A Movie-Watching Experience

Alamo Drafthouse, Lakeline

Alamo Drafthouse, Lakeline

I’ve never been all that fond of watching movies in the theater.  They’re crowded and loud.  If I have to go to the bathroom, I can’t pause it.  And worst of all, there are people disrupting the movie.  Now, at home, I’m the annoying person who talks all through the movie, points out things that are implausible, predicts what’s going to happen next, or yells at the stupid woman who opens the door to see why there’s a creepy noise outside when she knows there’s a murderer on the loose.  But that’s at home.  And my husband shouldn’t have married me if he didn’t want to put up with it.

But in the theater, there are strangers.  They didn’t sign on for a life sentence with me.  So I’m quiet and polite, and I prefer if others are too.  Sometimes they are, and sometimes they aren’t.  I’ll never forgive the parent who brought their small children to a midnight showing of the Omen (Yes, true story), and the kid was playing a gameboy or something and laughed when the guy got hanged, dispelling any tension the movie may have had.  Grr.

At the Alamo Drafthouse, they have rules.  Strict rules.  Including: don’t take your cell phone out for any reason once the movie has started.  If you talk, you get warned, and then thrown out.  If you’re thrown out, you won’t be welcome back.  Kids are welcome only at certain movie showings.  They have other movies that are sing-alongs or quote-alongs.  Batman (1987) is one such movie that’s coming up there.  Who doesn’t feel compelled to say “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” at the appropriate time?

We went to see Gone Girl there last night, and the movie was pretty good, but what I enjoyed more was the experience.  The pre-show is movie specific, and they had old clips from Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Wells of “other gone girls.”  It was a lot of fun, not like those generic pre-shows that play at Harkins or AMC Theaters.  We ordered food, and not only did they have vegetarian options (like a veggie burger), but the food was really, really good.  The popcorn and drinks were bottomless, served in real dishes, and the popcorn had real butter.  I had a great time because of the whole experience, and the husband and I have never gone to many theater movies (maybe 2-3 a year), but I have a feeling we’ll be going to this one a lot.

On a not completely unrelated note, I’ve started #100daysofhappy.  If you don’t know what this is, check out the link.  It’s a challenge to be happy about something for 100 days in a row and share a picture of something that makes you happy.  Why not, right?  I shared the above picture for mine.  Follow me on Twitter, and you can follow my 100 Days of Happy journey.

Star Trek: Into Darkness

imagesThis was an awesome movie, even if you’re not a Star Trek fan.  It’s probably going to be going to limited run or leaving theaters altogether soon, so if you have a chance to see it, especially in 3D, go now.

I saw it on Sunday night, and we didn’t have much of a crowd in the theater.  In some of the emotional, quieter scenes, you could have heard a pin drop in the theater.  The writing is phenomenal, and drew me into the story.  It’s an action movie with well developed characters I really care about.  The relationship between Kirk and Spock is really something special.  In the original show, the relationship is much less volatile, but it’s also a paler version of this relationship.  In this universe, the men argue, and this Kirk is much angrier than the original, but it’s also clear that they bring out the best in one another.

I’m not going to give any spoilers about the movie.  I’m sure there are about a million online if you want to know what the story is really about.  Forget the sci-fi aspect if you’re not into the genre.  This is first and foremost an action movie with great characters, not those pale cardboard cut-outs all too common to movie nowadays.

The Chernobyl Diaries- A Review

images-1I love horror movies, and sometimes, the worse they are, the better.  I love campy, cheesy, ridiculous horror.  I also love real horror, the kind that makes me shiver and makes it hard to go to sleep.

The Chernobyl Diaries was neither.

It had such potential.  The idea is great.  A group of five young people want to go exploring in Russia, and an “extreme tour guide” offers to take them to Pripyat, the city abandoned by the people who worked at Chernobyl.  The town is set up with all the right creep factor: a broken down Ferris Wheel, abandoned apartments, broken pictures.

As they’re about to leave town for the night, the car won’t start, and they find that the wires to some car part have been chewed.  So now, the six of them are stuck in an old van in a dark, abandoned town, surrounded by something.

It’s got all the right elements, right?

It just fell flat.  I can’t say why I didn’t like it or what would have made it better.  I just know that I was ready to turn it off about a half hour before the end of the movie, and it wasn’t a long movie.  One thing I definitely didn’t like was that it was filmed using the “shaky camera method,” but none of the group were filming it.  The shaky camera was for what?  Effect?  It was pointless in context, and did nothing to add to the movie.

Even if you’re a horror fan, I probably wouldn’t bother seeing this one, not even for free.