Thursday, April 9, 2015

Poll: How Many Times Will You Go to the Movies This Year?

Posted By on Thu, Apr 9, 2015 at 6:52 PM

Are you a diehard moviegoer? Do you get angry when the Academy picks the wrong best picture at the Oscars? Or do you prefer to catch movies when they come out on Netflix? We're interested in your moviegoing habits—please participate in our poll!
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Mr. Cope's Cave: Oscar Buzz Kill

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 1:30 PM

I don't suppose you're going to be watching the Oscars.

Well isn't that a coincidence. I, too, don't suppose I'm going to be watching the Oscars.

I suppose you think they're sort of... sort of...

Is "phony" the word you're searching for?

Yeah, that's it. I suppose you think they're sort of phony.

Au contraire. I've never thought the Oscars were phony. Insubstantial, yes. Irrelevant, yes. Inconsequential, yes. Meaningless, yes. Reflective of our society's sad delusions of having a personal stake in what's considered "The Best" of any entertainment genre... movies, actors, songs, albums, television shows, Broadway plays, off-Broadway plays, country-western tunes, sports teams, NASCAR drivers, TV commercials, whatever... none of which matters in the long run because whether it's declared "The Best" or "The Other Junk" has virtually no consequence in terms of whether millions of people are going to enjoy it anyway... yes. But not phony. To be phony, the Oscars would have to have little or no relationship to the way the world really is. And whether I like it or not, the world really is obsessed with watching rich, beautiful men and women parade themselves across the stage of our collective conscience like overly-bred poodles and Pomeranians at Westminster, and the rich, beautiful men and women seem to see nothing weird about that. So no, "phony" isn't the word I would use to describe the Oscars. "Bullshit," yes. But not "phony."

Goodness, Mr. Cope. You must be the funnest guy in Meridian to hang out with.

Totally. In fact, I've been nominated twice for the "Funnest Guy in Meridian to Hang Out With" title.

I don't believe you. You just made that up.

Oops! Caught me.
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence Says '50 Shades of Grey' Permits Rape Culture

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 4:47 PM

Fifty Shades of Grey is popular at the box office, but not so popular with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. - FIFTY SHADES OF GREY
  • Fifty Shades of Grey
  • Fifty Shades of Grey is popular at the box office, but not so popular with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

Over the Valentine's Day weekend, Fifty Shades of Grey earned $81,670,400 at the box office, with a record-setting $30 million opening on Feb. 13, making it the highest-grossing Presidents Day weekend release of all time. It's the second-biggest February weekend opener ever after 2004's Passion of the Christ. 

Not everyone is so excited about the hot-and-heavy very R-rated storyline though. Kelly Miller is the executive director of the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, and though she hasn't seen the movie yet, she's not happy with some of the messages it's propagating.

"There are elements of power, coercion and control," Miller said. "The movie celebrates female inequality, abuse of power and coercion."

Miller said a lot of that comes from the age and power discrepancies between the main characters, Christian Grey (played by Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson). Steele is a recent college graduate, while Grey is a billionaire and in a position of power in his job. 

Miller said the struggle for power and control is prevalent in other areas of the movie. She said the E.L. James novel has elements of humiliation, battery, control and degradation.

"These are not things you would see in a healthy relationship," she said. "It also sends a message that this is what women really want, that saying 'no' really means saying 'yes.' That's permitting a rape culture."

She said that's a complicated message to send in a time of "rape culture" on university campuses. It's an especially prevalent topic as author Jon Krakauer prepares to release Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town April 21, which explores the U.S. Justice Department's investigation of more than 80 rapes reported on the campus of the University of Montana in Missoula over the span of three years.

Miller said consent isn't black and white, and bringing in age discrepancies and pressures found in Fifty Shades can cast powerful messages into society. Any time a movie, book, or video game objectifies women, it's a "step backwards for society," she said, and pointed out that what happens in Fifty Shades' plot is wildly different from a healthy sexual relationship in which two partners consent to exploring BDSM. 

A few lines from the book illustrate Miller's concerns. In one scene, Grey arranges for Steele to get a birth control shot. When she asks why, he responds, "because I hate condoms." When she tells him, "It's my body," he tells her, "It's mine, too."

Or another line from the book: "He's said such loving things today ... But how long will he want to do this without wanting to beat the crap out of me?"

Or the part where he tries to make her sign a contract of sexual submissiveness.

"Gender violence disproportionately effects girls and women," Miller said. "This doesn't happen in isolation, it happens because we have a culture for it and in the context of this movie, they are celebrating and legitimizing sexual violence. They're selling it as a Valentine's Day story." 
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Friday, December 26, 2014

'The Interview' Google Play, YouTube's Most Popular (Pay) Video

Posted By on Fri, Dec 26, 2014 at 10:29 AM

The Interview
, the Seth Rogen and James Franco vehicle about two American celebrities sent to North Korea to assassinate its leader, Kim Jong-Un, is now the most popular pay-to-play on Google Play and YouTube, The Verge reports.

The film originally was slated for a mass-marked, Christmas Day release, until Sony Pictures Entertainment, which produced The Interview, was hacked Nov. 24 by a group, Guardians of Peace, that has ties to North Korea, demanding that the film be shelved. Sony initially acceded to GoP's demands, but ultimately released it Dec. 25 in 331 small and independent theaters, including the Village Cinema in Meridian, as well as on pay-to-play sites like Google Play and YouTube.

According to The Verge, The Interview is thought to have raked in $1 million in ticket stubs—well below the top earners Unbroken ($15.6 million), Into the Woods ($13.6 million) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ($12.7 million). 

The Interview's online earnings were likely hurt by piracy, as YouTube users who paid $5.99 to see the film on their computers for two days could copy and paste its URL to share it with friends. Variety reports that it has been downloaded by approximately 900,000 torrent users around the world.
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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The New York Times: Nine Couples, Nine Kisses

Posted By on Tue, Dec 16, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Yeah, we'd kiss that. - PHOTO BY GEORGE PRENTICE
  • photo by George Prentice
  • Yeah, we'd kiss that.
For the Dec. 14 edition of The New York Times Magazine, photographer and director Elaine Constantine asked 18 of this year's biggest movie stars to pair off and smooch. Each couple was put in a specific situation with a bit of direction, and the resulting short films are magical—the chemistry between Benedict Cumberbatch and Reese Witherspoon is particularly electric.

Click here to watch the short films, here to see photos Constantine took of the stars, and here to read an article by journalist-film critic A.O. Scott about the history of kissing in cinema.

Wait! There's more... then check out the Dec. 17 edition of Boise Weekly, where our own journalist-film critic extraordinaire, George Prentice, takes a look at Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game and Witherspoon in Wild.
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Monday, August 18, 2014

Need Something To Do Monday?

Posted By on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Saint Lawrence Gridiron is the home of tasty grub and occasionally free outdoor movies. This time, they're showing Dead Poets Society, a tribute no doubt to the recently deceased actor/comedy legend Robin Williams. 

Gather your friends and head over late in the evening as the movie will begin around 9:30 p.m. There is no fee for the screening, but if you have any common decency you'll probably order something off the menu since you're taking up their patio space. 

FREE. 9:30 p.m. Saint Lawrence Gridiron, 705 W. Bannock St., Boise, 208-830-7030,

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Friday, August 1, 2014

Need Something To Do Friday?

Posted By on Fri, Aug 1, 2014 at 4:35 PM

Did you miss out on seeing Despicable Me 2 in the theater? Were you afraid to go because you thought it'd be a waste of money?

No matter, now you can watch it for free, outside, on the big screen. Head to Optimist Park in Nampa and bring anyone you want because there's no charge. Unless you like sitting on the grass, this one is BYOB (bring your own blanket). 

9 p.m. FREE. Optimist Park, 16680 11th Ave. N., Nampa, 208-461-0823,
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Need Something To Do Thursday?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM

The Coen Brothers ubiquitous film The Big Lebowski has a rabid and loyal fan base. There is an actual Lebowski Fest dedicated to fans of the movie and its character's philosophies. Of course, this probably isn't news to you, as even non-fans likely have heard about, if not seen, the revelry. 

If you're a first-timer or just love it and want to watch again, Boise Classic Movies is showing it tonight at the Egyptian Theatre. Abide, dude. 

7 p.m. $11. Egyptian Theatre, 700 W. Main St., Boise, 208-345-0454,
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Friday, July 11, 2014

Need Something To Do Friday?

Posted By on Fri, Jul 11, 2014 at 2:23 PM

Sure, you can go to the theater and watch a movie in the cool, refreshing air. But why do that when you can brave the summer heat and watch one outside?

Idaho Botanical Garden invites you for a special screening of the Coen Brothers classic O Brother, Where Art Though? tonight as part of the Movies in the Garden series. You could drag your television or laptop outside and have a movie night of your own, but it won't be as beautiful or fun.

7 p.m. FREE-$7. Idaho Botanical Garden, 2355 Old Penitentiary Rd., Boise, 208-343-8649, 
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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Need Something To Do Thursday?

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 9:48 AM

In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Concordia School of Law's Public Interest organization and ACLU of Idaho are teaming up to present a special screening of the PBS documentary Spies of Mississippi

The film is centered on African Americans employed by the state government to spy on their own communities, and is essential viewing for anyone who desires a deeper understanding of the civil rights movement. The Flicks is hosting the event and it is free to the public.

7 p.m. FREE. The Flicks, 646 Fulton St., Boise, 208-342-4222,
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