I am back home in Ann Arbor writing this. I have enjoyed the weekend—it’s great getting in some time with my family, however much they may annoy me at times. I don’t know if you have this problem, but I get the impression they don’t want to leave the house much. The most we do is a meal out in a restaurant. I keep bringing up the movies, which only elicits yawns. My mom still remembers the horror of having to watch Schwarzenegger in Eraser (1996), my first R-Rated movie. Whenever we bring that up my mom makes a face and asks, “Is that the one where Arnold falls out of a glass ceiling and then he shoots a man in the face?” I can’t deny this happened, because I don’t really remember what happened in that movie, but I don’t think that’s important—it’s the movie-going experience that I enjoy.
Let me explain. Here are some things I like about going to the movies, reasons for me to never make Netflix the only option.
1. The Energy. There’s nothing like going to see a buzzed about movie on its opening night. Whether it’s the lines to get in, the patient, expectant looks on the faces of the audience during the previews, the laughter during the comic bits, where else are this many people excited?
2. The fanfare. This may just be my obsession, but I especially love the first thirty seconds of any movie. The more elaborate the studio icon at the beginning of the reel, the more I enjoy the movie. I especially love the “THX” introduction.
Older studio logos are the best. Can you beat RKO for excitement?
But B-lot studios always have the best. Here’s one from American International Pictures’ Attack of the Puppet People:
3. Something to talk about. I’m not a big weather talker. I get uncomfortable talking about myself. But I can talk for minutes about a new movie. Doesn’t matter whether I like it or not, my amateur knowledge of film and my always developing taste can lead me through any discussion. In fact, I like talking to people more if they can talk about movies with any fluency. If I am not a sports person, then at least I am a movies person—and proud.
4. The big screen. I don’t have a TV, I have a laptop. When I want to see something in higher resolution, I go to the movies. Until I started editing my own stuff, I didn’t even think about the difference, but it makes sense now. I’d rather watch a well-mastered film on a thirty-foot screen than a pixilated feed off Netflix, anyway.
5. Supporting a local business. I am lucky enough to live near some great indie cinemas (see this post of some of my favorite in LA), and many of them are practically empty on a Tuesday or Wednesday night. If I don’t go, who will, and where else will these films be shown?
6. The popcorn. Who can resist these guys?