Jack Goes Confidential: Dim Projection at ‘RIO’ Screening Mars Movie Experience

A full page ad for RIO in last Sunday’s New York Times was headed by a massive critic’s quote about it being "The biggest and BRIGHTEST animated triumph since TOY STORY 3."

The quote attributed to Boxoffice Magazine’s Pete Hammond.
 
Had Mr. Hammond attended our K.C. screening of the movie last Saturday he might’ve been a bit less enthusiastic. And he may have found a different descriptive word for ‘brightest’—like DIMMEST!
 
RIO was screened for critics with an invited family audience at AMC STUDIO 30 in Olathe—Auditorium # 24.

To say the picture on the screen was far from being bright would be an understatement.
 
And that was BEFORE I put on the 3-D glasses!
 
Once they were on my face—Oh my God—-I’ve seen brighter images on 2nd generation, 8mm stag reels!

I point this poor presentation out for a single reason. When you’re expected to pay a 3-D up charge for a movie like RIO, you should reasonably expect big, bright visuals like we got with TOY STORY 3. Even though in my opinion RIO is not on a par with last year’s Pixar smash.
 
Was it AMC’s projection problem or a digital delivery flaw?

Either way there’s no excuse and I would hope YOU complain to theater management whenever experiencing as poor a presentation as I did Saturday.
 
So how about the movie itself?

 
RIO packs plenty of fun into its relatively short 96 minute running time—even though it seemed longer. Probably because the picture slows down a bit about halfway into the comedy-adventure before revitalizing itself for an all-out Carnival style ending.
 
This is the story of a rare, domesticated, non-flying male macaw bird named Blu in Minnesota, whose owner takes him to Brazil to find his high-flying female counterpart Jewel. To uh,  further the species. What they get instead are poachers, kidnappers and bungling animal smugglers that make the animated feathers fly.
 
Bouncy musical score. Excellent 3-dimensional imagery. And a menagerie of top notch voice talent like Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Jane Lynch and Jamie Foxx.

When properly lit RIO is a fun, G-rated family comedy-adventure for all ages – I would imagine.
 
Translation: Parents won’t be bored to sleep when taking the little ones to see it.
 
It’s RIO from the creators of the ICE AGE franchise.

Should make for a guaranteed hit at the boxoffice, and I’m raising 3-1/2 out of 5 tropical fingers.

 
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES Friday mornings on KMBZ AM FM and on RADIO BACH, Kansas City’s HD Classical Station. Also Friday afternoons with Tanna on the new 99.7-THE POINT.

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12 Responses to Jack Goes Confidential: Dim Projection at ‘RIO’ Screening Mars Movie Experience

  1. Super Daves says:

    Umm Jack?
    To say the picture on the screen was far from being bright would be an understatement
    And that was BEFORE I put on the 3-D glasses!
    Once they were on my face—Oh my God—-I’ve seen brighter images on 2nd generation, 8mm stag reels!

    Ok you lost me here Jack. You say 3.5 fingers after you have said the above about it. Would you have said the same if you had not read another critic’s opinions of it?

    Maybe AMC here in KC has crap projectors and people will see a movie only to be upset after you and some others rave about how good it is.

    I do believe you should have confronted the manager at the theater as you so say we should do and ask what the issue was so you could let us have a true explanation of what we might see.

    I have no desire to see this picture or advise anyone else to at this point if the quality isn’t there.

  2. Hearne Christopher says:

    Jack is out of commish for a couple hours, but having attended screenings where the projectors were messed up, I think he tried to look past the poor projection and rate the movie on content.

    As for what moviegoers might expect, generally when an exhibitor has a projection problem it is attended to to fairly quickly. Unfortunately that doesn’t always include the screening the problem debuts in

  3. jack p. says:

    Complaints
    Yes I was upset about seeing the movie under those dim conditions but slept on it before writing the review with the complaint.
    I’ve mentioned the problem to AMC managers on duty before to little satisfaction.
    Bob Butler in one of his recent KC STAR reviews complained about the same problem at AMC 20, Leawood.
    I think it’s a disservice to moviegoers when theatre staffs apparently aren’t trained well enough to distinguish between a good and a poor presentation.

    Your thoughts?

  4. Super Dave says:

    My Thoughts
    If Hollywood sets the standards for how a picture is to be shown then the theatre should do just that.

    To me stuff like that makes your job a hard one. I mean how can you say something is good if it isn’t?

    Maybe a phone call to AMC higher ups is in order.

    Then again maybe nobody cares any more.

    I have heard other complaints about AMC and my last visit to them wasn’t a good one either.

  5. j-mac says:

    Dim Theater Bulbs – MAJOR Pet Peeve of Mine
    Large chains use dimmer bulbs to save money. “Using less powerful bulbs cuts costs. The bulbs, long xenon arc lamps, aren

  6. j-mac says:

    dimmest theaters ive been to
    Cinemark Merriam
    AMC 30 Olathe (IMAX is awesome though)
    Great Mall 16 (Dickinson Theater)

    and the *WORST* and probably most overall poorly-run theater:
    Westglen 18. (Another Dickinson theater that once was a little jewel in Shawnee)

  7. j-mac says:

    Best-Projected Theater IMO
    Phoenix Theaters Legends. Comfortable seats too, good sound, just an overall good experience

    1st Runner Up: Palazzo 16. Surprisingly another Dickinson property, but its their flagship property.

  8. j-mac says:

    dimmest theaters ive been to
    Cinemark Merriam
    AMC 30 Olathe (IMAX is awesome though)
    Great Mall 16 (Dickinson Theater)

    and the *WORST* and probably most overall poorly-run theater:
    Westglen 18. (Another Dickinson theater that once was a little jewel in Shawnee)

  9. Super Dave says:

    On the flip side of this
    I remember back in the day when you took Miss Loose Sweater to the movie at say the Dickenson in Mission or the Aztec in Shawnee or the Overland Theater. We liked dark movies back then for the simple reason it made what we and Miss Loose Sweater was really doing unnoticeable.

    But now many years past those years of X rated theater viewing we now go to see the feature itself. So with the prices they charge I want to see the film as it was meant to be viewed then take Miss Loose Sweater home for some X rated fun.

    So if theater owners really are lets say ripping us off then shame on them.

    But I do believe I have a solution to the problem. I will just not spend my money with them anymore and ignore their pleas about nobody going to the theaters anymore.

    Sorry to hit at your liveley hood this way Jack, but I hate to pay for inferior product or services.

  10. jack p. says:

    Did You-did you—You did, didn’t you…..
    …Bet you also practiced with the bottomless popcorn box at the old Aztec theatre in Shawnee.

    Only problem I ever found with that true and tried trick is when she wanted to salt the popcorn—-Ouch,

  11. craig glazer says:

    Wow lots of movie comments, love it!
    Good one Jack, I’m going to see this because of your story. Love the idea. Tracy Morgan, whose voice is in this show, was a regular comic at Stanfords in the 90’s Westport. Good guy, crazy,,,,that was his line “thats craaazy”…Jack lets you me and Hearne get a cold one in a week or two.

  12. Super Dave says:

    Good Ole Days
    See I knew Jack would know what I was talking about.

    Heck he may have even been a few rows behind or over in the other corner with Miss Likes Her Popcorn Salty on some nights.

    Some really strange good times was had at the ole Aztec theater.

    To bad todays kids can’t experence the real joy in going to the theater as it was back in those days.

    I do hear the RIO is as close as you can get to the old days if you like Indie films. Remember the days Jack when a film was so good on Friday night you went back on Saturday night to see it again?

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