Earlier this week I saw a preview showing of Disney’s Aladdin, the live action version of the 1992 animated version. Will Smith replaces Robin Williams as the blue-skinned Genie, providing not only the voice but also the physical presence on the big screen. I had my doubts on whether he could pull that off. Robin Williams was a legendary comedian and the Genie was one of his most iconic roles. Never mind that I’ve never seen the animated version of Disney’s Aladdin.Read more “Disney’s Aladdin (2019) Movie Review”
A survey question by Civic Science found that 56% of Americans are against teaching Arabic numerals to kids. What are Arabic numerals? Zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine. The everyday numbers that schools have taught kids in the West for the last 800 years. Snopes weighed in with a “true” rating, noting that the survey was like another viral survey question from December 2015. Public Policy Polling found that 41% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats were in favor of bombing “Agrabah,” the fictional city of Disney’s Aladdin. I very much doubt that Will Smith will be singing “bomb, bomb, bomb, Agrabah,” in the live action version of Disney’s Aladdin at the movie theaters this week. What does the survey questions about Arabic numerals and Aladdin reveal about Americans?Read more “What 56% Of Americans Don’t Know About Arabic Numerals”
A new trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home dropped this week, prefaced with an Avengers Endgame spoiler warning from Tom Holland. If you haven’t seen Endgame after it made over $2.5 billion at the box office, don’t watch the new trailer or continue reading. After the first trailer dropped three months ago, I made a video speculating who would make a better father figure to a young Peter Park, Tony Stark or Nick Fury. With Captain Marvel and Avengers Endgame behind us, and Far From Home coming out on July 5, 2019, let see how well my speculations held up.
My most glaring error was that Peter Parker was already on his school field trip in Europe when he ditched the school bus to join Tony Stark at the beginning of Avengers: Infinity War. I speculated that the timeline would reset in Endgame and Far From Home would resume with him ditching the school bus to join Nick Fury instead. The school field trip in Infinity War was to the Modern Museum of Arts in New York City. The school field trip in Far From Home was to Europe during summer vacation.
Because the timeline was not reset in Endgame, Far From Home will take place six years after Spider-Man: Homecoming. Endgame starts three weeks after Thanos snapped his fingers to eliminated one-half of all life in the universe at the end of Infinity War.
Captain Marvel shows up, rescues Tony Stark and Nebula in space, and takes the Avengers to the planet Titan, where they discover that Thanos used the Infinity Stones to destroy the Infinity Stones. If she used her superhero powers to reset the timeline all by herself, Endgame would have been a much shorter movie and spared my bladder from three hours of trauma.
Yes, Captain Marvel is that powerful.
Endgame skips ahead five years to when Antman gets out of the quantum realm, finds the Avengers, and convince them go on a cosmic treasure hunt to collect the Infinity Stones from parallel timelines since the past cannot change. Add another six months for Fat Thor to sober up, Tony Stark to build his time machine, and the rest of the universe returns from being snapped out of existence.
Peter Parker’s class, if not his entire high school and everyone in New York City, returns as if the timeline was reset. The population at large should be split between those who returned unchanged and those who stayed behind for six years. Maybe Thanos was a Republican who snap the Blue States like New York out of existence while leaving behind the Red States.
With Tony Stark dead at the end of Endgame, Nick Fury has no choice but to assume the father figure role for Peter Parker. Based on the new trailer, I no longer think that is the case. Nick Fury will put a boot up Peter Parker’s wazoo to get him to become Spider-Man. Happy, who was too friendly with Aunt May in the last trailer, will become the father figure that Peter Parker need to help get over mourning for Tony Stark.
An alternative theory is that Nick Fury is MJ’s baby daddy. Considering that Peter Parker’s last girlfriend’s father was the super villain Vulture, his next girlfriend having a superhero father wouldn’t be that far fetch. Nick Fury as Peter Parker’s father-in-law might be a boot too many up the wazoo.
I wasn’t planning to see Avengers Endgame during opening weekend since tickets were sold out two weeks in advance at many movie theaters in Silicon Valley. While AMC Theaters added more showings around the clock, I wasn’t going to see a sold out showing on Saturday at 4:30AM. A group of friends were seeing the movie at Pruneyard Cinemas in Campbell on Sunday at 6:00PM. One of them dropped out at the last minute and they asked me to join them. This was my first visit to Pruneyard Cinemas, a dine-in movie theater and restaurant that opened over a year ago.
Pruneyard Cinemas occupies the former locations for Pizza My Heart, Camera 7 movie theater, and a bar-and-grill restaurant. When entering the theater lobby, the kitchen doors and ticket kiosks are to the left, and the entrance to the restaurant is to the right. What was Pizza My Heart became the kitchen for the new establishment, and the old box office for Camera 7 became a storage room for the kitchen. The new restaurant is the Cedar Room with a bar along one wall and tables on the other side.
The layout of the theaters was no different than it was under Camera 7 for 15 years and United Artists for 43 years: Theaters 1 and 2 to the right, women and disabled restrooms straight ahead, Theaters 3 through 7 around the corner, men restroom up the stairs, and concession stand to the left. One notable change was the removal of the drop ceiling to reveal the wooden beams of the gable roof and open up the space overhead.
While food and drinks are available at the concession stand and bar, most people wait until they sat down inside the theater to order. The 6:00PM showing of Avengers Endgame was in Theater 2, the second of the two largest theaters. We were let into the theater 20 minutes before the movie started. Being a traditional movie theater, it was long and narrow. Each row had powered recliners with an attached table and cup holder that can swing inward. Unlike the powered recliners in a Dolby theater, these powered recliners can go all the way horizontal, if you like watching a movie between your feet or the first half of Avengers Endgame puts you asleep.
Waiters dressed in all black went down each row to take orders. I can’t say anything about the food since I don’t eat out at the movies and I’m not much of a foodie, but I did order a glass of Coke and a glass of water. My friends did order food and each one got a big plate, which smelled very good from where I was sitting, and they all reassured me that it was great. Most of the food arrived before the house lights dimmed for the trailers. If you’re into watching the trailers before the movie, you might find it distracting with waiters and busboys delivering food until the movie started.
Because this is a traditional movie theater, the screen was darker than the bright Dolby and IMAX screens. Our reserved seating was in the back center, which, in my opinion, was too far away from the screen for me to enjoy the movie. I felt like I was watching Avengers Endgame from the backseat of a car at a drive-in rather than at a dine-in. Food and ticket prices for the Pruneyard Cinemas is in line with other theaters in Silicon Valley, making it an reasonable alternative if you want to eat something better than plain old concession stand food.