Archive for August, 2017

Movies Since Last Post

Passengers
Personal Shopper
Arrival
Despicable Me 3
Hacksaw Ridge
Southpaw
Killing Zoe
Pacific Rim
Atomic Blonde
War Machine
Complete Unknown
Dunkirk (70mm)
Raging Bull
An Inconvenient Sequel
The Accountant
Bronson

On August 5th, I reached 100 movies for the year. If memory serves, that was my total for all of 1997, the year that my belligerent Film professor told me that everyone in Hollywood watches hundreds of movies a year, so I figured I needed to do the same (I remember this statement conjuring a picture in my head of Oliver Stone, whom I was a big fan of at the time, walking out of a Blockbuster with his arms full of those bulky VHS tape boxes. I really didn’t know how Hollywood worked back then.)

I never made it in Hollywood, but I made it to 100 then, and I have made it now. A quick glance over my spreadsheet reveals a few things that I found mildly interesting. For example, out of 100 movies, I have only watched 3 DVD’s. In fact, one of my goals was to watch some of the DVD’s that I have lying around the apartment that I have never seen. So, you can see how well that worked out. I have also only watched two movies at the totally awesome Showcase Superlux, which used to be an experience in itself because it was the first theater in the area that allowed you to pick your own seat and have a server bring you a meal and a beer while you ate. I think since other theaters have begun to catch on, it is no longer the experience it once was. Or I’ve become really cheap. I’m also very proud to say I went to one drive-in, so that’s something.

drive

The winners, if you want to call them that, are hands down Amazon Prime and Xfinity, my cable provider. And I don’t mean “winners” because I give them so much money, although that is certainly true. I mean that they have been most-used platforms this year, accounting for just over half of the movies I have watched all year. Part of the reason is because it’s so easy and there is a lot more of a selection, and the other part is because I want to try to get my money’s worth out of them, especially Xfinity, which is a ridiculous bill every month.

I think I am in the minority, at least among my friends and peers, because I have not participated in what is known in the TV industry as “cord-cutting.” Because I lived a small part of my life without cable, and I like sports and hate commercials, I get the ultimate cable package, the whole digital deluxe, high-def, DVR, talk-to-the-remote ball of wax. And I like it. I kind of wish I didn’t, really, because it is a lot of money, and I’m sure if something happened, like Trump took everybody’s cable away to help pay for World War III, I could live without it (until he blows up the world), but for now, I don’t need to find out what a cable-less life would be like. Besides, when Trump does do something stupid with North Korea, I’m going to want CNN.

patrick-chappatte---nzzas

The other platforms, other than actual theaters, Netflix, Hulu, Google Play, all were used about the same amount, surprisingly. I have watched six movies on Google Play, and it probably would be more if they had more sales (Two of them were $.99 and one was $1.99). Google does seem to have the best variety, but I don’t have the budget to pay $4.99 and up for all the movies I want to see. Which is why I should be using Netflix more, since I already pay for that. Unfortunately, they have a much smaller selection, indicated by the fat that I have only watched seven movies on there this year. I actually watched ten on Hulu, but mostly because they had some originals I wanted to see, and I also wanted to get my money’s worth. (I just realized I talk a lot about money in this post. I must be cheap.)

After a hundred movies and counting, though, I will say this for sure: in my opinion, the best way to watch a movie is in a theater. While I have watched many more movies digitally, I have watched most of them on my couch. I have, however, ventured out to eight different venues to see some really good movies. Just in the last few weeks, I’ve seen a beautifully shot movie in 70mm (Dunkirk), I went to a drive-in, and I had a hilarious exchange with the guy next to me while seeing Atomic Blonde. During an intense action scene, “I Ran (So Far Away)” by Flock of Seagulls was playing on the soundtrack, and the wife of the guy who was sitting next to me takes out her phone to use that app that can hear songs and tell you what they are (I mean, who doesn’t know that song? These people weren’t youngsters.) I politely motioned for her to put the phone away because it was distracting, and the guy turned to me and said, “What’s the problem? She’s just trying to find out the name of the song!” I told him, in so many words, that was, in fact, my problem.

Despite incidents like that, I really like going to the movies, and that’s why stuff like that bothers me so much. ┬áIt’s not enough to say, “Please silence your cell-phones.” The message at the beginning needs to be something like, “Take out your phone for anything other than a medical emergency, and you will be expelled, possibly without your phone. And pants.” Something to get people’s attention.

take ass out

I really wish they would open an Alamo Drafthouse near me.