Michael Jackson has shown the way. Under the watchful eyes of the great Kenny Ortega (whose High School Musical series of movies are, as I have explained many times, the very definition of pure movie entertainment) the King of Pop has delivered unto us an all-singing, all-dancing saviour of cinema...

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  • Comment number 63. Posted by Vedavyas

    on 23 Oct 2010 14:59

    A couple of comments. One, I agree with you wholeheartedly about Jackson, except I never even liked the stuff from the eighties you did.
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  • Comment number 62. Posted by vanfilm

    on 13 Nov 2009 23:24

    I have a strange sense of loss reading this blog and could actually have a little cry. I don't want going to the movies to become a reality TV type experience where all the good drama and humor is drowned out by banality. I love the social aspect of seeing a great flim with an audience. I don't begrudge anyone their turn to rent the church hall but my fear is that well written films already struggling to find space will be squeezed out by the pilates instructors drinking fizzy pop instead of real ale.

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  • Comment number 61. Posted by fortunesfool73

    on 9 Nov 2009 08:39

    The annoying thing about 3D is - I saw 'cloudy with a chance' in 2D and spent most of the time thinking 'I bet this would look good in 3D'

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  • Comment number 60. Posted by psychfursfan83

    on 9 Nov 2009 00:41

    Caveman 1982 is damn right! Carnival of Souls is indeed a wonderful film, one of the greatest horror films ever i think, nice to see someone else actually knows it exists. Although steer well clear of the horrendous 1998 "remake". How does Doctor K feel about Herk Harvey's 1962 masterpiece?

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  • Comment number 59. Posted by thestripyjumper

    on 9 Nov 2009 00:21

    A question:

    I had a choice this weekend, i could either go and see the last showing of Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs at my local multiplex in 3D for 8 pounds, or at my local "indepedent" cinema in 2D for 3 pounds.

    When i say independent i don't mean arthouse i mean budget. They show the same stuff as a multiplex but for a cheaper price with only one person running the whole show and about 3 people in the audience. And velvety walls.

    Which is Great, a brilliant atmosphere for the film and no one to spoil it for you, plus you save a fiver.

    Except that about a minute into the credits the film stops rolling and I never get to find out either who the voice cast was (turns out it was Mr. T.) or see the cute animations at the end.

    So: Is a cinema legally bound to entire credits?

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  • Comment number 58. Posted by S Ford

    on 8 Nov 2009 19:47

    Until hearing the review of "This Is It" made by the good Doctor above, I had little inclination to watch the aforementioned film. As a film fan and a music fan, there was little offered which would satisfy my artistic inclinations which isn't to dismiss it's integrity as I am sure Kenny Ortega is a wonderful at his trade, as he wasn't I am of the belief High School Musical would not be the global phenomenon it is today. Irrespective of the Disney machine Kenny Ortega must be given credit for HSM's achievements in some capacity at the least.

    I digres... A very interesting point raised in the review is that much of "This Is It" features on incomplete footage of songs taking place in rehearsals, while this may be something to hinder many, as a musician myself, this is something which possibly is the most interesting aspect of "This Is It'. The trials and tribulations of a musicians are often seen to be of a glamourous nature but the reality is often countless rehearsals which often seem to meander and go in little direction, which isn't to denigrate being a musician in the slightest bit, but the times when things work is all the more special.

    There is little chance I will be able to view "This Is It" at the cinema but if the film shows aspects of 'construction' in music then I think that could be a very interesting issue, as it something which very rarely receives as much attention as it often should.

    As for the future of Cinema, which seems to have got a lot of discussion above for the threat of 3D and other such things. Being a resident of London where there is a great selection of cinemas, there is a possibility that my judgement in making an assessment to this issue is possibly tainted.

    My personal suggestion and recommendation for the suggestion to 'save' Cinema is that there are many viewers who do have an interest in 'Non Mainstream' Cinema and catering for such an audience will not end in failure. A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to see "Un Prophete" Audiard's new film (the director of the wonderful 'The Beat My Heart Skipped) at the London Film Festival, shown at Leicester Square Vue. I state I was lucky, as even though it was shown around midday on a Monday, the film was sold out and there was even a queue of around 50 people for returns.

    Around the corner from that cinema, is the truly wonderful Prince Charles Cinema. Earlier this year, they showed John Carpenter's "The Thing" which sold out (prior to it's digital remastered rerelease) and a truly wonderful film called "The Carnival Of Souls" an odd horror of sorts from 1962, which near enough sold out too.

    Cinema like any industry is market driven, if we as the consumer do not allow ourselves to be condescended by distributors and Multiplex chains and place our hard earned money into the pockets of Cinemas such as the British Film Institute, the Prince Charles and the ICA then there could possibly be a decent knock on effect. Having written such points, I do appreciate that outside a city such as London one might not have a wealth of options and the limitations may be of a greater impact.

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  • Comment number 57. Posted by Ieuan

    on 8 Nov 2009 16:25

    i must admit i find your current line of argument that there are "films" and "not-films" a bit baffling and somewhat artificial. for me a film is something that is filmed (whether using actual physical film or digital means) and nothing more. you touch upon the idea that the boundaries of the art form are being pushed all the time (e.g. zidane, funnily enough i would add jackson's own moonwalker from back in the day) yet then go on to describe 'this is it' is "not a film".

    there seems to be a confusion between films which contain a conventional narrative and films which don't (and an ocean-sized grey area in between), and whether something is a "film" at all?

    to describe 'this is it' as "not a film" i think confuses the issue. there are as many kinds of film as there are filmers willing to film things, even if i suppose with 'this is it' the people making the film were doing so unwittingly it would seem.

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  • Comment number 56. Posted by hrolfk

    on 8 Nov 2009 16:09

    There seems to be a thin line of agreement here. Cinemas should put on whatever they can to keep themselves open. Cinema is the venue, not the product. So, just because something is on in a cinema doesn't make it a 'film', or mean a film reviewer (Dr K in particular) should have to review them.
    I will not be upset when he refuses to see my musical project. Anyone got a rhyme for Poughkeepsie?

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  • Comment number 55. Posted by Joe Buck

    on 8 Nov 2009 15:45

    Part of the reason why Mamma Mia was so lucrative was because of screenings being held where people could join in, singing along to Abba.

    The only non-cinematic programme I have experienced at a flick house was a satellite-broadcast Q and A with Mike Leigh, following a screening of Happy-Go-Lucky. I found this to be a great experience, really interesting and informative and something which is important for those who can't get to the Southbank, or wherever the discussion is taking place.

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  • Comment number 54. Posted by Oto Luksa

    on 8 Nov 2009 13:52

    I have to agree with Dr. K on this one, cinema venues should diversify their offer if that's the only way to keep them afloat.

    It might not be the entirely same thing, but I think it's interesting to draw the parallel with the world of video game consoles. In the beginning they were machines built with the sole purpose of running video game software, but nowadays you can use them to watch movies, TV, listen to music, browse the internet, participate in game show/video game hybrids such as 1 vs. 100 and even conduct your daily exercise.

    At first some gamers were worried that such diversification might lead to video games being pushed to the sidelines on the very machines initially dedicated to running them, but in reality that didn't happen, it has only lead to more people becoming interested in the medium. Someone might buy a PlayStation 3 because it's a fine Blu-ray player, but then stay for the games. Likewise, I believe someone might come to the cinema to enjoy a concert, but then choose to return to see a movie. Everyone could profit from that.

    (Speaking of which, some movie venues are even being rented out for playing video games on the big screen.)

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