Rose from Titanic, Kate Winslet, Teaches How To Wash Our Hands

Titanic ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½

How often do we get a chance to learn how to wash our hands from someone who was aboard the Titanic? Ok, well, she was an actress that played someone aboard that fateful ship, but it’s about as close as we’re going to get in 2020, because anybody and everybody that was on that boat has passed on.

Seriously, this how to is good stuff. Watch it, live it, do it. Recommended.

Thank you, Rose, er, Kate. Much appreciated. Seriously, no snark whatsoever. This is a very useful video.

Lionsgate, Fandango, YouTube, NATO Streaming Free Movie Fridays To Help Furloughed Cinema Employees

Lionsgate Live at YouTube the next four Fridays will be offering live watch-along movies

Lionsgate Live! at YouTube (subscribed!) starts this Friday. A free movie event sponsored by Lionsgate, Fandango, YouTube & NATO (National Association of Theater Owners):

The schedule of Lionsgate Live movies, which will stream on Fridays at 6:00pm PT (GMT-8)/9:00pm ET are:

April 17 – The Hunger Games
April 24 – Dirty Dancing
May 1 – La La Land
May 8 – John Wick (age registration required)

Lionsgate Teams With Fandango, YouTube & NATO To Help Furloughed Cinema Employees With ‘Lionsgate Live!’ – Deadline

Jamie Lee Curtis is hosting these watch-along events which includes live chat, the goal to virtually create the theater social experience. Can you smell the popcorn?

The article provides even more details of fan-interactive activities during the movies:

Each week’s night at the movies will feature special programming and interactive opportunities for fans, like real-time fan chats via YouTube Live, live tweeting @Lionsgate and partners, and shared fan engagement opportunities in-show, including movie trivia, movie-themed challenges, and more.

As reported in the past, I’m a huge fan of watch-alongs and viewing parties, long before the pandemic (see: 2nd Annual Halloween Mystery Movie Event Features 4 Shudder Movies).

SnackNation is selling a Snack Box for $9.99 for delivery — too late for this Friday’s show, but future Fridays

Apparently there is a site online called Popcornopolis in addition to SnackNation (never used either service, so not a recommendation, just sharing the links for your own review) partnering up with Lionsgate for this event. These are not affiliate links — we don’t do that here as of this writing — BTW. Just linking to them as part of the event promotion because it bugs me when news articles mention things but don’t link to them or tell us the details.

I haven’t seen Dirty Dancing in years. La La Land? Only one in list I haven’t seen yet. None of these movies have had reviews yet and I’m usually off work by 6pm PST on Fridays, so this could line up well. Anybody else going?

Any other viewing parties/watch-along events to share? Use the comments below to tell us about it. If you’re going to any of the viewing party events above, please let us know.

Corona – The Already Finished Coronavirus Movie with No Distributor or Release Date

The cliche ‘the early bird gets the worm’ seems very applicable here.

This movie should probably be under a FIRST LOOK, only we haven’t done them for movies that don’t have a distributor and release date. This is more of a finished film, complete with an IMDB page, looking for a home.

The second, and possibly most important, factor that could make Corona stand out in the market is that it truly is the first film covering the hysteria behind COVID-19. That novelty alone will draw people into watching what Mostafa Keshvari’s film has to offer to the world.

There’s Somehow Already A Finished Coronavirus Movie – CINEMABLEND

The movie even has a trailer already:

Corona official trailer

Trailer thoughts:

  • That guy with the swastika tattoo on his head looks like he’s about to snap before he snaps
  • Nobody is practicing safe distancing, they must be forced to be in close quarters — which will only add to the fear and tension
  • “China. That’s where the virus is from …”
  • The acting seems a bit amateurish in the trailer, but maybe it gets better in the actual movie(?)

Corona does not have a distributor or official release date. Maybe one of the many streaming channels will pick this up.

The “Popup” Phenomenon – COVID-19 Stats in Washington State still trending upward with 2,000+ deaths nationwide, 30,000+ globally

The graphics via The Seattle Times shows the primary danger of fatality is age 70+

On the east coast, in the interest of social distancing, there is/has been popup drive-thru coronavirus testing:

At the recommendation of a doctor, those with an appointment can drive up, get swabbed by medical professionals and be on their way back home without the risk of exposing many more health care professionals and the general public than if they were at a hospital. Results are said to take about a day or so to come back.

1st drive-thru coronavirus pop-up testing site continues at Glen Island Park

Haven’t heard about anything like this in Washington State, but it’s a good idea. Our state, unfortunately known as the first state where this appeared in the United Stated, we’re in the midst of a two-week “stay at home” order. My wife and I both work in “essential/critical” jobs, so we are still going to work somewhat normally. I’m taking two days off, which is a little abnormal, considering I usually work six days. That extra day is my extra way of providing additional social distancing.

There is one question on our minds, probably on everybody’s minds that lives in this state (and elsewhere around the world, too):

Is the pandemic near its peak?

With 2,000 nationwide now dead from the disease, 189 in Washington state, we don’t appear to have reached the peak in America, but if we use China that is about 45 days ahead of us in their results, we could be nearing that point.

As the article linked above indicates, about 2/3 of America are in shelter in place or stay at home orders, some 215 million Americans and counting. My wife and I are carrying around copies of emails on our phones which authorize our status as allowed to work, just in case we’re stopped. One of my wife’s co-workers has been stopped and questioned.

The Seattle Times maintains a live updated page containing the COVID-19 statistics for Washington State residents. The top of this blog post shares Friday 3/27 statistics and here are Saturday 3/28:

A 587 jump between 3/27 and 3/28 for confirmed cases and 14 deaths

I’ve been clicking over there once a day to see the changes from day to day and trying to use this as a gauge for when the virus shows signs of receding and more businesses might be able to reopen again.

The [Washington] state Department of Health announced 516 newly confirmed cases Friday, bringing the state total to 3,723 cases, including 175 deaths. The bulk of Washington’s cases remain in King County, which haas seen 1,828 people fall ill and 125 die.

Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, March 28: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation | The Seattle Times

It would seem the jump in people newly tested and affected is rising, not falling or leveling off yet, but remaining hopeful that these times are the worst right now and it will level off and began to recede soon.

While you might not expect this kind of coverage here, this pandemic is affecting nearly everything we regularly do.

It might seem inconsequential or unimportant to mention movies as recreation and entertainment during these times, but this sort of escapism is part of the cure mentally. We need to focus on something other than only the unseen enemy in our midst. Books, movies, TV, the internet, thank goodness we have you!

So, movies, let’s talk.

Movie theaters are shuttered, too, of course, but some pop-up drive-ins are starting to appear.

What are pop-up drive-ins?

Previously, we discussed a resurgence of some drive-in theaters. Unfortunately, in our area the drive-in theaters have delayed opening, due to the shelter in place order in our state.

I wasn’t familiar with what a “pop-up drive-in” experience was, until I started seeing articles like this one: Hundreds Show Up to Pop Up Drive Up Movie Night in Gering

A business at pop-upcinema.com around setting up portable drive-in movie theaters

Googling, I learned that there is a business operating in South Africa which specializes in the popup drive-in experience (pictured above). Instead of a bouncy house, it’s a gigantic screen filled with air. Cars roll into parking lots or other big areas and the screen is displayed for all to watch. The sound is transmitted using Bluetooth, it seems.

Openair.us operates in the United States, selling an 18 foot inflatable screen that weighs 17 pounds!

Some of these pictures do not depict the proper 6′ social distancing, but hey, the screens look cool!

There are various companies who sell popup movie screens if you already have a projector and a huge open space on your property so you could make your own outdoor popup drive-in theater.

Years ago, we had a really bad storm in our area that took out all power for several days. I remember reading by candlelight and cuddling up in heavy blankets to stave off the cold. That reminded me how much we take for granted lights and power. Luckily, we don’t have weather issues piling on, too.

Hopefully, soon we can begin to post signs that the other stuff going on is receding, more people can return to work, businesses can reopen and the economy can begin rebuilding and healing.

I’m going to keep on writing about movies, TV and other entertainment and recreation. Pull up a chair, light a good fire if you have a woodstove or a virtual one and let’s get lost in the wonderful world of imagination.

Drive-Ins In Some Areas Are The Only Way To Watch New Movies Outside of Streaming

The closest drive-in theater to us was supposed to open on March 27 … it is now delayed

Last wrote about drive-in movie theaters in October 2019 (see: Drive-In Movie Theaters), and I just checked the closest drive-in theater to us in Washington State and it would have opened this coming weekend.

Nope.

That drive-in theater has decided to delay their planned March 27 opening date. So, we will not be able to take in any alternate drive-in movie option in our area, at least.

Other moviegoers elsewhere in the United States do have some drive-in theaters to visit. This is what’s making up the bulk of the domestic box office sales as of this writing.

Among Onward‘s top 30-grossing theaters this past weekend, drive-ins repped 25 of them. For Invisible Man, 20 out of its 30 theaters earned money from drive-ins, Call of the Wild‘s saw 15 out of 30, and Bloodshot 14 out of 30. All of Onward‘s top 20 theaters were drive-ins, led by the Glendale 9 in Glendale, AZ with close to $10K. 

Drive-Ins Still Selling Tickets At Box Office Wiped Out By Theater Closures: Coronavirus – Deadline

Do you have any open drive-in theaters near you? Would you go? Would think these experiences would provide decent social distancing — at least for the movie viewing portion, not so much for concessions.

About 5% of China Theaters Reopening

Hey, it might only be 5%, but it’s a start.

State media CGTN reported that 486 theaters were open for business on Friday. On Monday, financial publication Caixin said the number had risen to 507, representing less than 5% of all cinemas in commercial operation prior to the virus outbreak.

China Theaters Begin to Reopen as Coronavirus Threat Recedes – Variety

If we look at the timeline, China closed theaters first, about 45 days ago, so if they are starting to reopen as the virus recedes, then we’re about 45 days out in the United States from seeing the same situation occur here.

Meanwhile, in Washington state where we reside, they just put a two-week order for people in non-essential businesses to stay at home. Both of our regular jobs are considered essential, so this will have no impact on us, but just thought I’d throw that out there.

45 days. It gets better. Theaters reopening anywhere sounds like life starting to return to normal.

Will Social Distancing by Movie Theaters Truly Provide More Protection Against Viral Infection?

Will admit that I kind of laughed when I first learned abut “social distancing” by the movie theaters.

I mean, really, it’s like people going into a frenzy over buying toilet paper and water at the grocery store. They are putting themselves at greater risk by shopping where there are tons of people. The more people you’re around, the greater chance you’ll encounter someone infected, therefore increasing the chance you’ll be infected.

CEO and President Adam Aron said, “With this action, we are facilitating the ‘social distance’ between guests who still want to see movies on a big screen.”

AMC capping ticket sales in effort to prevent spread of COVID-19 | Coronavirus | kctv5.com

Theory is nice, but that’s about it for practicality. If we’re using common sense, anyway.

Come on, if someone coughs into the air somewhere inside the theater … the particles will circulate throughout the theater (we saw this graphically depicted on film in the movie Outbreak, see: Outbreak (1995) Trending on Netflix). What we need is some sort of self-contained suit when we enter the movie theater to truly, fully protected against infection by an infected moviegoer.

Yeah, i know, not practical to have a containment zone, spray, then climb into a suit breathing only air from a tank, but that would be the only way virtually guaranteed not to catch an airborne virus.

(still have risk of hole in suit)

I’m no expert, but putting two seats between each moviegoer to protect against an airborne virus inside a room is like using a broken condom and hoping you’ll have some added protection.

Fresh air and not being in the proximity of anybody who is infected is the only thing that protects us against being infected. When they quarantined all those people on the cruise ship, those who weren’t sick were almost certainly guaranteed to get sick breathing all the same reconstituted air of other infected passengers.

I like the Wynn Casino idea of thermal scanning of anybody entering the casino. Those with an abnormally high body temperature — a known virus symptom — will be discreetly asked to leave. Now, that is protecting other patrons and a smart use of technology.

When we visit movie theaters, even when there was no virus threat (let’s face it, in flu season that has never been a reality), we typically attend during off busy times (besides opening nights of course). Matinees, day time, when traffic is reduced. This does more to protect us from infection than social distancing.

We’re still going to see movies, regardless the risk, because if we catch the virus, we’re both healthy and don’t have any major illnesses. If I was a little older and had some health issues I’d stay home, stay away from people in gathered locations as much as humanly possible. Wouldn’t go shopping (I’d have it delivered and left outside) then when the delivery person is gone, I’d pick it up. I would go into hermit mode, which would be my advice for anybody old and sick. But then I’d give those people the same advice during any flu season. Stay away from others as much as possible.

People die every day for a wide variety of reasons. This particular virus outbreak is being handled with a degree of panic never seen before. Panic will not help anybody. Calm, reasonable response to the situation will. Take a deep breath, the experts will find a vaccine and in a few months — hopefully — this will all be behind us.

Meanwhile, stay vigilant. That’s great advice no matter what is going on the world around us.

10 Movie Releases Pushed Back, Some Simply “TBA” – New Movie Review Rationing

The Outbreak continues … schools closing in the Seattle and surrounding areas for a month

Who else is bummed out by all these new movie releases being pushed back? I know, I know, public safety! I wanted to see these new movies.

Wish they would give us an opportunity to pay and stream them at home somehow. Doesn’t appear like Hollywood wants anything to do with that idea, but I can always dream.

After No Time To Die went from April to November, it was a clear sign more titles would be pushed back. Not that I’m Nostradamus or anything, but I predicted which titles to watch for (Mulan and F9 – but also keep your eyes on Black Widow) and, sure enough, some mentioned have already been pushed back, see: Even James Bond isn’t immune to coronavirus, No Time to Die pushed back to November

Forbes has a list of 10 new movies, including one that was scheduled for next week that I was hugely looking forward to seeing: A Quiet Place Part II.

No Time To Die: Release moved from April 10 to November 25
My Spy: Release moved from March 13 to April 17
Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway: Release moved from April 3 to August 7
A Quiet Place Part II: Release moved from March 18, new release date TBA
Fast Furious: F9: Release moved from May 22, 2020 to April 2, 2021
The Lovebirds: Release moved from April 3, new release date TBA
Blue Story: Release moved from March 20, new release date TBA
Mulan: Release moved from March 27, new release date TBA
The New Mutants: Release moved from April 3, new release date TBA
Antlers: Release moved from April 17, new release date TBA

Hollywood Braces For Coronavirus Slump: The Movie Releases Pushed Back So Far

New Movie Rationing in Progress

Tonight I saw Bloodshot (review pending), but have decided to wait on watching and reviewing the other new movies until next week. I’m on vacation in Las Vegas and it appears right now like no new movies will be widely released next week in theaters — A Quiet Place Part II was scheduled, but as mentioned above, that’s now been pushed back — so we’ll catch up with The Hunt, I Still Believe, Emma and whatever else is out there playing next week.

I’m real curious what the movie theaters are going to be showing. This could provide some serious leg power to existing movies to stay playing in the theaters longer than they normally would because nothing new will be pushing them out.

The theater for a Thursday was spooky empty tonight.

As for opening wide and now playing reviews posts that we do weekly? Have to stay tuned on what happens there. Our coming soon lists are going to be all jacked up now, too, thanks to all these release date changes. If there is any silver lining to this, there should be a lot of new movies in a few months, when all this virus stuff blows over — and hopefully it does.

In the meantime, if this drought of new movies being released continues, I might need to turn to older movies and good TV shows to profile and cover in the meantime.

This virus stuff will sort itself out at some point, but keep seeing more and more movies getting canceled, moved, put on hiatus and “TBA.”

38% of U.S Adults Polled Support Closing Movie Theaters

Empty theaters could soon be a mandated scenario .. if the coronavirus isn’t contained soon

In Washington State, where we reside the governor has just imposed a “no gatherings over 250 people” ban on concerts and sporting events. Casinos remain exempt I guess because, well, they are run on tribal lands. Luckily, no movie theaters should be impacted by this new temporary proclamation.

Still, it feels like we’re headed toward there. Look at how many would support closing movie theaters too.

Around 44% of U.S. adults said they would oppose the temporary shutdown of movie theaters, but around 38% said they would support closures, according to a report from Morning Consult and The Hollywood Reporter. The survey of 2,200 U.S. adults was conducted from March 5-7. 

Hollywood sales threatened as coronavirus pandemic worsens

2,200 people is a very small sample size, but of that many polled 38% support a temporary closure of movie theaters due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We tend to go at times when theaters aren’t completely full, but our favorite movie day is Thursday and more and more people seem to be filling up the theater on opening night. I don’t know what this weekend will be like, attendance-wise, but at least in our area, attendance seems to be increasing, not decrasing.

Of course that could just be that more people want to see the movies coming out than anything to do with the coronavirus.

My feelings are clear to most readers by now: new movies should be streamed at least temporarily. Opening to and playing to limited screenings, because more and more theaters are closed seems counterproductive. See: During China’s Current Theatrical Shutdown Why Not Offer Streaming as Alternative Screening Option?

Before panic sets in, it’s important to remember the vast number of people who are infected are recovering perfectly fine. It’s just like any other cold/flu. Older people with health problems and those with high risk immune systems have the most to worry about.

Kara works at a grocery store chain and people are buying all kinds of groceries. Holing up as if there is an impending nuclear war, buying canned goods, water, hand sanitizer and, some, are buying vodka because they think that can be an alternative sanitizer.

The world isn’t ending, but an increasing number of people seem to be treating it like that’s an inevitable outcome.

During China’s Current Theatrical Shutdown Why Not Offer Streaming as Alternative Screening Option?

The elephant in the world’s room at the moment is the coronavirus. The elephant in the theatrical world is the theatrical window.

Rather than delay indefinitely new movie releases, why not offer people in China the ability to stream movies at home (for a reasonable ticket price)?

I’ve been looking around for others suggesting this and it seems this idea is completely off the table. The more time that goes by that the theaters are closed, why can’t this be explored … at least temporarily?

Obviously, movies aren’t remotely important as protecting human lives, so our thoughts and prayers go out to anybody impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.

We’re now going to see Hollywood getting hurt by China’s current theatrical shutdown, as the likes of Bad Boys For Life and Birds of Prey weren’t betting on a big Chinese payday. Even Dolittle was tracking for a $15 million debut when the coronavirus caused the theaters to shut down over what should have been a $1 billion-plus New Year’s weekend. Video game movies (Warcraft, Rampage, Ready Player One, etc.) have been big in China, and a continued blackout could be even more problematic for (much bigger-budgeted) Mulan and No Time to Die.

Box Office: ‘Sonic’ Races Into Record Books With $68M Debut

Collateral damage of a much lesser concern will be box office performance depending on the Chinese market where many theaters are currently shutdown, but there are other ways to release new movies — streaming — than on the big screen.

Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey⭐️⭐️½ admittedly not the greatest movie (see: 30+ Birds of Prey Reviews – Doctor Robotnik vs. Harley Quinn, “Physical Disadvantages” and Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda), box office sales certainly are being impacted by the current theater closings in China.

Box office stats as of 2/19/2020 — 12 days in — the cash register still very much is ringing

I don’t understand why streaming options won’t at least be considered, given if a lot more time goes on without a vaccine being available. Yes, I realize this movie industry protects the theatrical window from streaming for 90 days or so because they believe that once that is violated, the movie theater industry will crumble.

Streaming at Home vs. The Movie Theater Experience

I don’t think it’s quite that dramatic at this point for a few simple reasons:

  1. Most people don’t have in-home theater quality TV and surround sound speaker setups
  2. Most people don’t have a bunch of people to join them as they watch a movie on the big screen. There is a social element to watching movies in the theater that is difficult to view in a smaller room and/or alone
  3. Popcorn. Sorry, microwave popcorn is not the same. Yes, you can emulate the movie theater popcorn setup affordably, but most people won’t and don’t have this available.
  4. Date night outside the home. If you want to have date night at home, you can do that any night of the week, but it’s nice to leave home and do something fun with your spouse/significant other/friends away from your home.

Sure, all of these items except the last can be replicated with an in-home system and you don’t have to be Bill Gates or Jeff Bezos. On top of that, you can invite only those who don’t interrupt the movies at home. You can also pause the movies, eat whatever food you want and show movies whenever you want. There are many advantages to watching movies at home versus the theater, but I don’t think enough people have movie theater quality rooms in their homes.

Funny aside: 20 years ago we added a movie room to our home. I wired the walls with high quality sound in preparation for the ultimate surround sound system. For a few years we had the system and I watched movies in there, but it never really felt like the movie theater. I didn’t go the extra mile for the movie theater popcorn, but came about as close as possible 20 years ago to having this room of dreams. I’ve been a cutting edge tech guy in the past.

So, if you have someone like me who could have a room like this and doesn’t prioritize it over a movie theater, my guess is there are many lesser-tech folks who would rather just go out to, for no better reason than, go out.

Re-releasing the New Releases in Theaters

Maybe some of these movies can be re-released in theaters. Again, this is all a lesser concern to finding a cure and making sure human beings wherever they are in the world are protected from harm from this virus.

Informative Articles about Coronavirus

Admittedly, this is going outside the scope of this blog, but a wise person stays informed. I’ve collected some articles to learn more about coronavirus:

Let’s hope that a vaccine is created soon and this outbreak is thoroughly contained. Regardless if it’s happening in America or abroad, viruses that infect any human being anywhere are a concern that we all should agree upon working together to contain and eliminate.