Friday, May 27, 2011

LoTR extended in theaters, Netflix-Viacom deal

June 14th, June 21st, and June 28th will bring theatrical releases for the extended editions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King (in that order). So if you have 3.5-4.5 hours to spend on each of those days - and if you love the Tolkien books or Peter Jackson movies - you'll be in heaven. Or whatever they call heaven in middle earth.

Please keep in mind this is a little different from other re-releases I've hyped before. Most of those were only announced 2 weeks before they came out. This news appeared on AICN on April 26th! Someone wants this to be big. Go to this page to see showtimes and location.
I haven't seen any of these in years, but they were exceptional. I watched the first two on opening night (it was a girlfriend, not the test I had that day, that botched the tRotK opening). And if you've never seen these in a theater, you almost owe it to yourself to catch it on a big screen with movie-house speakers. I understand the criticisms of these pix - some are very accurate - but films like this are exactly why it's great to go to a movie. Of course, I mean going for fun, not late-period Bergman.

Honestly, the downsides are pretty obvious: the first two, extended, got released in December '03; that was a promotion to hype RoTK, making it a 2/3s extended marathon. And it has been done fully since. It's great fare, but it's a little cheap to go back to the well so many times. Also, even if it's not in one sitting, we're talking about 11 hours and 23 minutes of your life; you could get bed sores!

There's a weird undercurrent to my news, today. I originally linked to a "special AMC site page" that promised an updated list and the chance to purchase tix "soon" on April 26th. This Event doesn't even have its own working page, as you could tell if you followed the link. Here is the trilogy page - dead, right?

And using the rest of AMC's site, it's actually kinda hard to bring up this information. The AMC Event page for Fellowship looks like this, with one month to go! Well, I recalled the geek Mecca for LOTR is, and they have a 2-minute trailer for these re-releases, and they put it up 2 weeks ago. I found it by looking in the "events" tag on the TOR site. Go me.

Then it hits me. AMC isn't in charge of this, it's Fathom Events! Whatever the hell that is. Fathom is running the deal with Warner Home Video. And not only does the link from the start of this new entry look, y'know, functional - the site has a pdf page with info on every US theater that'll play FotR on June 14th! I can only assume something similar will go up soon for the other two showings - it's possible, if not likely, that a theater would carry the first but not the rest of the trilogy.

Not only can I name the 6 NYC theaters that will play Fellowship of the Ring next month, I can tell you their zip codes. And they're not all AMC theaters, either. Mystery solved! It looks like AMC took a step back on this deal; I can't blame a studio (or Warner Home Video, whose involvement here is confusing on many levels) for wanting to open this up to all theaters.

Meanwhile, Netflix, in yet another suavely-titled blog post, announced "More MTV Networks Content." I know, I'm getting a chill. And not just because that title sounds written by a robot using a human name.

No, I actually mean that I've got a chill because MTV is sort of horrifying - in a way similar to when tv shows or pictures have a little kid playing a horrible evil. Yeah, that's part of how I feel about MTV.

Then again, Netflix, in its own announcement, hypes MTV instead of Viacom, the parent company and owner of multiple tv-groups. Whatevs, at least the first cluster of additions is innocuous Nickelodeon kiddie stuff - Yo Gabba Gabba is a new addition. They also got more eps of Spongebob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, True Jackson VP, and iCarly.

Then, we come to this:
From MTV, new episodes of “J***** S****” and “The Hills” are on Netflix as are, for the first time, “The Buried Life” and “The City.”
I didn't want to feel responsible for typing those words. I'm really unhappy mentioning JS on my site. It almost makes me complicit in its popularity, for people even knowing that such a stupid, useless thing exists or was made by humans. Or that it actually draws viewers. Rembrandt died poor, people!

Actually - and now I'm on a total tangent from writing a News post - I can't have this. I've refused to even see it, and I won't let "JS" infect a work of mine, as it's somehow worse than total mediocrity. Screw it, I'm deleting all but two letters from that title, ok?

So in my block quote above, there's a partly-voided title, and since I won't use that name here: it's a popular current show about a bunch of vapid, wanna-be Italian stereotypes living in Northern Jersey. They will all likely get STDs, for which no one will care because most people watch "reality tv" from a mean-spirited hope to witness failure/stupidity. This series is on that mirror-kissing cable network that used to play music but doesn't.

Honestly, I feel better having made that edit....  We've got a long weekend ahead of us - let's not dwell...

I mentioned a weird undercurrent to my news earlier, remember? I wrote it before I got into that AMC thing. Well, Netflix is kind of underselling their news too. They close their blog post by saying that the acquired more BET content, and give one example. They got new episodes of shows from Comedy Central, but only point out The Sarah Silverman show.

They entry actually ends with the words "and all kinds of fun TV from VH1, Logo and Spike." I don't know how corporate entities define "all kinds of fun," or how VH1, Spike, and Logo define it. I'm just stunned Netflix staff wouldn't bother.

Those are three cable channels, and they have a lot of shows. VH1 catered to "older music tastes," gradually joining its sister channel in not playing tunes. Spike promotes itself as the "man's channel," so it looks dumb and gritty while also either working out and/or drinking too much beer. Logo has shows meant to appeal to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transsexual ("GLBT," in case you've been under a rock) communities.

Doesn't it seem kinda of bass-ackward to not promote the new acquisitions? Are they lazy, or are they... Are they trying to keep a hush on having GLBT stuff on Netflix? Lump it in with two other channels to make that one omission more subtle? I'm not entirely sure, and I'm even less sure I should think about it much... Still, Netflix has enough cash to hire people to do a more thorough of job of promotion.

Remember when I was providing regular updates on which Netflix shows had been converted so that every season appeared on to one page? This time, Netflix dropped the ball worse than that. If any of you have an idea as to why they'd soft-ball their own ad for themselves, feel free to chime in.

Then again, AMC is apparently soft-balling a movie event that should generate a lot of cash - and it looks like they're doing it because it's not an exclusive engagement...

I'll wish you all a happy holiday now. I do have a post coming up either later today or this weekend, but I'm not sure when I'll put it up.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Chime in!