Tag Team Corner: Matt and Curt Lament the Summer Blockbuster Season

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Matt: The summer movie season. I can sum it in two words: endlessly mindless. Three months of raunchy comedies and flying stuntmen, formulaic romances and exploding aliens. And I can’t say I’m excited in the least.

My favorite time of year is Oscar season. I love a good story. I appreciate memorable acting performances far more than speeding cars. I enjoy beautiful cinematography or clever camera angles more than soft-core porn and fart jokes. And my wish for this summer movie season is that some studios would offer something worthwhile in the middle of the endless drivel.

Curt, are you with me?

Curt: I’m with you, brother Matt. I’ve considered boycotting theater movies, especially during the inane summer blockbuster season, but I’m ultimately reluctant to give up the big screen movie-going experience, even for a season. And if one persistently mines the depths of mainstream moviedom, occasionally the cinema seeker is rewarded with something of real value.

Thankfully, I benefit from living in a metro area that provides some decent alternatives. In the age of the multiplex and megaplex, I sometimes visit a single-screen movie palace showing primarily independent film. It’s slightly on the seedy side, but it shows the indie films I love. My home city also boasts a brand new theater with two screens featuring the classics, critically acclaimed indie efforts, documentaries, and foreign films. So, I do have refuge from the megaplex monster.

Thankfully, the summer blockbuster stretch–which runs from May to August–does offer some promise in 2008. That’s promise, not profits. Similar sound, different concept. 2007 was a record year for the summer season with a take of $4.1 billion. While I am a proponent of capitalism, it’s of little concern to me if that record is broken in the 2008 summer season.

Give me something that is unpredictable, thoughtful, nuanced, beautiful, and true. Give me a great story. No, the story doesn’t have to be true, but I hope to find truth in the story. And by the way, none of that precludes a good fart joke. I’ve always said, “Never discount the glories of a good fart joke.”

What say you, Matt?

Matt: You can keep the fart jokes. And even the Apatow comedies, which I think I’m the only person on Planet Earth not fawning over such movies.

I, too, have such a movieplex nearby to enjoy good independent film. But I will say that the blockbuster movies can entice me if they’re as intelligent, well-done and just plain enjoyable as Batman Begins. I definitely have a list of the low-brow movies that I’m aiming to check out, including (but not limited to): Ironman, Batman, X-Files 2 and maybe Wall-E (which I’m sure would be a certainty if I had little ones). Other promising titles abound, but I really hope to not give too much to the popcorn monsters at my local cinema.

My definitely ‘no-way’ movie which automatically puts me in the ‘loser’ group around my friends: the new Indiana Jones. I could care less to watch an 86 year-old pretending to swing from whips, ropes and rafters. This movie has ‘Jar Jar Binks’ remake all over it (in the same way that Episode 1 absolutely ruined the Star Wars legacy and made it a joke). I already think they took the Indiana Jones series one step too far, so this is even more.

What are your hopes in the midst of a busy summer season? And what is your ‘no-way’ movie, if you have one?

Curt: In terms of blockbuster fare, despite some concerns about The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, I have high hopes for it. I’ve read that a gratuitous (my word) action sequence has been added and that conflict between Peter Pevensie and Prince Caspian has been fabricated. But I’m willing to wait for the movie before pronouncing judgment on the changes. I’ve seen the trailer and was captivated by the tone. The music, cinematography, and mystical, magical ambiance have me excited about seeing it. I wasn’t enthralled with The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but thought it was very good, far exceeding my expectations. Director Andrew Adamson seems to have a handle on this material and appreciates and respects C.S. Lewis’s narrative. They could have hired somebody better (Guillermo del Toro?), but not much better.

June finds The Happening in U.S. theaters, M. Night Shyamalan’s follow up to the dismal Lady in the Water. It’s the story of a family on the run from a mysterious natural disaster. If you were as awed by The Sixth Sense, The Village, and Signs as I was, you will understand my eager anticipation of The Happening.

More brief observations: 1) I am more eager to see Hellboy II: The Golden Army than I am Iron Man, 2) I will see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, but probably only on DVD, 3) Pixar can do no wrong; Wall-E looks to continue the string of hits that captivate children and adults in one fell swoop. Good for Pixar. Oh, and by the way, take a gander at Wall-E. Is it my imagination or does he look a lot like a junkyard version of Johnny Five of Short Circuit infamy? 4) Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale brought the Batman franchise back to prominence in 2005 with Batman Begins. Will The Dark Knight–set to release on July 18–continue the magic? I hope so, 5) This summer is fraught with superheroes, science fiction, sequel, stoner fluff, and for some reason, T.V. show rehashes. It looks like I’ll be scrambling more than usual to find what I’m looking for.

My “No way movie?” It’s Sex and the City. I understand the T.V. show has won all kinds of awards and that it stars Sarah Jessica Parker, but I’ve never had even mild curiosity to watch it on T.V.–for free. So I can’t imagine actually paying real money to check it out on the big screen. Apparently the writing is good, but even that doesn’t inspire one iota of desire in me to see it.

Here’s one sleeper that has me interested: It’s called Son of Rambow and according to the movie’s website, it’s “a fresh and visually inventive take on family, friendship, and faith.” It’s a British comedy featuring young Will Proudfoot, raised in isolation in a religious sect in which music and movies are strictly forbidden. Will encounters his first movie when he gets his hands on a pirated copy of Rambo: First Blood, and his world is blown wide open as he becomes secretly addicted to filmmaking. If that doesn’t top the latest sequel to the X-Files movie or The Incredible Hulk (even though it stars the great Edward Norton), I don’t know what does.

Matt: Good call on Shyamalan. I completely forgot that summer entry and will be first in line.

Ultimately, here’s hoping we’re both proved wrong and some quality is among the quantity (of dollars).

Curt: Readers should note that the smaller films–indie films in particular–are by definition difficult to anticipate. The promotional machine that insures that a blockbuster be positioned as a blockbuster before it’s even released, does not exist in the indie world. As such, we will do our best to cherry pick those that we hope will offer high artistic merit and potential for a memorable movie-going experience as the summer evolves.

Meanwhile, what are your “must see,” “no way,” and “sleeper” movies for the upcoming season?


35 Comments

  1. josh

    must see- The Dark Knight

    No Way- Sex and the city, Incredible Hulk

    Sleeper- don’t have one yet

  2. Chris R

    Must see – Indiana Jones, Narnia, The Dark Night
    No Way – Sex and the City, the Incredible Hulk
    Sleeper – Fugitive Pieces, Henry Poole is Here (ok so I dont know much about either but the trailers looked pretty good)

  3. Jason Gray

    @jasongray

    Come on guys!! Don’t be such Debbie Downers on Indiana Jones! And as far as fart jokes Matt, you have to admit that they were well played in Nacho Libre.

    While I consider myself a relatively serious film consumer, I have learned to not take it all too seriously and have made peace with blockbusters – especially as a dad. While I love a film like Breaking The Waves or Babette’s Feast, it’s more fun to relive the joy of the blockbuster summer film through the eyes of my kids. And the good blockbusters can be really good.

    It’s kind of like writing a pop song. So many people hate “pop” songs and opt for singer songwriters or more folky fare. Understandably so when you listen to a sampling of a lot of the pop music that gluts the airwaves. But folk music has it’s weaknesses, too, and is often a little self indulgent and lacks discipline. The hardest song to write is the intelligent pop song – learning to communicate something true within the parameters of a 3 minute melodic song with big hooks. Some of the best artists in songcraft are writing pop music.

    The same is true with movies – some of the biggest movies are pretty well crafted. The virtues of a movie like Ironman (which I for one am excited to see) is whether or not it succeeds for its intended audience. It’s a superhero movie, so I expect certain superhero movie conventions but also hope for the film to play with those conventions a bit. Casting Robert Downey Jr. scores pretty big with me already.

    And Indiana Jones is going to have to work hard to maintain the enthusiasm that fans have for the films. Nobody involved in the film needs the money, so it seems to me like it’s a love letter to its fans – and I’m excited to see what they do with it.

    I’m pretty intense about the music, movies, books, etc. that I engage, but I also am happy to relax, not take things so seriously, and go see movies like the Hulk with my kids (C’mon – Ed Norton as Bruce Banner?! How cool is that?)

    So I guess I’m saying I’ve accepted the summer blockbuster season for what it is and have learned to enjoy the ride. It’s just primes the pump for the headier films that will come in September.

  4. Julie

    I would be really exited about the Happening (Iove everything Night’s ever done just about), but its susposedly his first R movie so I’ll have to wait and see.

    I’m really, really exited about Prince Caspian. Can’t wait! I just hope they don’t ruin it too much.

    (Choncho, I need to borrow some swehhhts)
    (Jason, you should’nt have mentioned Nacho. Now I have a hundred movie lines running through my head!)

  5. sevenmiles

    Let me be the first to say…IRON MAN ROCKED. In the realm of the modern superhero movies, it is firmly ensconced next to Batman Begins at the top of the heap. This is coming from one who is a die-hard X-Men collector and fan.

    Iron Man isn’t nearly as dark as Batman Begins, but the only edge I’d give to Begins. Robert Downey Jr. is about the most perfect casting job in the history of the genre (apologies to Michael Keaton and Hugh Jackman). Jeff Bridges and Gwyneth Paltrow were as about as good as Downey.

    And, are you ready for this: it has a good story. Really. There a few moments of dialogue akin to something Aaron Sorkin might have written. There is definitely a commentary on the global arms trade and the “business” of war. The comedic moments are also well done and well-placed. There was actually one gag that made the audience erupt in laughter and then applaud! Never experienced that before.

    Since it is the beginning of the summer blockbuster season, I must say that the special affects are second to none. I am so hooked. I am trying to find friends who haven’t seen it, just so I can see it again.

    Oh…and make sure to stay to the end of the credits for a little teaser to future Marvel goodness.

    tim

  6. Xavier Duncan

    I’m pumped for Speed Racer. Any thoughts? I remember watching when I was a little mite, and now to have the Wachowski brothers in charge, it can’t be anything short of a phenomenal big screen experience, can it? Anyone seen any advance on it?

  7. Peter B

    Jason, you know what’s really the ultimate test of skill? Writing a good fart joke into a pop song. Try THAT sometime.

    Caspian looks like a good movie, but perhaps not the best re-enactment of the book. Also, I seem to remember some minor conflicts between the kings of old and one of the newer kings; nothing big enough for a subplot, but hopefully they play it well… Either way, it’s a must-see.

    Seriously, though, what’s with the accent?

    Iron Man came off extremely well, even — or perhaps especially — for someone without a heavy background in that particular storyline. See if you can spot the misspelled magazine headline during the early plot exposition scene.

    Wall-E will be the other must-see (Curt, re. Short Circuit: YES! We can’t be the only ones to have noticed that). I have to admit that the trailer doesn’t have me very excited about the film, but Pixar has a history of not giving away their best in the previews.

    Speaking of giving away your best in the previews, I think Love Guru has done just that. It makes my no-way list, without question. As for Sex, I didn’t even know that was in theatres (anyone care to spike that joke setup?)… I cannot even pretend to be interested.

    Sleepers… don’t know yet. I do know that I’m already having nightmares about the Happening trailer, but despite my omission of Lady, I’ll probably catch this one. Also, I hope Paul Giamatti gets another shot with MNS.

  8. Chris Slaten

    If I could only pick two movies this summer I would see WALL*E (The rotten tomatoes writers got to watch the first 30 minutes of it and made comparisons to The Red Balloon and the Quatsi Series, which has caused this pique my interest even more than it already had by being a Pixar movie) and Batman.
    Chronicles of Narnia, Son of Rambow and Indiana Jones are next on the list. In defense of Indiana Jones and the potential for another Jar Jar abomination I read, “Steven Spielberg did not shoot the film in digital format, which his friend and partner George Lucas had adopted. Lucas approved, seeing that it looked, in his words, ‘like it was shot 3 years after the Last Crusade, you’d never know there was 20 years between shooting.’”
    There are more interesting facts about how they tried to stick to the originals here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0367882/trivia

    Supposedly Guillermo del Toro really was slated to direct the first Narnia movie, but he declined because he did not want to film a resurrection scene. Bummer. I also would have preferred him over the father of the Shrek movies.
    Breaking the Waves…that reminds me, Curt, I meant to recommend Dancer in the Dark in your prior post asking for Netflix recommendations. It was the third, I think, in the “Golden Heart” trilogy by Lars von Trier of which Breaking the Waves was first. It’s a pretty powerful tear jerker and the music is really interesting.
    I’m thinking I’ll rent Iron Man eventually, because I’m interested to see what else Jon Favreau can do. Supposedly he is going to have some hand, writing or directing, Pixar’s adaptation of John Carter of Mars.

  9. Tony Heringer

    Matt, I too am not a fan of Apatow or should we call him “Aptlow” — as in his movies are apt to be primarily of the lowbrow variety suited more for mainstream TV sit-coms which seem to be scripted by high-schoolers.

    There are only so many movies that will get us to part with dollars in theaters–10 bucks for regular and 14 bucks for IMAX (U23D was well worth it). Throw in the rising cost of gas and for this summer (and beyond!) we will trend more and more toward theater alternatives – downloads and DVDs shipped directly to Casa Heringer. Or better yet books which are always better than the movies – with the possible exception of John Grisham who, per my wife, has yet to figure out how to end one of his stories.

    That being said possible choices, in no particular order, could be: Prince Caspian, Indiana Jones, and Dark Knight.

    I take my summer movies with the season, it is supposed to be fun and these three have the potential to be just that. However, I’ll check the reviews and hedge my bets as this theater thing is getting a little too pricy and could be a thing of the past once the internet movie catches hold.

    It is already a great way to watch network TV, so my question is what will become of these megaplexes?

    Will they become like the Wal-Mart properties – abandoned eyesores due to a Super-Wal-Mart not too far away? Or will they begin change the experience – more IMAX, live concert broadcasts, sporting events, etc.? Any thoughts as to where this is all headed and what impact it will have on the movie industry?

    Compare it to what is happening with digital music.

  10. Matt C

    Jason, I gotta say that I’ve never seen Nacho Libre. For the same reasons I haven’t seen Talladega Nights, that figure skating movie, etc. I really just don’t dig on comedies that much.

    I’ve got this silly explanation which makes total sense to me, at least:

    I can make myself laugh. In fact, my friends and I feel quite confident in saying we’re all hilarious. Quite witty. And I don’t have to pay 8 dollars to laugh when I’m with them.

    I can’t, however, fall out of burning buildings, rob a bank, fall in love with Scarlett Johanssen or assassinate a President. At least not legally. So I will pay for those things…

  11. Nate

    “I can make myself laugh. In fact, my friends and I feel quite confident in saying we’re all hilarious. Quite witty. And I don’t have to pay 8 dollars to laugh when I’m with them.”

    Here, here, Matt. I’ve never heard anyone say that befoe except me. No one even sympathizes.

  12. Nathan Bubna

    I am increasingly unwilling to pay big theater chain prices, especially when the late-run $3 theaters in my town are local-owned, have great cheap food (healthy options even!), also let you bring your own food, have very comfortable seats, and are really just more fun and friendly.

    As such, i don’t plan to see any of these movies this summer. For me, the blockbuster season is fall (maybe a few coming out in August) and Oscar season is winter.

  13. Tiffany

    I recently watched the trailer for The Visitor, currently showing at our indie theatre. It is the only movie that I will probably see this summer at the theatre. Let me know what you think…

  14. Tony Heringer

    Nathan,

    Thanks for brining that option up. We have a similar theater or two in Atlanta and I saw an add yesterday where they have .75 cent admission day — that just might be enough to entice me out except that this particular theater is on the other side of town.

    Given the way this media is going, I just don’t know if the theater experience is going to be around much longer — at least not in its current form.

    Now, if only John Candy and Joe Flahetry were around to wrap up this thread for us by commenting on the upcoming films…oh, well, we can always look back to their thoughts about 1980’s crop (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8826341886417909329&q=sctv+farm+film+report&ei=pEUfSJ7-LaX2rALT2t22Ag&hl=en ) and imagine their favorite blow up films for the summer of 2008. I’m thinking that Hulk is going to blow up real good ! 🙂

  15. Bret Welstead

    I’m a big fan of the big screen. But I might as well call it the big $creen because I can’t afford it these days. I used to work at a theater so I could see movies for free, but these days we’re looking at 2 tickets (I wouldn’t go without my wife), popcorn and drinks, and a babysitter, so around $30-$40 easy.

    If I were still a movie-goer, here’s what I would and wouldn’t see…

    – Iron Man (most definitely)
    – Dark Knight (you bet)
    – Indiana Jones (absolutely)
    – The Happening (maybe: Lady in the Water left much to be desired)
    – Son of Rambow (looks excellent)
    – WALL*E (sure thing: Johnny 5 but funnier)
    – Incredible Hulk (no way)
    – Sex in the City (not if you paid me)
    – Speed Racer (probably on IMAX)
    – Prince Caspian (just try and stop me)
    – X-Files 2 (huh? not a chance)
    – Hellboy 2 (no)

    I’ll guess I’ll just have to save up for that LCD, 7.1 surround sound system, and popcorn-maker to recreate the big screen at home. 🙂

  16. Aaron Roughton

    Ohhhhh man. I know this doesn’t come out until September, but it will obviously be a must see for everyone here. It’s called Beverly Hills Chihuahuah. Good luck.

  17. whipple

    Must sees:

    -Dark Knight
    -Wall-E (Pixar has not disappointed so far, and the short films are side-splitters)
    -The Happening (Kat and I have a penchant for seeing M. Night Shyamalan films together, and we’ve thoroughly enjoyed every one, plus, I liked the undergirding thought behind Lady in the Water, and it was a bedtime story originally, like the recent book written by someone we know)

    Maybes:

    -Son of Rambow (looks great, depends on gas/recreational funding)
    -Narnia (depends on how many of my friends can annoy me until I see it. I don’t like the Chronicles movie for the same reason that I don’t like Passion of the Christ (although there are reasons that I like both movies). I don’t want to see Jim Cavaziel’s face in my mind every time I pray. Neither do I want to see specifically what someone at Walden Media thinks that Aslan looks like every time I read the books. I prefer that the image remain a little more fluid.

    Unconditional Disinclinations:

    -Sex in the City (must you really ask why)
    -IronMan/Indiana Jones (sorry, the budget makes me pretty picky)
    -Speed Racer (liked the cartoon many moons ago, but I wouldn’t translate Dragonball Z into a live-action flick either – we all saw the ridiculously animated ‘flying fight’ sequences in the last Matrix film)
    -Hulk/Hellboy

    Haven’t seen Breaking Waves or Babette’s Feast, but I’ve heard good things about the latter from sources I trust. I’m sure I’ll check it out one day.

    As to my dislikes, every party’s got a pooper…

  18. Jason Gray

    @jasongray

    Matt! Dude, let’s watch Nacho Libre together!! It’s a Gray family favorite. Granted, part of the charm is that our boys loved it, too, so that brings a lot of love to a movie that might otherwise be less t than great. That said, I think Nacho is a great comedy that is at once subtle and ambitiously over the top. Jack Black is relatively restrained in a film directed by the guy who did Napoleon Dynamite. It also has a pretty wholesome message. (Notice that Nacho never wins a single match until he truly fights for the orphans!). Okay, maybe I’m making too much of it, but still I think it’s brilliant.

    Just saw Ironman today – loved it. The casting is inspired and is what raises this movie above the standard superhero movie fare.

    I lament the direction that technology is taking music and movies both. Going to the “church of the cinema” used to be a communal event we did with others. Convenience can never replace the human element of gathering together and sharing a good story with a group of people you wouldn’t otherwise spend a couple hours with. Maybe I’m romanticizing it a bit, but I do love looking at the other people walking out of the theater with me.

  19. Curt McLey

    @curtmcley

    I know, I know, I know. I implied that I wouldn’t see Iron Man right away. But I did. I couldn’t help myself. And guess what? It’s great. Despite political leanings–which serves more as a plot device than dronish moralizing–it was great. The casting was brilliant, the special effects, amazing, but not dominating or over the top. The writing, for a superhero movie, was very good. Thanks for the recommendation, Tim. You sold me. And thanks for the heads up on the tag teaser.

    Jason, your point of keeping the fun in film is well-taken. Movies should be fun. Face it, they are fun. But since I see so many movies, I have learned to draw firm lines on what I see. I tend not to read reviews before I’ve seen a movie, but I have become pretty good at separating the wheat from the chaff using trailers, media, reputations of participants, and intuition to find the good stuff. That doesn’t preclude blockbuster or multiplex choices, of course, but because the nature of the standard blockbuster requires–on some level–a formula, it has an uphill battle compared to indie fare. Blockbusters have too much money on the line to take the kind of risks that indie film–by its nature–can. That alone compromises the blockbuster. And when art is compromised, it’s usually not as good as it would have been without compromise.

    As my now young adult son grew up, I took him to sporting events, museums, bike trails, parks, concerts, skating rinks, and all manner of local hot spots. Still, I think we spent more time in movie theaters than anywhere. I still can’t listen to Somewhere Out There by James Ingram and Linda Ronstadt from the movie An American Tail without shedding tears. So I’m in favor animation, superhero movies, and the occasional blockbuster, but I do choose carefully.

    Julie, they played a trailer for The Happening the showing of Iron Man that I attended. If you see it, let us know what you think.

    Peter B., I’m glad you also noticed the similarity between Johnny Five and Wall-E. And thanks for the link, Chris. The web is so awesome for things like that. I knew I couldn’t be the only one that noticed the resemblance.

    Chris, I have seen Dancing in the Dark. Admittedly, it’s a little weird. Maybe quirky is a better word. I’m not a big Bjork fan, but I did enjoy the movie. Thanks for the heads up.

    Tony, you raise some interesting questions about the viability of the theater experience. I think I pay $8.50, maybe $8.75 at my local AMC megaplex. I noticed last night that concession prices have gone up again. A small popcorn is–I think $4.50. Are you kidding me? What’s the profit margin on that? It must be astronomical. That oddity is that historically, the movie theater business does well in recessions. Maybe it’s that people don’t feel they have enough money for a vacation, so they spend money on movies. Maybe it’s escapism. Who knows? I remember when VCRs and VHS and Beta movies became available, many predicted the demise of theaters. Same thing when DVDs came out. To the contrary, theaters just keep building and keep making money.

    Aaron, I watched the trailer for Step Brothers. For me, Will Ferrell is a mixed bag, but this one looks hilarious.

    Xavier, Speed Racer isn’t one I’m planning to see. Let me know what I missed. It’s getting a lot of chatter.

    Josh and Chris R., Nate, and Mike, thanks for the feedback and recommendations.

    Nathan
    , we have two discount theater operations in Omaha, both of which are relatively new. We go to these sometimes, if something slipped between the cracks. The only thing I don’t like about these theaters is that they both feature screens which seem the size of postage stamps. But the buttered popcorn is just as good.

    Tiffany, NICE CALL on The Visitor. I haven’t heard this one mentioned. It looks intriguing.

    Bret, my fellow Nebraska friend, great to have you around here. Consider Netflix, man. It’s great. Under $18.00 for as many movies as you can watch in a month. Young families on a budget need to watch the spending, but this might be a good value for you and your family. And you described a dream of mine with the in-home theater with surround sound and popcorn maker. Cool!

    Whipple, our taste in movies is similar, it appears. Thanks for your thoughts.

  20. Jeff Cope

    Heh.

    You guys sound like an old room-mate of mine. He preferred his movie going experience to be full of depth and exploration of life and the human condition.

    I, on the other hand, live for summer movie season (ok, not really, but just a dash of hyperbole for contrast’s sake).

    For me, this is one of the greatest movie summers ever. Now, full disclosure, I do own and operate a gaming/comic book shop so I’m somewhat biased. But, for me these are all must-see movies:

    Iron Man
    Speed Racer
    Prince Caspian
    Indiana Jones
    Incredible Hulk
    The Dark Knight
    Hellboy 2

    and for comedies…I’ll take Get Smart & Kung Fu Panda!

    So, yeah, gimme a blockbuster, some popcorn (the butterier the better) and a coke and I am one happy camper.

  21. becky

    I love going to the theater, but like many my budget doesn’t allow it very often. So I only go to films that need the big screen, that I think will lose a lot of impact on DVD. I tend to see “big” films in the theater, and things that look like they might have great cinamatography. And things that are smaller and more intimate–like many indy films–I watch on DVD since I can get just as much out of them at home as I would at the theater. Therefore my must sees are Indiana Jones and Prince Caspian–maybe Dark Knight.

    Curt, the first thing I said when I saw the trailer for Wall-E was “It’s that robot from Short Circuit.”

  22. becky

    Oh yeah, one solution to the big screen thing is to go visit my brother, and watch DVDs projected on the basement wall. VERY cool!

  23. josh

    OOH OOH OOH I found a good sleeper… It’s a movie called “The Strangers”, I saw the tarilor for it before something I watched a few weeks ago and it looked genuinely frightening (which has become a rare thing in horror films these days). Now what’ll probably happen is it will end up being lame and predictable as most end up doing, but if one ever had a shot at actually being good this is it. And I do love a good scary movie (not to be confused with that ridiculous parody garbage series).

  24. Curt McLey

    @curtmcley

    Jeff, I like your sense of humor. Kung Fu Panda. Ha. That sounds hilarious. Jack Black was destined for that role. I just watched the trailer and heard King Fu Panda (Jack Black) say this line: “Uh yeah, I just ate, so I uh, I’m still digesting, so my Kung Fu might not be as good now as later on.” Jackie Chan does the voice for Master Monkey. Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, and Michael Clarke Duncan also do voices in this one. I must admit to having been a Get Smart fan, so I’m mildly looking forward to that one. I hope it captures the sense of the TV show better than Bewitched (the movie) did.

    Becky, I like your strategy and have used it myself.

    “Number Five is Alive.”

    Josh, horror is one genre I rarely see. It happens to be my son’s favorite genre, so that’s why we don’t watch as many movies together as we once did, which is a shame. I watched the trailer and I admit, it does look good, but you nailed it, the hype might not match the reality.

    My cynicism gets in the way. I’ve always been a fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s work. In fact, I recently saw Marnie (on the big screen) starring Tippi Hedren and a young Sean Connery. I don’t think it’s even close to being one of Hitchcock’s best, and it’s not really “horror” in the classic sense.

    If you see The Strangers, let us know what you think about it, if you don’t mind.

  25. josh

    I will gladly give you my opinion of it when i see it… don’t when that may be though…

  26. josh

    oops i meant to say don’t know when that may be… an “edit” button would be a nice addition to this site (wink wink)

  27. Jason Keel

    I am picky about movies I see in the theater. They have to meet certain criteria for me to want to pay more than $7.

    1) They need to be something I just won’t appreciate if I don’t see them on the big screen (I am a husband and father of three, so I have to spend money carefully). So, Ironman was a must for the big screen, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was fun with a redeeming storyline.

    2) They have to be fairly non-sexual. I, like many other men, struggle with temptations in this area and don’t need to add fuel to the smoldering fires of my fallen imagination. So, “Sex in the City” is not an option.

    3) The movie has to capture my imagination. If I find myself thinking about going to a movie for more than a week (and it meets the above criteria) then I bite the bullet and go see it. “The Happening” really has my attention, as most of Shyalaman’s movies do.

    4) (Most of the time) It needs to be something my wife will watch with me. Typically the times I get to get out of the house to see a movie I am on a date with my her. Now I am extremely blessed to be married to a woman who on Valentine’s Day a few years ago wanted to see “Glory Road” (the Disney basketball movie). She rocks! Eat your heart out guys! So, I am not very limited by this criterion. I foresee a date night in our future with “The Dark Night” as the main event.

    Any suggestions for other movies I should see if I get the chance?

  28. sevenmiles

    Curt, I appreciate the thanks for recommending Iron Man, but I don’t think it was nearly sufficient repayment for your recommendation of Once to me. I listen to the soundtrack almost daily.

  29. Peter B

    Jason K, I’m with you 100% (except that I’m not so into televised sports, so my wife doesn’t get pulled that way).

    Hey guys, has nobody mentioned the dollar theater? Ever since the takeover by megastadiums, there are a lot of decent cinema options that have survived by switching to a lower-end pricing model (it may not be a buck, but it sure ain’t $9 either). We saw Enchanted that way and it was a wonderful shared experience.

    Also, that Adam Sandler film might — might — be worth watching. At least the sexual content is just him.

    I almost can’t believe I just made that recommendation, guarded though it was.

  30. Jeff Cope

    Peter B,

    My wife and I love our local dollar theater. For the past few years it was .50 on Tuesday nights which was amazing.

    Too bad the concessions aren’t as inexpensive!

    Our favorite place to watch movies right now is a theater called Movie Tavern. It’s a chain out of Texas that recently opened a location here in the Columbus, OH area (Hilliard for you local folk). Check out http://www.movietavern.com

    Dinner and a movie without leaving your seat. Genius! (as Derek Webb would say)

  31. The Rabbit Room

    […] deeply grateful that Jason Gray mentioned this movie in the reply of a recent post. It won an Academy Award in 1987 for Best Foreign Language film. I’ve intended to see it for […]

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