‘prisoners,’ ‘wadjda’ And Other New Movies, Reviewed

Search Corporate Intelligence1 September 17, 2013, 1:18 PM 74 Million Movies that Werent Streamed in July Biography Redbox For those who spend their time glued to glowing screens on smartphones and laptops, its important to get an occasional reminder of how popular some offline businesses still are. And that is certainly the case when it comes to movie rentals. Plenty of people have long abandoned their Blockbuster membership and shifted from renting discs to streaming shows Netflix now has almost 30 million paying members but plenty havent. In households where the TV is still king (and not connected to a computer or the internet), DVD rental is still going strong. Take Redbox, which rents DVDs from its more than 43,000 vending machines located in grocery stores across the country. Stock in its parent company, Outerwall Inc., is down 12.5% today after it issued updated guidance last night, lowering estimates for revenues and earnings. A big reason for the downward revision was rentals at Redbox were not as high as expected. But even then, they were pretty high : Rentals for July and August grew year over year 13.4% and 15.7% respectively, with July representing Redboxs best rental month in its history, with approximately 74 million rentals. Redbox continues to expect both rentals and revenue per kiosk to increase compared to comparable periods in 2012. In addition, unique credit and debit cards used in July and August increased 11% year over year, while rental frequency improved in July and August compared to the same periods in 2012. 74 million rentals in July. Aside from working on an old-school TV setup, Redbox rentals can be a pretty cheap option compared to whats available online: $1.20 a night for one of their discs, compared to $2.99 upward for a streaming movie from places like Amazon or Apples iTunes store. Netflix subscriptions cost $8 per month, although that gets an all-you-can-eat streaming buffet. Redbox doesnt see its customers jumping ship anytime soon, regardless.

74 Million Movies that Weren’t Streamed in July

Even more astounding? The film had live orchestral accompaniment. But not in the way you’re probably thinking. No, Imperial didn’t cram the Berlin Philharmonic into stowage, with cellos and cymbals in tow, so that they could awkwardly play along to a movie. This delightfully bizarre experiment in airplane entertainment was achieved with the help of a relatively new technology called radio. The sweeping sounds of a live orchestra were broadcast from the ground to accompany the 1925 silent film The Lost World , a wildly successful adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s dinosaur-filled novel of the same name. The experiment was illustrated in the July 1926 issue of Science and Invention magazine, with a diagram explaining how the landmark A/V feat was achieved. The Berlin Broadcasting Station arranged the orchestra and broadcast the signal, which was received in air by a radio set on the plane. The music played through a single loudspeaker on-board, though we can guess based on the tech of the time that it was incredibly hard to hear over the sound of the aircraft. The magazine also describes how the pilot flew through dense clouds in order to darken the cabin, a necessary step for seeing the movie projection properly since they were flying during the day. Here in the early 21st century we often think of silent movies as just thatsilent. In reality, everything from grand movie palaces to humble showhouses in the 1920s were crackling with noise.

The First In-Flight Movies Had a Live Orchestra

The black-and-white scenes of Dorothy battling against the wind as a twister approaches were especially transporting. Stephanie Merry 1/2 Wadjda (PG) Youre seeing a world on screen that, until now, has been largely hidden from the filmgoing world at large. Because in addition to being a terrific garden-variety coming-of-age film, Wadjda happens to be the first feature-length movie ever made in Saudi Arabia all the more notable in that its been made by a woman, about a young girl chafing against the religious and social strictures of a kingdom literally shrouded in sexual anxiety, misogyny and severe repression. Ann Hornaday 1/2 Salinger (PG-13) While much of the movie consists of variations on this same theme that Salinger was a brilliant, flawed man the film also delves into more salacious matters, including the role of Catcher in the shootings of Ronald Reagan, John Lennon and Rebecca Schaeffer (gunmen John Hinckley Jr., Mark David Chapman and Robert John Bardo were all fans of the novel). Stephanie Merry The Henchmans War (Unrated) Greene, a native Washingtonian with a handful of local directorial and co-producing credits on his resume, has an eye for urban grit and an ear for tough-guy dialogue. He makes excellent use of his shadowy locations, lending War the coveted visual grime that enhances such pulp-noir material. Sean OConnell 1/2 Battle of the Year (PG-13) Lee is attempting to keep a spotlight shining on b-boy culture, an aggressive style of street dancing that consists of body-contorting twists, flips, leaps, spins and poses set to hip-hop music. Lee showcased this next level of competitive breakdancing in his award-winning 2008 documentary Planet B-Boy , and a feature film building on that awareness makes complete sensejust not five years later, when the fad appears to have faded. Sean OConnell My Lucky Star (Unrated) Bringing Sophies comics to life, the movie interjects drawings and animated sequences. The camera spins excitedly, and the editing is brisk. Split-screen compositions evoke the 1960s, as do Sophies pop-art ensembles, which include a lilac wig with matching lipstick. This girlie romp is less about martial arts and espionage than stuffed animals and dress-up. Mark Jenkins 1/2 Good OlFreda (PG) Ryan White weaves in archival footage of girls fainting and images of old headlines. The soundtrack consists primarily of Beatles covers. While the tales of the bands spectacular rise create a genial mood, the film feels superficial. Kelly can be cagey, and when a voice offscreen asks if she ever dated any of the guys, she demurs, saying, Thats personal. Stephanie Merry 1/2 Ip Man: The Final Fight (PG-13) The showiest action sequence involves lion dancers who battle atop high wooden posts. The grittiest and final one sends Ip to save one of his former pupils, whos risked fighting for money inside the gangster-controlled Kowloon Walled City. To add to the drama, the showdown occurs during a typhoon. Mark Jenkins Generation Iron (PG-13) Generation Iron succeeds where other rote sports docs often struggle.