a special extra-bright 3D version of his last Transformers crapfest specifically to counter the dimming in theaters. Perhaps it would help if more studios followed that lead. On the other hand, that extra-bright transfer might look too washed out in a theater that actually bothered to project its 3D movies with sufficient lamp brightness.

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