Living, Loving the Movies

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?

8 responses to “Living, Loving the Movies

  1. I think the “experience” was always the greater interest in film when I was a kid. I think my first R-rated movie was Jaws, and I was like three or four years old — actually, I grew up on that film, so I don’t remember. It was the experience at the young age that made me watch this film over and over again; honestly, I didn’t dare to sit in our bath tub, nor go on the toilet anymore, fearing the shark’s gonna bite me *LOL — today, I restrain myself from going into the open waters (oceans), so I think it has something to do with the “experience” made back then.

    When confronting my parents with it, they deny it, telling me over and over again that it was “me”, who wanted to watch this and that movie, no matter if it was R-rated or not, and they just couldn’t keep me from doing so. I guess my will to become a filmmaker / screenwriter was shaped by the “experience”. I never damned my parents for not keeping me away from R-rated films at that young age and let me develope my own interests : )

    • Haha, I had a similar experience with Ghostbusters. I couldn’t take a bath for years after that! I thought a ghost would come out of the drain.

  2. By the way, the THX fanfare for you is like the sound of Regency for me : )

    Nah, I like many of those fanfares; getting you into the right mood for the film : )

  3. I seem to recall that your mother likes to go to baseball games, specifically the Tigers? How does the energy of 40,000 enthusiastic, screaming and dancing fans compare to a movie theater? Just saying…

  4. Jon,

    I do enjoy the movie-going experience, although at 10-12 bucks a pop, it has become increasingly difficult to finance it. I find that the movie-going experience works best for hyped, exciting action/comedy films versus dramatic/Oscar-worthy films.

    That being said, I had the pleasure of seeing Fargo on the big screen, which is MILES better than watching it on a TV/laptop.

    • I would disagree. Some Oscar worthy films (like Inception) are definitely better on the big screen. Although, that’s really an action film, too. Hmm, will have to come up with some better examples.

  5. I like the experience for some movies, but for others, my laptop is JUST fine. Particularly since there are no loud teens or crying babies… 😛

    But especially with the upswing of 3D movies, Andy and I have been going to the theater more often, and I’m glad for that.

    One of my FAVORITE parts is the previews!

  6. @ Kristan – Agreed. This is going to ruin my argument, but I went to the movies in January and a couple of teenage girls texting ruined my night out.

    Previews are awesome, as long as they are not on DVDs. DVD previews are annoying, imo.

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