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Notes from the Back Row

Bosses horrible



For years I've been pretty hard on the Village 8 for not having a 3D projector but it turns out Whistler's lack of 3D might also mean we are seeing our films in better quality than other places.

There's been a bit of controversy - apparently theatre owners and projectionists have been cutting corners and projecting on the cheap, lowering the luminance to extend the lives of their bulbs. (The 3D bulbs apparently cost twice as much as regular ones, and burn out twice as fast.)

Many people have complained that the 3D films look "too dark" and apparently Michael Bay recently sent a note to all 3D theatres imploring them to screen Transformers 3 with the projection specifications he included.

But the story doesn't end there. Apparently some theatres are also running their 2D movies through the 3D projectors because swapping out a 3D projector is a lot of work and usually requires an expensive technician - but 3D projectors distort the image on 2D flicks. So we can all thank the Village 8 for at least projecting our films properly and at the best quality possible.

(Here's a tip - if you are watching a 2D movie somewhere else and it looks like crap, turn around. If you see two beams of light coming from the projection booth it means they are using the 3D system and screwing with the way the film should look. Ask for your money back plus a free pass. Maybe some free popcorn too.)

Of course, film projection is a real art form. Both Hitler and Joseph Stalin were huge movie buffs with private theaters and personal projectionists sweating bullets to make sure they didn't screw up. The Inside Circle is a 1991 Russian film about a bright young projectionist who gets the gig working for Stalin only to realize that any mistake, even one botched reel swap-over, would mean certain death. Stalin, it seems, was a horrible boss.

And so, apparently, is Jennifer Anniston, who plays a sexed-up dentist continually harassing her sissy male hygienist in Horrible Bosses , opening (in beautiful 2D) this week at the Village 8.

Three losers (Charlie Day, Jason Sudekis and Jason Bateman) decide that in these tough economic times the only way to further their careers is to kill their bosses (played by Aniston, Colin Farrell and Kevin Spacey.) Of course, things go horribly awry.

Horrible Bosses d irector Seth Gordon made King Of Kong , one of the best documentaries of recent years, but he's also responsible for the Reese Witherspoon/Vince Vaughn crapheap Four Christmases so this one could go either way. (Hint: it goes bad.)

Unlike Office Space , a classic comedy about the emasculation of the working man, Horrible Bosses gives us characters who are such pussies it defeats the premise. We don't care for these guys and don't feel they deserve success. The film is mostly montages and rape jokes but other than a few bits of humour and good-girl Jen Aniston talking slutty, Horrible Bosses is a horrible misfire, a squandered chance at doing something funny with a better-than-decent cast. Stupid R-rated humour can be awesome, so long as it isn't too stupid.

Zookeeper also opens this Friday and to call it stupid would be high praise. Kevin James, who sucks yet continues to get work, stars as a zookeeper who has a hard time with the ladies. To help him out, all the zoo animals suddenly reveal their secret (they can talk!) and vow to help him get a lady using their animal-style mating advice. It's a PG-rated kids movie with trash-talking animals trying to help a loser get some pussy. So beyond stupid, you could say this movie sucks asinine.