by Shane “Mumbles” Hnetka
Interstellar director Christopher Nolan is a hands-on perfectionist who’s obsessed with the cinematic experience, so I was surprised by reports that his science fiction epic’s sound mix is messed up. I haven’t had the chance to see Interstellar yet so I can’t say, but it seems that at certain points it’s really hard to hear the dialogue. Apparently, Nolan purposely mixed the sound this way so audiences could experience his movie along with the characters and not just get spoon-fed the plot. Interesting. I remember similar complaints about Bane’s muffled voice in the Dark Knight trilogy, too.
With the home video market changing and growing, studios and theatre chains are constantly trying to come up with ways to get people into theatres. Making good movies would be the easy solution, but screw that —pricier tickets are much easier. In Canada, Cineplex has UltraAVX, the bigger, better theatre experience where you pay extra to pick your seats. All right, I’m okay with that. I like nice theatres and good seats. Then, last year, Cineplex introduced Superticket, the extra-expensive ticket that lets you see movies in theatres and then own the download when it’s released on home video. Not my thing, but whatever.
In the United States, Paramount and AMC theatres have created the Unlimited Ticket. If you really like a movie, and I mean really like it, you can pay extra to see it as many times as you want. For $20 to $35 (depending on the theatre), you get to see Interstellar over and over again in the theatre.
Maybe they just want viewers to have another chance to hear badly mixed dialogue? I’d rather wait and just buy the Blu-ray.
Netflix Is Making Movies
This is a bit old but it’s still kind of interesting: it seems that Netflix is expanding from original TV shows to the movie-making business. The media streaming subscription service has teamed up with the Weinstein Company to make a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel, which will be available to Netflix subscribers at the same time it hits theatres. With around 36 million users paying $8 a month, that’s about $288 million a month — so even if this doesn’t work out, the company should be okay. If it makes a lot of money, it could change the future of Hollywood — or at least give people a reason not to waste money on Unlimited Tickets.
Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd. He also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at prairiedogmag.com.