#121 - End of Act II

Dedicated To
Satoshi Kon
1963 - 2010

Glenn Shadix
1952 - 2010

Claude Chabrol
1930 - 2010

Kevin McCarthy

Added 9/22/10

Some of you may have been wondering, “Hey, why hasn’t Jahnke posted an update to the Electric Theatre in so long? It’s been over a month now.” (At least, I hope so. If not…gee, you sure know how to hurt a guy, don’t you?) I don’t have any particularly good reason for being absent for so long. I’ve had several DVD and Blu-ray reviews posted at the Bits, so it isn’t like I’ve kept my mouth shut entirely. Also, I’ve been tinkering with several new projects and, as anyone in the so-called creative arts can tell you, you’ve got to get these things down on paper (or pixel, these days) while you’re still exited about them.

But apart from these lame excuses, I’ll admit to being more than a little burnt out with what’s been on offer in the multiplex lately. I’m sure I’ve missed a few good movies this year but honestly, I don’t have many regrets over what I haven’t seen. Very little has risen above the level of “I’d-kinda-like-to-see-that” this year. In fact, let’s take a look at last weekend’s top ten pictures at the box office so I can tell you exactly why I haven’t bothered with them.

1. The Town – Actually, I would like to see this one. I just got lazy last weekend and didn’t go. OK, bad example.

2. Easy A – This has received some positive notices and that intrigues me a little. But since I am not a 15-year-old girl, I can wait a few years for it to make its arduous climb to the top of my Netflix queue.

3. Devil – It’s easy (and kinda fun) to pick on M. Night Shyamalan but even without his involvement, I’d still think this was the stupidest idea for a horror movie I’ve ever heard. The Devil traps some people in an elevator? Really? In my day, Satan would possess your daughter. Now he’s reduced to just messing with elevators? I assume in the sequel he’ll spend 90 minutes making crank calls.

4. Resident Evil: Afterlife – I have nothing against this franchise but I’m not especially invested in it, either. What is this, the fourth one? I know I’ve seen more than one of these but I can’t really tell them apart.

5. Alpha And Omega – What? Hang on, I’ve gotta look this one up. Let’s see…cartoon, 3D (of course), wolves…uh-huh. Gee, I can’t imagine why I didn’t race out to see this one…apart from the fact that I had no idea it even existed until two minutes ago, of course.

6. Takers – Everything about this movie says “direct-to-video” to me, from the generic title to the C-list cast. How this received a big theatrical push is a mystery.

7. The American – Ordinarily, my man-love for the Clooney would be more than enough to get me to see this. When I first saw the trailer, I thought, “This could be really good or really boring.” Honestly, I allowed myself to be scared off by the reviews that chose option B. That was a mistake. I may yet go see this one.

8. The Other Guys – I thought this looked pretty funny but my experiences with Will Ferrell movies have been hit or miss. I always seem to pick the wrong ones to see theatrically. I think I’m hoping I’ll enjoy this more if I see it on DVD.

9. Inception – I did see this and enjoyed it quite a bit. As I mentioned last time, I didn’t review it because by the time I got around to it, it had already been talked to death by people who liked it a whole lot more than I did. My review would have ended up focusing on why I didn’t think it was the most amazing thing ever, giving the false impression that it was a negative review. Really, I just didn’t want to begin and end every paragraph with, “No honestly, I liked this movie.”

10. Machete – I do want to see this, I just don’t want to pay full L.A. ticket prices to do so. I’m a little weary of the whole faux-grindhouse style of filmmaking. To me, it’s like if Spielberg and Lucas had decided to make Raiders Of The Lost Ark in scratchy black-and-white with intentionally lame effects and chapter stops every twelve minutes. Then again, if this had been playing at a drive-in on a double feature with The Expendables, I’d have been all over it.

So there you have it. Maybe not as lame as “my dog ate my homework” but pretty close. But don’t worry. Jahnke’s Electric Theatre will return…but, like James Bond, it won’t be happening right away.

Next Friday is October 1, which means that it’s time once again for the annual Hell Plaza Oktoberfest on the Bits! Yep, I’ll be churning out a daily DVD or Blu-ray review all month, so be sure to stick around for all the gut-churning horror you can handle.

Over on the Facebook, JET’s Most Wanted: Forgotten Films Not Available On DVD keeps on keepin’ on, shining a daily spotlight on titles unfairly neglected by the powers-that-be. Be sure to give it a “like” and join in the discussion. There have also been quite a few Most Wanted picks announced recently, including Severin’s upcoming release of Santa Sangre (which I absolutely cannot wait for), Criterion’s Drive, He Said in their America Lost And Found: The BBS Story box set, Sony’s on-demand releases of Nightwing and The Executioner, and a whole bunch of new on-demand titles from the Warner Archive Collection, including Cleopatra Jones And The Casino Of Gold, The Doberman Gang, The Power, and coming later in October, The Green Slime! Fans of the Electric Theatre are updated on these announcements as soon as I hear about them, so don’t miss out.

As for the Electric Theatre itself, it’ll be back in November, one way or another (he said cryptically). Tales From The Queue will be back along with it, so keep those suggestions of obscure and underrated movies coming in (although this hiatus will allow me to catch up on my backlog of recommendations).

I don’t say this often enough but as always, thank you for reading. Thanks also for your emails, comments and suggestions. Whenever I hear from one of you, I’m reminded how lucky I am to have so many intelligent, funny and diverse readers from around the world. Honestly, thank you all very, very much. It’s up to me to give you a reason to read this but it’s you who give me a reason to do it in the first place.

With that, I hope to see you next Friday for Hell Plaza Oktoberfest IV! But if horror’s not your thing, let’s get together in November. We’ll have coffee, catch up…it’ll be nice!

Your pal,

Jahnke's Electric Theater

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