Film | by Shane “Yells At Clouds” Hnetka

Things are changing on the movie theatre scene. Saskatoon’s new Landmark Cinemas gives movie-goers comfy chairs, much like the recliners at Regina’s Southland. I love this new era of comfortable seating. What? You don’t think nice chairs are exciting? Get off my lawn, punk.

What Upgrade?

One of the many new films released on the June 1 weekend was a movie called Upgrade. It got really good reviews and managed to do pretty good for itself at the box office, coming in at number despite a piddly release in only 1,000 theatres. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 85%, while Metacritic gives it 65 (which is decent for Metacritic).

But where did this movie come from?

I never saw any advertising — no trailers, nothing. If it wasn’t for the fact that people are talking about it now that it’s been released, I would’ve never heard of Upgrade. It looks pretty entertaining, too: an injured man gets a chip implanted into his spine that allows him to walk again and take revenge on the people who killed his wife and crippled him. A sci-fi action revenge thriller from Blumhouse Productions? Sign me up!

With so much over-exposure for movies — I’ve seen several trailers for Action Point, which opened in wider release and did way worse at the box office — it’s just really weird when a decent movie sneaks by me.

I think the studios need to “upgrade” their marketing priorities. Haw haw haw.

Fast Turn Around

Is it just me or does it feel like movies get home video releases faster than ever now? Black Panther hit theatres in February, became a massive hit and was still in theatres when Disney dumped it on Blu-ray. The week it was released it was still in the top 10 at the box office.

I’m sure Black Panther’s doing quite well on home video, but maybe Disney could have held off for a little bit? I know all this has to do with the studios wanting to make money but Black Panther is one of the highest-grossing movies in the last few years. In the past when a movie got a fast release on home video it was because it bombed and the studio was hoping to recoup the cost. Black Panther made over $1 billion at the box office — it’s still making money!

I just think Disney should have held off for just a little bit. In this age of streaming everything, there’s no need to chase audiences out of theatres and into their living rooms. People are already comfortable on their couches. Too comfortable.

Shane Hnetka is a made-in-Saskatchewan film and comic book nerd. Read his column “Sunday Matinee” every week at