A mostly pleasant surprise in a year that has produced a lack of stellar animated outings.
Q. I read your review for "Tintin" and it says the 3D works nicely. I have one tiny problem, though, I would have preferred the 2D because our son is autistic and we don't know how he'd take the whole 3D thing. The 2D version is only showing at 9:15 pm. On a scale from 1 to 10, how overwhelming did you think the 3D was in this particular movie? I know it's ultimately our decision, but I'd like to know if anyone thinks it's too overwhelming. Thanks! (Lola Bringas-Garcia)
Q. I've read your statement many times that the best film experience is in a real theater with a real audience. So, do you consider the screening room where you see films that you are reviewing a "real theater with a real audience?" And if not, I'm just curious as to how many films you've seen at "real theaters" with "real audiences" in, say, the last month or two (not counting film festivals.) I very well admit I could be wrong, but I have a hunch that, like many of us, the answer would be not too many. (Mark)
Q. Just read your lousy review of the wonderful movie "Battle: Los Angeles" and the first thing that came to my mind was jawbone of an ass. Fits you perfectly. Grow up! (Anonymous)
Q. I'm just curious, what led you to give "Black Swan" a rating of 3.5 stars, while "The Wrestler" got 4? The two films have been compared a lot, so I'm interested to hear why you thought one was slightly better than the other. (Sarah S. Evans, Indianapolis)
Q. You said at the end of your Great Movies article about Kurosawa's "Red Beard": "I believe this film should be seen by every medical student." It might please you to know that my old judo teacher Dr. Paul Harper, who was also a surgeon and researcher at the University of Chicago, required all his surgery residents to watch "Red Beard." Just reading your description of some of those astonishingly beautiful scenes stirred deep emotional memories of the film. (Dave Fultz)
Q. Why is the street always wet in nighttime scenes in movies? I noticed this probably 25 years ago, and never knew who to ask. (Justin Ritter)
Q. I was shocked and appalled this morning to learn that Netflix is refusing to make "Trash Humpers" available on its site. In a statement by the film's distribution company Drag City, it's stated: “We don’t expect Netflix to carry anything they don’t want to, for whatever reason, but it reminds us that this is the price paid when we allow one entity to control the lion’s share of content distribution.”
Q. Today was a very discouraging day for me. With a group of intelligent friends, I started watching "Annie Hall" at my home. Unfortunately, as the movie started, people began talking. This continued throughout the movie, much of the conversation unrelated to the movie. Then there was the texting, the visits to the bathroom, the talking to the dog, and so on. I considered walking away or saying something abrupt, but I didn't want to be rude. That's truly ironic, as I've always considered talking during movies to be rude.
Q. I have seen "Die Hard With a Vengeance" an embarrassing amount of times (not as many as "Die Hard" though) and I have never been able to spot Dick Cheney. He's listed in the movie's credits and it's on his IMDb page. (Cory B. Wingerter)
Q. I read in one of your articles about the fact that movies are filmed with certain projector light requirements in order to correctly show the movie. You also suggested that some movie theaters might show the movies at a reduced lighting setting to save money on their electric bill. I suspect my local theater is doing this on a regular basis. Some movies are so dark, you can barely tell what’s going on. My question is how can you know (a) what the setting is and (b) what setting is being projected? Is a light meter relevant to this matter? Jim 'Catfish' Chapman