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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film Handlers' Movie Reviews   » Early Man (2018)

   
Author Topic: Early Man (2018)
Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1378
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 02-18-2018 06:20 PM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
CINEMA: Cinetopia Overland Park 18, Overland Park, KS
AUDITORIUM: 6, SEAT: C5...no, wait...C4 (the recliner motor in C5 was broken)
PRESENTATION: Cinetopia Living Room "Super HD Digital 7.1"
PRESENTATION PROBLEMS: Glare from television monitors, bored psychotic toddler
RATING: Two and one half stars (out of four)

For those making wagers, a Cinetopia "Living Room" auditorium is your basic auditorium with motorized recliners. At least here. Your mileage may vary at older Portland locations, some of which may have actual sofas and ottomans. It also means some idiot decided to stick HDTV monitors on the side walls up front (in arty frames, no less) to the right and left of the screens to display what movie was showing in the auditorium. They turn off when the trailers start, but of course there's reflection off of them from the main screen. Considering they spent the money to install possibly the best sound and picture anywhere in the Kansas City area even in their most basic of rooms, you'd think somebody at Cinetopia would have considered the consequences of this.

Oh, it also means there's table service for everything from popcorn to burgers, so you can skip the concession line if you show up early enough to take advantage.

THE PLOT: The Stone Age is invaded by the Bronze Age. Wackiness ensues.

Is it just me, or did Aardman sneak in some virtual film shake and wear in the first few seconds of the feature when they're showing some captions? I was all like "Why is the picture shaking? It was steady as a rock during the trailers." Nice touch, Aardman.

Pretty simple premise. A group of bigger bullyish thugs muscle the cavemen/women out of their happy little valley, they want back in, and the whole matter is settled over a football (soccer) game.

Not exactly groundbreaking, but a fun way to kill an hour and a half.

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 356
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 02-21-2018 03:48 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The Los Angeles Times did some feature articles on "Early Man," and I would swear that they discussed how Aardman specifically dirtied up their pristine digital footage for the opening segment as a tribute to Harryhausen stop-motion. But the online version doesn't seem to have the complete article, so I can't link or prove it.

Sam, I should mention what an absolute kick it is to read your reviews.

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Sam Graham
AKA: "The Evil Sam Graham". Wackiness ensues.

Posts: 1378
From: Waukee, IA
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted 02-22-2018 08:34 AM      Profile for Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email Sam Graham   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bill Brandenstein
I would swear that they discussed how Aardman specifically dirtied up their pristine digital footage for the opening segment as a tribute to Harryhausen stop-motion.
Yep. That would explain it.

(Also, thanks. [Smile] )

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Mark Campbell
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 139
From: Seattle, WA USA
Registered: Jul 2007


 - posted 02-22-2018 07:26 PM      Profile for Mark Campbell   Email Mark Campbell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I took my daughter to see this at the AMC Factoria 8 recliner-plex in Bellevue, WA. Had its moments but fairly low on the Aardman scale.

So I just looked up the aspect ration of this film and its listed as 1.85 on IMDB. The auditorium where I saw it was a recent AMC "upgrade" with fixed masking at 1.85. However the previews were 2.35 letterboxed on the screen or 1.85 pillarboxed within the letterboxed 2.35. The feature was shown in 2.35 and I began to notice a lot of headroom issues with the characters and also a title that popped up during the film that was slightly chopped at the bottom.

I am not a projectionist so could somebody explain to me this error? Or was int deliberate? All 8 screens at the theater are now fixed masking (sigh). 3 of them are 2.35 and the other 5 are 1.85. They do move the movies around a lot to maximize showtimes or seats. Could that have anything to do with it if it had been "programmed" for one of the 2.35 auditoriums?

Should I ask for a refund?

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Bill Brandenstein
Master Film Handler

Posts: 356
From: Santa Clarita, CA
Registered: Jul 2013


 - posted 02-22-2018 08:41 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If the social graces of the situation permitted it, I definitely would. Customers give shoddy presentation a free pass WAY too often. You paid to see the movie, not 74% of it. So go give 'em a rough time!

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Dave Macaulay
Film God

Posts: 2133
From: Toronto, Canada
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 02-23-2018 08:31 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What you describe is a typical scope show on a fixed format flat screen with no moveable masking: trailers are provided for both formats, the film's real format letter- or pillar-boxed into the projected format if it's different.
There is no reason except incompetence for showing a flat movie in scope format, but whoever made up the show playlist you watched definitely thought this feature is in scope. The trailers all being in scope makes that clear.
Early Man is definitely 1.85 flat.
It is very easy to make this error on some theatre management systems. Not an excuse, shows should be checked.

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