Thursday, December 18, 2014
No, this is not a posting on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Hmmm...is that a double negative? In any case, it would be difficult to carry on any kind of interview with aliens, unless you can tolerate a wait of more than eight years for any response. However, today, the top ten candidates represent exoplanets where one conversation will require a time period of from 24 to 980 years. And, if we luck out with a planet on the other side of our Milky Way Galaxy, that could take 200,000 years, and Homo sapiens were not even close to being a species that long ago. To the left is the cover of PROJECT CYCLOPS, the first serious study of this subject, led by friends of mine, Barney Oliver and Jack Billingham, which appropriately leads to dreaming about THE NEXT BILLION YEARS, my time period for fantasizing.
Anyway, the title refers to two films, Interstellar and The Interview. Let me begin with Interstellar, for this is a convenient segue from SETI. Last month I was staying in the Sheraton D-Cube City in Seoul, which occupied the top floors of a new megacomplex, where five movie theaters were located on the seventh floor. Subway lines 1 and 2 crossed in our basement. I sat in the front row and had a terrific experience.
I won't say much about Interstellar, the movie, for this is now old news. However, Rotten Tomatoes gave it 73% reviewers and 87% audience ratings. The film just this weekend, its sixth, in sixth place, made a total of $167 million, and had a budget of $165 million. While not exactly a blockbuster, it will make enough, so there will be an Interstellar 2, for the ending left a few openings.
What I can report on, though, is going to a movie theater in South Korea. Here is a blog posting from an American who now lives on a military base near Seoul, and she provides some detail and the following photos (I took none):
Let me explain. 1000 won = $0.91. Or, that combo in the middle of two glasses of Asahi beer with some kind of nachos, costs $16.38. The top shot shows Jaggermeister Energy Drinks, and the bottom, two kinds of popcorn: cheese and caramel. I had mine garlic flavored.
This blogger also indicated that in that country, they preselect their seats weeks and months ahead of time on their computer and few actually stand in line to buy tickets. I just happened to catch the elevator from my floor, bought my ticket at 10AM, got my popcorn and Coke, paying a total of $12, and found my seat. Best as I can tell, no seniors discount, but I see that my 10 AM price was around $5.50 and the usual price is closer to $9. They have Gold Class seats for $27.30. Here is where I send you to that blogger to the left (that's Tris, and her blog site is called Six in Seoul), who I learned lives with her Army officer hubby on a base, and they went one night to those Gold Class seats. They started early with a visit to the Gold Class lounge, which served, for free, the following drinks and snacks:
You can also pay for dinner, and can order a bottle of wine for the movie. When they get to their super reclining seats there is a buzzer to call a waitress. Do you think movie theaters in Hawaii and the USA in general are embarrassingly obsolete??? We are just getting around to seeking approvals to serve alcohol in Honolulu. And as Hawaii and Utah are the only states that prohibit gambling, our Puritanical values might not take that huge step to serve wine in a movie theater.
Now comes to The Interview, and my diatribe that "we" caved-in to cyberterrorists from North Korea. Well, it was not the USA, but SONY that chickened out, and I guess their headquarters near Tokyo Station were afraid that Kim Jung-un would lob a missile on their building. But keep in mind that SONY capitulated mostly because American theaters and movie chains first decided to cancel and the company had few options. By the way, to let the barf out of the bag, as you might never get to see this production, Kim is killed in the film, and here is the video clip showing this all...and only maybe, because this raucous has continued to censor these video clips. Katy Perry's Firework provide background sounds.
It's a shame, for the film would have made $200 million this Christmas Week if shown. Rotten Tomatoes revealed an understandable anomaly: reviewers - 50% and audiences = 96%. I'm disappointed.