Category Archives: Movies as distraction

WHAT IS A SCREENER AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO CINEPHILES?

I thought I was the only who got excited about screeners. A screener is a version of a film that the studios send out to members of the Screen Actors Guild or to companies they want to purchase their film. Usually it’s while the film is still in theaters or a few months before it’s released to the public. I’m not sure if they still send them to any companies.

When I worked for Blockbuster as a Manager I would get screeners all the time. My employees knew not to open these boxes.

I have always loved movies. They have always been an escape for me. I was pretty good at picking what indie film would do well. The owners of the stores I worked for only liked to bring in the big hits. They didn’t like to watch foreign films, horror films, or indie films, so most of the time they didn’t order them.

When I thought it was a mistake not to bring one these films in, I would do it on my own at my own expense. Some thought it was stupid of me. But when 1 owner would go over the numbers and say “How come D’s store has a higher rental rate and is bringing in more money on this title?” Then it didn’t look stupid. Eventually they started to ask my opinion on these films and if they should get them for all their stores.

Receiving a box of screeners was always exciting for me. You never knew if it was going to be all garbage or all Oscar nominees. I did share as soon as I finished each one. For me being able to see a movie that was still in the theater was a luxury. My stores never would’ve carried some movies if I hadn’t seen them first as screeners. Some of the movies never made it to our theaters. Hedwig and The Angry Inch wasn’t going to be playing at my local theater. It was playing at my sister’s at the time because she lived in Oakland, California. There’s a big difference in the audience. I brought it in anyway and it did well.

I really have no idea where I’m going with this. I just started one of my medications again. I had to be off of it for 4 days because no pharmacies around me had it. I always know it’s going to be a problem and start calling a week ahead and yet I still couldn’t get it. A medication that if you stop suddenly you can have seizures and die. The withdrawal is horrible. The suicidal thoughts are not pleasant either. I had to keep it all to myself because my Dad worries and my sister would say it’s my own fault.

So I know this is probably scattered but I feel better than I have in a long time, probably because I’m now manic but that’s better than the other option. Thanks everyone.

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A LIST OF SOME OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE MOVIES (Because we don’t do Holidays anymore)

I love movies. I have watched thousands of them. Managing two video stores for at least 13 years I was able to watch as many movies as I wanted. I still went to the movies also. I watched many movies before I started working for the video store. They were a way to escape from my depression. I would watch 5 movies in a day if I wasn’t working. I also read thousands of books but my eyes can’t handle reading or the concentration it takes to read anymore.

There were times when movies were all I had. There still are. So here is a list of my favorite, some may be obscure and when someone asks what is my number 1 favorite I always get an odd look when I answer.

  • Platoon~ 1986 Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe (One of the best movies about the Vietnam war ever made Willem Dafoe shows up in a few of my picks)
  • Gladiator~ 2000 Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix (Brilliant script and acting Joaquin Phoenix actually steals some scenes, the battle scenes were shot beautifully)
  • Gangs of New York~ 2002 Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis (I’m Irish, I loved Daniel Day-Lewis in this I watch it every time it comes on. I’m not a DiCaprio or Diaz fan but they did their jobs)
  • Fandango~ 1985 Kevin Costner, Judd Nelson (One of few comedies on my list but me and my friend W quote from this all the time. We love the sky diving instructor.)
  • Reservoir Dogs~ 1992 Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Tarantino (Does it need explaining?)
  • Bronson~ 2008 Tom Hardy (Plays a real life convict who turns a small sentence into a life sentence, uses an alter ego based on Charles Bronson to cope. It really shows what solitary confinement does and the mindset of some prisoners. Hardy is in the majority of the scenes by himself and does his best acting.)
  • Valhalla Rising~ 2009 Mads Mikkelsenn (Mads plays the Viking slave “One Eye” there isn’t much dialogue but what Mads has to say he does so with his one eye and body language perfectly)
  • Unforgiven~ 1992 Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman (I love a good western and this delivers. The cinematography and acting has no flaws.)
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula~ Gary Oldman, Wynona Ryder (I don’t care I love the opening scene where he denounces God and that explains his creation, I also love Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Dracula he’s sexy either way)
  • Johnny Dangerously~ 1984 Michael Keaton (A comedy about gangster who’s mother doesn’t allow him to swear. My best friend and I quote often from this one too although we might have changed a few you fargen icehole.)
  • Million Dollar Baby~ 2004 Clint Eastwood, Hilary Swank (I took my dad to see this in the theater. We both stayed in our seats when the film ended. I could see my dad’s eyes were watery and knew I was right, it was a great film.)
  • Empire of The Sun~ 1987 Christian Bale, John Malkovich (One of the first films Bale ever did and it was a huge one at such a young age. My sister and I both love this film. It’s heartbreaking.)
  • Leon: The Professional~ 1994 Gary Oldman Jean Reno (Action/Mafia/Hitman film with heart)
  • The Wrestler~ 2008 Mickey Rourke (He should’ve won the Oscar for this performance, it was the best of his career. It’s also a film that tells the truth of what really happens to some wrestlers when they are no longer popular or can’t wrestle anymore. One example would be Jake “The Snake” Roberts, there are many others. If you added up all of the deaths in the WWF/WWE it pretty staggering.)
  • Amadeus~ 1984 Tom Hulce, F. Murray Abraham (The story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart told by his rival Antonio Salieri. Hulce portrays Amadeus with a child like lust for life who takes nothing seriously. It’s the reason women love him and his rivals hate him. I still adore this film.)
  • Pan’s Labyrinth~ 2006 Guillermo Del toro (Foreign film which I was annoyed that no one in the audience was aware of and started walking out because they actually had to read. It was one of the best of his films, I cried at the end.)
  • The Revenant~ 2015 Tom Hardy Leonardo DiCaprio (Fur traders and military men in the wilderness are attacked. The scenery is stunning, the silence is necessary, DiCaprio does all of his acting with his eyes and facial expressions, he is at his absolute best, Tom Hardy is actually despicable and I didn’t even find him despicable in Bronson!)
  • NightBreed~ 1990 Clive Barker (One of my favorite adapted Clive Barker films. I’m not sure why, maybe I secretly wish there was a secret place for us outcasts, unwanted and freaks.)
  • Hellraiser~ 1987 Clive Barker (What can I say? It’s Pinhead!! But seriously a mind that can create that kind of detailed version of Hell has to be either mad or genius.)
  • The Machinist~ 2004 Christian Bale (I honestly had no idea how this was going to play out until almost the end. This is how a movie like this should be. I have one issue and that is I hope Mr. Bale refrains from accepting anymore parts that require him to drastically lose and gain weight. I personally would like to see more of his acting and that won’t happen with continued stress on his heart. He’s too brilliant for that.)

There really isn’t much to pick from these days. There are no sagas. I hate paying for a movie that is 1 hour and 40 minutes of nothing. If I pay give me at least 2 hours of something I can sink my teeth into. Why hasn’t anyone tackled Geek Love as a movie? Instead of remaking old movies there a million original books that can be made into movies. I’ll never understand.


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