In the theater, that is. I just counted up my movie total and so far this year I’ve seen 142 movies in the theater, 37 in July alone. There’s still 5 months to go, and I will very possibly have over 200 by Dec. 31. One thing that will help is my recent membership to the Gene Siskel Film Center, because now I get in for $5, and Music Box’s $5 Mondays.
I love going to the theater, and I would rather not this have this thread turn into a theater-bashing thread. There are plenty of other threads where people have made, can make, or will in the future make their displeasure with movies and theater-going clear. I know every argument, I know every bitching point. No one has to bring them up again, please.
Yesterday, my last 2 movies of July were Jackie Brown, because the Gene Siskel Center is having an ongoing Tarantino retrospective (movies by him, movies that influenced him, movies that he influenced), and 8 1/2. In between the two movies I walked over a few blocks and saw some filming of Transformers 3, shit blowing up real good. It was surreal, walking out of one great movie, to go watch what will almost certainly be a terrible movie being filmed, then go back into a movie considered a classic.
I didn’t see 142 unique film, because some I saw multiple times (a few I saw for the first time in December 2009 and again in 2010). I’ve seen a lot of older films, many that I hadn’t seen before, some that I had seen in the theater upon original release, and a couple I had only seen on video previously.
If anyone’s curious, here’s what I’ve seen so far this year in the theater, in order. This is the first year where I’ve kept track on an ongoing basis. I’m terrible at reviewing films, but feel free to ask about any on my list.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (midnight showing)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2nd)
Youth In Revolt
The Book of Eli
Nine (2nd, because I was too tired the first time to judge it properly)
The Lovely Bones
Avatar - IMAX (4th time overall)
Edge of Darkness
From Paris With Love
Fantastic Mr. Fox (3rd)
A Serious Man (4th)
Fargo (saw original release, and on video several times)
Titanic (saw original release several times, and on video)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (3rd)
Moulin Rouge! (saw original and re-releases several times, and on video)
Nine (3rd, only because it was part of this triple-feature)
Almost Famous (saw original release and on video)
The Last Station
The Ghost Writer
Alice In Wonderland (2D)
She’s Out Of My League
The Yellow Handkerchief
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
How To Train Your Dragon (3D)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Alice In Wonderland (3D, 2nd)
Waking Sleeping Beauty
Clash of the Titans (free screening)
A Town Called Panic
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (saw original release)
The Runaways (2nd)
Hubble 3D IMAX
The Last Song
Death At A Funeral
Ran (1985) (first time ever)
The Girl On The Train
Hot Tub Time Machine
The Back-Up Plan
The Secret In Their Eyes
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Iron Man 2
Letters To Juliet
Throne of Blood (1957) (first time ever)
Winter’s Bone (advance screening, Q & A session with director)
Mother And Child
The Human Centipede
Bicycle Thieves aka The Bicycle Thief (1948) (first time ever)
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
The Seven Samurai (1954) (first time ever)
Get Him To The Greek
Dersu Uzala (1975) (previously seen on video and in theater)
Metropolis (1927) (first time ever)
Yojimbo (1961) (first time ever)
The Karate Kid
Dodes’ka-den (1970) (first time ever)
Sanjuro (1962) (first time ever)
The White Ribbon
Kagemusha (1980) (first time ever)
OSS117: Lost in Rio
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Winter’s Bone (2nd)
High And Low (1963) (first time ever)
I Live In Fear (1955) (first time ever)
8: The Morman Proposition
Toy Story 3 (2D)
Breathless (1960) (first time ever)
The Killer Inside Me
July (37 or 38*)
City Island (2nd)
Small Change (1976) (first time ever)
The Secret of Kells
Winter’s Bone (3rd)
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (only for Dakota man, only for Dakota)
Reservoir Dogs (previously seen on video)
The Wild Bunch (1969) (first time ever)
The A-Team (2nd, not really by choice)
Knight and Day
The Last Airbender
The Secret of Kells (2nd)
Despicable Me (2D)
Fahrenheit 451 (with Ray Bradbury videoconference. Previously seen on video)
Grindhouse (saw original release)
The Girl Who Played With Fire (prior to reading the book)
The Kids Are All Right
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
True Romance (first time ever)
Rio Bravo (1959) (first time ever)
The Girl Who Played With Fire (after reading the book)
Life During Wartime (advance screening with Todd Solondz Q & A)
Kill Bill Vol. 1 (saw original release several times)
Kill Bill Vol. 2 (saw original release several times)
Vincent: A Life In Color
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky
Close Up (1991) (first time ever)
The Class (2008) (first time ever)
I Am Love
Jackie Brown (saw original release several times)
8 1/2 (1963) (first time ever)
At this point, with lots of great movies still to be released, my favorite movies released this year are Winter’s Bone, Inception, Kick-Ass, City Island, Micmacs, Black Dynamite, Exit Through The Gift Shop and Shutter Island.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is my favorite movie I’ve seen this year, but it is an official 2009 release. Lots of great movies were official 2009 releases but didn’t come to Chicago until this year, like A Prophet, The Last Station, and The Secret In Their Eyes.
My favorites of the older movies I’ve seen are still Dersu Uzala and Moulin Rouge!, which have been on my All-Time Favorites list since I first saw them. I loved loved LOVED ALL of the Akira Kurosawa films I saw at the Gene Siskel Film Center, most especially High and Low, Yojimbo, Sanjuro and The Seven Samurai. Some of his biggest films had already played by the time I found out about the retrospective and bought a membership. I’m sad at having missed The Hidden Fortress, Ikiru and Rashomon. I’m so glad I saw such classics as Metropolis, Breathless, Small Change and 8 1/2 first on the big screen, though with 8 1/2 I really wish I’d seen it before I saw Nine.
My least-favorite films so far are MacGruber (hey, I thought the previews were funny…I let myself be duped) and The Kids Are All Right (the only movie I actively hated). There are plenty that were just ok to me: Twilight: Eclipse, Dear John, Letters To Juliet, Clash of the Titans, Prince of Persia among them, but I can usually find something worthy (hey, they provided work for a lot of good people, great special effects, great scenery, etc.). There are unfortunately a lot of mediocre movies on my list, but I wanted to see them anyway for one reason or another, such as to see how Jake did with action, or because I like Vanessa Redgrave, or because I like Dakota Fanning’s character in Twilight (I want to see a whole movie about HER).
Biggest surprise: Write off all my opinions, but I thought The Back-up Plan was sweet and funny. DAMMIT!
Biggest disappointments, but I still liked things about them: Jonah Hex and The Lovely Bones.
Weirdest Movies so far: The Human Centipede, A Town Called Panic and Splice.
August will be a fairly light movie month because, looking at what’s coming, there doesn’t seem to be as much I want to see either at the multiplex or the Gene Siskel. I don’t know about September yet. October is when it’ll really start getting hot.
- depends if you count Grindhouse as 1 or 2 movies.