Monday, September 07, 2009

Caution! District 9

I took my nephews* to see District 9 today. I'm always horrified when family members tell me they haven't been to the movies in __________ as if it's normal to go without cinema for long periods of time. It's Not! Or: It Shouldn't Be! So when I visit, I have to nudge them along. They picked the movie, their only criteria being "no romances and it can't be boring!"

The old lady in front of us in line said "the one with... oh, what's that called? The Sandra Bullock!"

Each ticket window was plastered with this sign.

District 9 was filmed with the hand held shooting style. This means that the picture is very shaky and can cause motion sickness. If you are prone to motion sickness please ask the cashier for additional movie choices.

Thank you!
I love the use of the definitive article before 'hand held shooting style' . So awkwardly specific. Would you ever read, "this movie was filmed with the technicolor" or "this movie was not formatted for your screen. It's in the letterbox" No... you wouldn't. I suddenly became curious if other cinemas in other towns were carrying warning labels on this film? Does your theater ever warn you away from ticket purchases? And if they're going to warn people away from what they're selling, shouldn't they maybe have more signs.
Caution! All About Steve was filmed with The Sandra Bullock. If you are averse to twinkly-eyed movie stars who never challenge themselves, please ask the cashier for additional movie choices.

Thank you!
Oh, and my nephews loved the movie but complained that there wasn't enough alien weaponry used versus kinds displayed. That's a gripe I never would have thought of but, then, I don't need explosions and mayhem to win my ticket money. I'm also on good terms with the romantic and boring.

*I felt guilty about taking my nephews to a violent R rated movie until I reminded myself that they are not toddlers anymore. It seems impossible that they're old enough to see this movie... How did this happen?

26 comments:

Univarn said...

Ah yes I love those signs. Granted if they were to go the direction you're pointing they'd have to fill up their entire door with Cautions. They did this back last year for Cloverfield as well if I remember correctly.

Other possible caution signs:

CAUTION! Transformers 2 was directed by Michael Bay. Yeah, the guy who did that really awful Pearl Harbor movie. You're still buying the ticket!? What's wrong with you people?

CAUTION! The Final Destination contains such awful acting you may suffer severe anxiety, and feelings toward suicide.

hmmm this is kind of fun.

Edward Copeland said...

The AMC here would routinely warn ticket buyers when they were showing foreign films because they got tired of giving refunds to people whining about subtitles.

Hardy said...

It really all started with Cloverfield, didn't it?

Kurtis O said...

This: "If you are averse to twinkly-eyed movie stars who never challenge themselves, please ask the cashier for additional movie choices," is wonderful.

God, "All About Steve" looks so incredibly dreadful. And I usually like me some Sandra Bullock (I was quite fond of her work in "The Proposal"). But when even the TV spots are so ingratiating you want to dart out of the room, it's clear that the movie being touted is one rank piece of s**t.

I don't know if I want Sandra to challenge herself or stray from her strengths too much (it often yields lousy results like "Premonition" and "The Blind Side," which also has bad promos and looks super-sticky), but to stoop to junk like "AAS" -- which she produced, no less -- is really embarrassing.

Matthew Lucas said...

Once saw a sign at a theater showing THE RING that said "THE RING is not THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS." This being, of course, several months before THE TWO TOWERS was released. The funniest thing about the sign was that I knew more than one person must have made that mistake in order for them to have put up that sign.

People never cease to amaze me.

Joe Reid said...

Yeah, I'm with Kurtis in that, though "Steve" looks incredibly dreadful, Sandy Bullock "challenging" herself might not be the best strategy. Of course, I'm of the mind that certain actors work in their one niche and don't work in others and that's perfectly fine.

Jai said...

Some folks have reported motion sickness when watching flicks filmed by someone in the midst of epileptic fits.

I think the shaky camera disclaimers started with Blair Witch Project, which should have come with multiple warnings, only one of which should have been the seizure-cam disclaimer.

adam k. said...

When I think of "Sandra Bullock challenging herself", the only thing that pops into my mind is Crash. And I don't want Crash in my mind.

Stella said...

Screw "too violent". I was raised by three brothers on Saving Private Ryan and Gladiator, and I'm fine. I would personally be more worried about the effect of "Transformers 2" or "2Fast2Furious" on my kids instead of Distrct 9, a violent but intelligent movie that promotes tolerance and humanity.

Tom Steele said...

I remember when, back in the early 1960s, audiences (in the Midwest) would BOO when a movie was in black-and-white. People (Philistines) whined that they could watch black-and-white stuff on their black-and-white TVs at home. Sometimes they would demand their money back. The only exception? PSYCHO.

par3182 said...

an alien movie is an appropriate choice when visiting family; i just hope your escape is less messy

and speaking of definitive articles, a friend and i refer to ms streep as The Meryl

crossoverman said...

Interesting they choose to warn about The Hand Held and didn't warn about scary The Subtitles! Because, you know, I didn't come to the movies to read ;-)

Danny King said...

I remember reading one of those when I went to see Rachel Getting Married last year.

BeRightBack said...

I actually think this warning dates back to The Blair Witch Project and the prevalence of complaints about it making people sick. I remember people even asking for their money back.

I also remember going to see 8MM, of all movies, and it being clearly projected fairly far out of focus. I went to talk to the manager with some other customers and he was like "No, it's just dark. You'll get used to it" Then there was a sign up the next day warning people about the "dark cinematography."

City_Of_Lights said...

I like Bullock I really do. And I have to admit I am all for a nice romcom when it's done well. But....not only does "All About Steve" look dreadful, "The Proposal" was so identical to "While You Were Sleeping" in plot I couldn't believe it. It must be a lack of parts coming her way and her really wanting to work. She did say several years ago she was abandoning the cute romantic stuff she's known for. I think she can stretch and can grow...but I'm not sure anyone with any sayso in the industry is behind her on it.

adelutza said...

@Tom Steele - yeah, the audiences in the Midwest are really bad. They used to "boo" not only black and white movies, they actually "boo"-ed bad movies as well.

Cameron said...

They warned that Pan's Labyrinth may be considered "Violent and Demonic: Not for Children" at my local theatre. I suppose violent satanism really is for adults only though...

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Eek. Nathaniel you're feeling about taking your nephews to see District 9? I still regret letting my five year old nephew watch Sweeney Todd with me. Now my mother wants to know why who goes around singing...there's a hole in the world like a great black pit, and it's filled with people who are filled with shit

Bad parenting on my part.

Jose said...

Some theaters here must warn people that movies like "Dreamgirls" and "Chicago" are musicals!
Because people leave the room to complain that the movie has too much singing (one time I had to shut them up after getting tired of collective groans every time a character burst into song).
Can you imagine what sort of cinematic low lifeforms people who complain about songs in musicals must be!

NATHANIEL R said...

well, Andrew... like i said in the fine print my nephews are miraculous old enough to drive themselves to movies now. So... i remembered that and didn't feel guilty. I'm sure they've seen much worse. ;)

but that's funny that that's the sung phrase your nephew remembers from Sweeney.

mrripley said...

why doesn't sandra bullock challenge herself she is about the only actress who can open a film everytime.

mrripley said...

she tried too hard in crash plus i think she dislikes the niche she put herself in becuase like goldie hawn no one will accept her out of it.

John said...

I think Bullock was challenging herself in Infamous and she was exceptional in that film.

Jason Bellamy said...

Nathaniel: That's great (the) stuff.

I must admit, I get a bit of satisfaction from that sign, because it drove me crazy that hardly any reviewers/bloggers mentioned the shakycam of District 9 (which is extreme), only weeks after completely overreacting to the shakycam in The Hurt Locker, which is really only egregious in the opening 15 minutes.

Meantime, I went to an AMC over the weekend and wished someone on staff would actually pay attention to the fact that the surround speakers were so loud that they often made the forward speakers nearly impossible to hear. Not that that's a problem or anything. I mean, the forward speakers are only responsible for the dialogue.

Patrick said...

I remember hearing that theaters over here (Netherlands) had signs put up for both Irreversible and Ichi The Killer (which were released around the same time), warning that those were not for the faint at heart. I for myself never saw the signs, because the films weren't shown where I lived (and I had already seen them anyway). When the local multiplex started showing Turkish films, the woman at the box office wanted to know if I really wanted a ticket for Vizontele Tuuba; it was 'a french film or something like that'. This also happened later when buying tickets for Bollywood films.

Morgan said...

I understand people hate the film but the acting in it was all top-notch to me. Bullock included. And as was said, she was very good in "Infamous". And even in "28 Days".