Film | by Shane “Talking In Theatres” Hnetka

There’s still lots to go in my 2017 horror movie blog series, which celebrates the awesomeness of Canadian cinema. So far I’ve written about The Brood, Terror Train, Happy Birthday To Me and more than a dozen others, and I guarantee I’ll cover  at least one really good horror movie you’ve never heard of that needs to been seen. Check out Aiiieeeee!!! Canada: 31 Days of Horror on the blog.

Loading Up The Trailers

We’re less than a month away from the start of the winter blockbuster season and studios are dropping the final trailers for their most anticipated movies. A new Justice League trailer is now out, and it looks…frenetic and visually incoherent. It will be interesting to see if this movie really is a complete disaster. Joss Whedon took over from the terrible Zack Snyder and shot some new scenes, and Whedon’s been known to do good work. Still, not a great trailer.

Then there’s a new trailer for The Last Jedi. It was released after I wrote this, so I can’t share an opinion about it. You’ll be okay on your own.

Okay, one thought:  I’m hearing about something called a “porg”, which Disney seems to think  will be a big hit with the kids. Porgs are apparently puffin-like birds that live on Luke’s planet. If the talking plush toy is anything to go by, they’re going to be really, really, really annoying. They might be worse than ewoks, and even Jar Jar Binks.

Hopefully porgs are a small part of the movie, but man, it looks like they’ll be on everything from wallets to shirts to key chains by Christmas.

I know you shouldn’t judge a movie by its merch but I have a bad feeling about this.

Hearing Is Believing

Ninety years ago, someone talked in a movie. On the screen I mean — annoying jerks who yak in theatres have been around way longer.

Warner Bros. was on the verge of bankruptcy when it gambled on sound. They poured everything they had left into a new movie starring Al Jolson. It was called The Jazz Singer, and it premiered Oct. 6, 1927.

It changed everything.

This wasn’t the first movie that had sound — there had been other films where sound effects were synched with the movie as it was projected. But The Jazz Singer was a full-length feature film with dialogue and even (racist) songs.

Audiences loved it (presumably they couldn’t stop talking about it, heh). After its release there was no turning back. In a few years sound was the standard.

And the silent film was dead.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd.