The Lost Art of Competent Film Projection




Honestly, who knew we had lost the ability to show films in public?

Screening problems are reportedly plaguing Quentin Tarantino's latest film, The Hateful Eight, since its release on Christmas Day in the USA – allegedly due to its unusual 70mm film format.

Set in Wyoming shortly after the Civil War, the film revolves around eight strangers seeking shelter at a stagecoach passover called Minnie's Haberdashery during a blizzard, and stars Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.


The unusual screening style has forced some cinemas to retrofit hired equipment and bring on experienced projectionists to manage the reels of film, which reportedly weigh over 90kg in total. The Hateful Eight's 70mm screenings include a 12-minute intermission.

Technology has run wild over the last thirty years or so. There used to be an entire radio broadcasting industry! There used to be a thing called a travel agency! Where did Blockbuster go and why am I not sorry those assholes has to go find other jobs? We used to brag about not being forced to take a phone call. Good times.

Quentin Tarantino does something nice for people (remember when this film wasn't even going to be made at all?) and all they can do is crap all over it because someone forgot how to handle a 70mm film projector. First world problems being what they are, how can anyone get so worked up about this?

Food Snobbery




I was flipping through posts, and this caught my eye:

I must be the only media person to say something nice about Guy Fieri in years, because one of his representatives contacted me wondering whether I'd like to talk to him about all the restaurants he thinks he's helped saved. (I mentioned that he's done more for small businesses than any small-business-friendly-GOP-enthusiast in my lede.) So, um, there's that!


FTR: This is now officially on.

The outrage against Fieri is driven by the Gawker community, and by food snobs. His most vocal critic is Anthony Bourdain, who uses Fieri the same way music snobs used to use John Denver in the 1970s. After a while, you come to realize that food snobbery is a real thing that is too ridiculous to care about. I don't care what you like to eat, and you shouldn't care about what other people like to eat. Guy Fieri isn't just a guy on television who's trying to get you to eat something. He goes out and tries to help restaurants stay afloat.




I believe that Fieri and a very similar type of television host named Jon Taffer (Bar Rescue) have done more to save small businesses than anyone on television. 





If you think about all of the wage earners that they have kept employed, and all of the small businesses that they have helped, you can't help but wonder why people hate the guy. If they both keep twenty or so businesses afloat each year, that's a lot of wage earners that are keeping their jobs. This is an underserved market because there are restaurants, bars, and retail businesses out there that need a lot of help. Their success has a huge impact on lives and communities. And they're small businesses--who wouldn't want to help a small business? It's a no-brainer.





I love Taffer--clean this place up! is the best advice anyone running a dive bar ever got. Taffer is no-nonsense and he uses business analytics. Fieri is cut from the same cloth. 





He's got a California car culture look and working class culinary skills-so what?





And Rachael Ray will always be one of my favorites.

Pardon Me?




Lovable scamp Robert Downey Jr. received a full pardon today:

California's governor has pardoned Robert Downey Jr. for a 1996 drug conviction that sent the actor to prison.

Gov. Jerry Brown's office announced Thursday that Downey was among 91 people receiving pardons.


Downey was convicted of felony drug possession after he was arrested on a Los Angeles County highway and authorities found heroin, cocaine and a pistol in his vehicle.

In 1999, he was sent to prison for nearly a year after he acknowledged violating his probation.





Does Downey Jr. deserve a pardon? Not in my opinion, but he's always been given a pass for crimes that would have sent a poor person of color to jail for a decade or more. He basically spent about four years completely out of control and was given numerous "second chances" that, again, would never have gone to someone else.





And that's the real problem here because you want to give people a break. You want to take a non-violent offender and give them an opportunity to turn their life around and get help. The problem is, our system takes people of color and throws them in prison. Downey Jr. was supposed to serve three years in prison for what he did, but he only served a year, got out, got a job, got high numerous times, and didn't have to go back to prison and serve those extra two years. How many people of color have even had a remotely similar experience with the California penal system? This same system gives Robert Downey Jr. seventeen or eighteen chances, turns a blind eye to felony possession of narcotics and gives him a pardon. When you go back through his records, you come away with the sense that, as soon as someone recognized him, they tried to give him a pass. That's shameful.





If he didn't have the money, he'd have never gotten a pardon today. That's what's broken with our system.






Failure




I'm not sure why they went with the whole failure angle here. If this young man had been a moderately successful writer, it would still be irrelevant. He's a dangerous psychopath and his skills in the arts don't change that fact:

An aspiring author who brutally attacked a teenager after she left a bad review of his book online has been jailed.


Richard Brittain smashed Paige Rolland, 18, over the head with a wine bottle in an assault which could have killed her.


The failed writer, 28, has now been sentenced to 30 months in prison and banned from contacting his victim, reported Mirror Online.


Brittain’s defence counsel Michael Meehan pleaded for his client to avoid jail, saying he was either suffering from paranoid schizophrenia or a personality disorder.


But Sheriff Martin Jones QC insisted “the only disposal in this case is a custodial one” and ordered Brittain to be monitored for one year after his release.


In October 2014, Brittain traveled 500 miles from his home in England to the supermarket where Rolland worked in Scotland to confront her after she criticized his book "The World Rose" online.

Now, the bad review that triggered the incident should be considered separately. Everyone gets them. You have to deal with them. But, for a bad review to trigger a 500 mile trip so that the man could stalk and attack his victim suggests that he shouldn't be allowed in polite society. Jail is one thing. Where's the treatment for mental illness? If someone is writing on their personal blog that they are schizophrenic, I think you should take them at their word.

In case you're wondering, yeah, he gets some really bad reviews:




People have savaged Brittain on his Amazon account for a long time. They hate his writing! It must be all of those adverbs and the passive aggressive tone. And every review I saw cleverly adds details about his wine bottle attack--a sure sign that the review is designed to destroy the commercial appeal of his work.

I don't know whether that's brave or piling on, but someone should get this man the help he needs.

Whoring at the Smithsonian




Yeah, I hate this kind of thing:

I don't have a problem with catering to kids. I don't have a problem exposing kids to food-based exhibits and things that are purely for fun or entertainment. You don't have to learn all the time. But I am rather surprised that the Smithsonian is the go-to place for corporate whores and overpriced supermarket chains that cater to the wealthy. If you want to do a mutually beneficial exhibit, why target kids? Sounds vaguely evil to me.

Does Wegman's do good in your community? I hope so. And I'm probably just cranky today. But who the hell thought sticking an advertisement for Wegman's in the middle of the Smithsonian was a good idea?

Sometimes the Bear Eats You






How awful.

Setting aside the tastelessness of using any form of rape as a joke, someone must really want The Revenant to fail:

20th Century Fox has dismissed reports that Leonardo DiCaprio's character is "raped by a bear" in his latest film The Revenant.

There's the whole thing about the politician (Lyndon Baines Johnson?) who told his staff to put out a rumor that his opponent was a pig fucker. The idea was, just getting him to deny that he was a pigfucker was good enough. But to extend this kind of cruelty to the release of a feature film is beyond the pale. Serious economic damage could be done here, and for what? To embarrass Leonardo DiCaprio?

You've really got to be disturbed to use a tactic like this.