ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'm Forgetting the Smell of Popcorn

I was just looking at the list of the top 50 movies at the box office last weekend, and I was semi-stunned to realize that I hadn't seen the top 19.

#20 is Brokeback Mountain. That may be the deepest I ever had to go down a list to find a film I saw.

But it makes sense. I haven't been to see a movie in at least 6 weeks, and before that I was just catching up on late 2005 releases.

I haven't seen a 2006 release yet.

Because I haven't wanted to.

There generally comes a time each weekend when my wife and I think about seeing a movie. There's a multiplex a couple of miles away, an art house theater over in Encino, even a weird place on Fallbrook that mixes artsy stuff, new releases and Bollywood movies.

We chew over the options. And so far, there just hasn't been anything that lures us away from another night of TV and Scrabble.

V for Vendetta almost did it last weekend. Not quite.

Failure to Launch? Saw the trailer, felt like I saw the movie.

She's the Man? Amanda Bynes is no Joyce Hyser.

I wasn't always this picky. Back in my movie theater manager days, I used to see about 160 movies in theaters a year. I'd watch anything.

It helps that I don't mind seeing a movie alone. I'd say that, back in my single days, probably 90% of the movies I saw, I was by myself.

But now I'm married. Every year, I'll see a couple of movies without my wife, but generally anything I want to see, she wants to see too, so we'll see it together.

So that's makes one even more inclined to see good movies.

But the first three months of the year are always the doldrums. The theaters are filled with palate-cleansing nonsense after the late-year wave of Oscar-grubbing films comes out.

Which is really stupid. There were times in December that we had so many choices, that a lot of movies I wanted to see just slipped away. Hell, if I even had the chance to see The Family Stone now, I'd take it. Even The Ringer would be tempting.

Fortunately, the sky seems to be clearing.

Thank You For Smoking goes wider this weekend. Maybe it'll hit the valley. Inside Man looks like it might be good.

Otherwise, the selections are Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector (yikes), and Stay Alive, which is a PG-13 horror movie, and what's the point of that?

21 Comments:

At 4:24 AM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Yeah, pretty crap year thus far, V for Whatever just never looked all that good, and everything else has been just blah.

 
At 4:57 AM, Blogger William said...

I go through the same pains. My GF and I try to pace things out. If there are two or three good films out we see one a weekend so we don't leave ourselves with nothing left down the line.

D for Vendetta, don't waste your time, bloated and self-important.

Thank You For Smoking, sharp, witty, definitely worth a screening.

Inside Man, I'll see that this weekend. It's Spike and it actually looks like it's a good ride. Not that it looks like Spike.

Health Inspector, what the...?

 
At 5:14 AM, Blogger Brett said...

Don't you go dissin' Larry, y'all, cuz that just ain't right.
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B

 
At 5:54 AM, Anonymous Jacob said...

Inside Man is really good. It's not profound (and it's not trying to be), but it's a really enjoyable thriller, written, directed by, and starring people who are all really good at what they do.

 
At 7:11 AM, Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

I really enjoyed V for Vendetta.

I was expecting some sort of super hero movie and got much more. Something deeper than the ussual.

It is a message movie to be sure. Generalization warning! Either you don't like the message and dislike the movie or do like the message and enjoy it.

"Artists use lies to tell the truth. Politicians use lies to cover the truth."

If I truly believed the writers were trying to say that America or Brittain or whereever was heading in this direction, I'd say it was alarmist claptrap, but as a cautionary tale, and an illustration of what could be, I find it intruging.

 
At 10:04 AM, Blogger Chris said...

It's even worse when you tell someone that you're a screenwriter and they start asking you about all their favorite movies . . . none of which you've seen (usually b/c they're not very good). I'm sure I sound like the least "seen" person to ever aspire to become part of the industry.

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger Brett said...

Yeah, I had that the other night. A neighbor was commenting on how funny the thought "MR. DEEDS" was. I said "well, I prefer the original very very very very very much."

"Whaddya mean-- 'the original'? I mean the Adam Sandler movie."

"Gary Cooper's was better."

"Who?"

"How bout this weather, huh?"


I remain ass-deep in morons.
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B

 
At 12:22 PM, Blogger Alicia said...

Oooh... I saw #10: Aquamarine! Hey - I have a 6-year-old girl, what can I say? Otherwise, I'm right there with ya at #20. Of course, the post-Oscar fluff at the theatre gives me and my husband a little time to whittle away at our Netflix queue.

 
At 12:33 PM, Anonymous chesher cat said...

Beat you by five, Scott...I saw The Libertine but it doesn't really count because I saw it in December. I did see ten of the 20-35 movies on the list, but again, all last year.

I haven't forgot the smell of popcorn, though - been making it at home. Cheaper and with real butter!

Maybe Thank You For Smoking and Inside Man will pull me into the theater. Emphasis on the maybe.

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous phillip said...

Joyce Hyser!

Jesus! You just time-warped my middle-aged ass back to the 80's.

While pride prevents me from telling you how many times I watched "Just One of the Guys" (certain scenes anyway) it doesn't prevent me from telling you I'm cruising on over to Netflix right now.

 
At 1:58 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

For those of you unfamiliar with it, the great seminal (semenal?) moment of "Just One of the Guys" comes near the end, when pretending-to-be-a-boy Joyce Hyser rips open her shirt to show the guy she loves that she actually isn't a guy, but a girl.

The scene is ridiculous, because her breasts are huge, and they aren't strapped down, which they certainly must have been 30 seconds earlier.

Still, you know, it was memorable.

By the way, Joyce Hyser is 48 now. We're getting old. Though she was about 27 when she played a teen in that movie.

 
At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Eddie said...

I found 16 Blocks to be a pleasant surprise.

 
At 4:19 PM, Anonymous phillip said...

Well, she's got ten years on me which takes a little of the where-has-time-gone? sting away.

Not to gutter up your blog too much but Joyce gets my vote for best reveal of the 80's. Yes, that's right. Even better than Phoebe's in "Fast Times".

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

I see nothing wrong with discussing memorable actress nudity from our formitive years.

I was also fond of Betsy Russell on the horse in "Private School For Girls".

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Tom said...

My brother met one of the Private School actors on an audition years ago. Since Private School was the only flick the other guy had made at that point, they spent their waiting room time discussing it. The actor told my brother that the crew had grown so used to Betsy's lack of acting ability that they'd call out, "Talent ready?" and then afterward "Betsy ready?"

I know, who cared?

 
At 6:16 PM, Blogger Matt Waggoner said...

I've seen three of the top 20 from last weekend (V for Vendetta, Curious George, and Brokeback Mountain). There's probably three or four more in there I'd like to see, but we've got a 21-month old, and babysitting's not really all that feasible, so... it's one movie every few weeks, at this point. Alas. :)

 
At 8:42 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Inside Man, nice piece of work.

 
At 8:45 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Anything I've seen of alte has been on DVD, with the kiddies and a lack of proper babysitting, that's all I got.

Just saw Everything Is Illuminated (highly recommended) and The Squid & The Whale (had moments).

Like to see Thank U 4 Smoking (that's how Prince would write it). Doubt I'll see Inside Man although I'd like to. No desire to see Vendetta (likely to bore me like Sin City did).

My next theater movie will likely be Ice Age 2. then Over The Hedge. See a pattern there?

But we'll see a few of the bigger summer flicks, i need to chose my battles.

 
At 10:50 PM, Blogger Random Brandon said...

I've only seen 3 of the top twenty...Brokeback, Ultraviolet, and V for Vendetta. Odd grouping, yes...but I am a "comic book geek" and enjoy action movies.

Ultraviolet was a huge disappointment...needed about 12 more rewrites, and Milla coulda just passed on it.

Vendetta was interesting...had good action and I understand the point of it, but it had some logic problems and story holes. But comic book adaptations are difficult to do.

I have been catching up on some DVD rentals lately...
Broken Flowers...good.
Derailed...entertaining, but predictable.
Black Christmas...highly recommended for horror fans, it was very well done in all aspects. Too bad it's being remade.
Anyway...didn't meant to write so much.

 
At 11:34 AM, Blogger Robert Hogan said...

I'm right there with you. I've been thinking about taking a day off and spending it at the second run theater catching up.

Rob

 
At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She's the Man? Amanda Bynes is no Joyce Hyser.

Love it! Love that you you referece "Just One of the Guys." I always thought that was my guilty pleasure movie -- nice to know its made the rounds and into the hearts of people who catch it on cable.

The brother in that movie is so funny, too. Ahhh, I miss, gasp, the fun of the 80's movies - anyone else love "Soul Man," for instance?
-- Kate

 

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