Awesome!!! There isn’t a single bone in my body that isn’t truly, madly, deeply, in love with the film INSIDIOUS. Originally I was going to review the first two, which are in my blu ray collection, before the third chapter opened this week. But I forgot all about that until this morning, Thursday.
A funny thing, years ago when a BIG movie was coming out, they would sometimes do a midnight show (well…I guess technically a 12:01 am show) before the day the film opened. During the last year or so, though, it seems every damn movie gets a Thursday premiere before its legitimate Friday release. I’m sure it has something, if not most all of, to do with the massive evolution in film projection, moving from actual physical film to digital (which I assume comes on a disc or something).
Way back when, in the before-times, I worked at a movie theater. The week’s new releases (which were 98% Fridays, if a film was big enough it’d get a Wednesday release, and in the case of INDEPENDENCE DAY, it got a Tuesday release) would come to the theater the day before it officially opened. It was physical film, came on five-to-seven (or more) reels. My job was to combine all those reels (in order, which reminds me of a hilarious story involving TOY STORY 2 that I won’t get into here) onto a three tiered platter as one large reel.
Then, that night after the theater closed, you’d have to watch the film you ‘built’ to make sure it’s in the right order and all your splices (cutting the end of a reel, the beginning of the next reel, and taping them together for a seamless-ish transition) are correct.
Unfortunately I stopped working at movie theater in 2000 (December 31st, 2000 to be exact) to move back home and focus on college. This was right before digital started being a thing. Although, I guess technically I was around for the first try of it. Select theaters were given digital copies (can’t remember how they were delivered) of the film BOUNCE (remember BOUNCE? Don’t worry, neither does anybody else.). The theater I was at did not get one of these copies, just the physical film.
But now, everyone is doing digital, even the theater in Anaconda, MT has switched to a digital projector. ANA-F*CKING-CONDA, MT!!! Anyway, when it was physical film you had to deal with, you had to rethread the film through the projector and cue it up to the right point before every show. With digital, no rethreading necessary.
Because of this, I’m assuming, a majority of movies are shown the night before because it’s the difference between pressing play on a disc, and taking a few minutes to rethread a movie (which also possibly meant moving a gigantic, heavy, full film from one platter, to another projector’s platter. Not only is it easier on the theater, it means the film has extra time to make money for its initial weekend box office take.
Also, you probably don’t care, but I’m going to tell you anyway. I loved working at a theater, but my favorite part was interacting with physical film, building a film, threading and rethreading several times throughout the day, watching the ‘built’ film the night before to make sure it was ‘built’ correctly, and the satisfaction you get when it is ‘built’ flawlessly. With digital film, all of the fun is gone, so why go back if the thing I loved is no longer there? I will agree with anyone that says digital is better in quality than physical film, but in the back of my head there will always be a little piece of me that holds back, saying “physical film is WAY more fun”. There will always be a special place in my heart for physical film. Even when a mistake was made with the threading and many feet of film collect on the floor (if you were ever a projectionist, right now you understand my pain on this one), I still loved every moment of it.
As you can probably tell from the first paragraph, this was supposed to be a review of INSIDIOUS. I wanted to write a few notes on why I was going to get to see INSIDIOUS CHAPTER THREE the day before its official release, and it just snowballed into this thing you’ve just read. So my next post will be a review of INSIDIOUS. I promise.