Ask the person who's seen a lot of movies this year

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.

January (11)

Broken Embraces
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (midnight showing)
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2nd)
Leap Year
Youth In Revolt
The Book of Eli
Nine (2nd, because I was too tired the first time to judge it properly)
The Lovely Bones
Black Dynamite
Avatar - IMAX (4th time overall)

February (15)

Edge of Darkness
Extraordinary Measures
From Paris With Love
Dear John
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)
Shutter Island
The Wolfman
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)

March (17)

The Last Station
The Ghost Writer
Alice In Wonderland (2D)
The Crazies
Brooklyn’s Finest
She’s Out Of My League
The Yellow Handkerchief
The Runaways
Repo Men
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)

April (20)

A Town Called Panic
Daybreakers (2nd)
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (saw original release)
The Runaways (2nd)
Hubble 3D IMAX
Kick-Ass (2nd)
The Last Song
Kick-Ass (3rd)
The Losers
The Joneses
Death At A Funeral
Date Night
Ran (1985) (first time ever)
A Prophet
The Girl On The Train
Hot Tub Time Machine
The Back-Up Plan
City Island

May (17)

The Square
Please Give
The Secret In Their Eyes
Exit Through The Gift Shop
Iron Man 2
Robin Hood
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
Just Wright
The Seven Samurai (1954) (first time ever)

June (25)

Get Him To The Greek
Dersu Uzala (1975) (previously seen on video and in theater)
Harry Brown
Metropolis (1927) (first time ever)
Yojimbo (1961) (first time ever)
The A-Team
Solitary Man
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
Jonah Hex
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)
Inception (2nd)
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)
Inception (3rd)
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.

What’s to hate about The Kids are All Right? Wasn’t my favorite movie and won’t be in my top ten, but I can’t imagine hating it…

Out of all those which do you hope the most for a sequel (assuming the sequel would be done right)?

Do you watch movies on DVD? Is your collection as equally huge as your theatre-going list? Perhaps you Netflix.

Yes on the DVD collection. We have a home theater system with a ceiling-mounted projector, surround sound, 4’x7x screen and all that jazz, plus somewhere over 1500 DVDs we’ve been collecting since DVDs first came out. We hardly ever watch them though, because we’re at the theater so much. If the time came where it’s not possible or practical to go to the theater as often, my movies will be waiting for me. I still do buy DVDs. I just bought 2 Akira Kurosawa box sets from Japan on ebay, because I couldn’t afford the kickass Criterion box set.

Kick-Ass, of course, and I hope it focuses on Hit Girl. I’m waiting impatiently for the 3rd Girl movie (The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest), which should be out this fall, but I don’t know when.

I’d like to see a sequel, or several sequels to Black Dynamite! That was so much fun and can keep going. OSS117: Lost in Rio was already a sequel, to OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies. I’ll see any more than are made, and it looks like there is one in the works, but I don’t have IMDB Pro to find out more details.

[spoiler]I’m straight, so I probably have no right to talk, but I can’t help it, it infuriated me that they had a self-described lesbian have an affair that would ruin her family with a man. Why not have an affair with a woman? If she had self-described as a bisexual, it wouldn’t have bothered me, but she claimed all along that she was a lesbian. Even after the affair, it was never mentioned that, ooops, guess she was bisexual all along. No, she self-described as a lesbian prior to affair, and she self-described as a lesbian after affair. That pissed me off because it plays to the bigots who think that all lesbians need is the right man with the right dick. They also think that all gay men need is the right woman with the right pussy, yet gay men are joining straight people who are piling on lesbians who complain about this. Oh don’t be so sensitive. Oh be grateful that there’s a mainstream movie about a lesbian family. Take what you can get. Shut up and quit whining. Just…damn. Why oh WHY didn’t they change the script so she could be bisexual? I don’t get it, and now I totally mistrust Lisa Cholodenko.

And besides, the title makes me mad. Those kids would NOT be all right. They had a good family, a bit of tension between Nic and Jules, but nothing major. They meet and get to know the man who fathered them and seemed like a pretty good guy, who would be a nice addition to their lives. Then he and Jules completely betray them. Utterly and completely betray them. How could they be “all right”? It would take years to come to terms with that kind of bullshit betrayal.[/spoiler]

[spoiler]I don’t know if this helps, but the director Lisa Cholodenko is a Lesbian herself, who is in a Lesbian relationship, and recently gave birth to a son by way of a sperm donor (links to interviews available at wikipedia).

I can understand if the movie was directed and written by a straight guy but it wasn’t.

Also, one of the minor aspects she brings up is that sexuality is more of a spectrum rather than simply black and white (Kinsey, right?) as evidenced by the couples habit of watching gay male porn.

You are more than welcome to hate the movie, just bringing this up.[/spoiler]

Sorry 'bout the hijack if indeed that is what it is.

Winter’s Bone just opened near me and intend to see it. Glad to hear you liked it.

We go to the movies about every Friday (my day off) at the early (cheaper) screenings with few(er) people.

Sorry - but as a Gay couple, we thought The Kids Are All Right was a good film - and I understand where you are coming from with your comments - but still thought it was brilliantly cast, acted and written. Best Film of the year? Probably not - but I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the actors be nominated.

Again - thanks for your list and will let you know how we liked Winter’s Bone after we see it next week.

[spoiler]I knew all that about Cholodenko, but that makes it even worse, for me anyway. Why couldn’t they have even have mentioned the word “bisexual”? It would have fit in nicely with the interesting fluid sexuality aspect. By Jules self-identifying as a lesbian, and continuing to self-identify as a lesbian after the affair, the movie did a real disservice to lesbian lesbians, by giving the impression that there are such things as bisexual lesbians. That’s not true, just as there are no such things as “bisexual heterosexuals” or “bisexual homosexuals.” Not that I’ve ever heard of anyway. To some people it’s just a word, but it means something, and the movie would have been a lot more interesting and truthful to me if Jules had identified as a bisexual, had the affair, and then chose to stay with Nic. Or if she had been bi-curious after so long a time with Nic, had a brief affair, then decided that no, she’s 100% lesbian.

And anyway, it depresses me that the kids lost Paul from their lives by his and Jules’s stupidity. He was a cool guy, seemingly. He could have been an interesting and positive influence and presence in their lives, but no, Screenwriting 101 dictates that sex fucks up everyone’s lives.[/spoiler]

Okay. What makes a good movie for you? Have you seen a pattern in reviewers comments, do you seem to like movies that critics don’t like, or do find them pretty accurate?
Do you prefer comedies, or action, or drama?
Is there a director that if they made a new movie, you would see it just because they made it?

I thought both The White Ribbon and A Prophet were better than The Secret In Their Eyes. The White Ribbon was an absolute masterpiece, perhaps the best film of the decade. A Prophet was one of the best crime dramas I’ve ever seen. The Secret In Their Eyes was only an average crime thriller with excellent cinematography, I’m still bitter that it won the Oscar. What’s your opinion?

You see both Hollywood movies and art house films. Don’t you know The Rules? You have to pick one or the other. If you see art house films, you have to disdain “Hollywood trash”, and if you see Hollywood films you have to find Art House films stuffy and confusing.

Tell me about Sweetgrass. I used to live near that area and was so disappointed when the movie disappeared from theaters before I could see it.

In general, good story, good acting and good directing make for a good movie to me. However, what I think is good is not always what others think is good. “I liked it” and “it was a good movie” are sometimes two very different things. I can say “____ was one of my favorite movies of the year” without thinking that it was one of the BEST movies of the year. Also, I can think “___ was one of the best movies of the year” without thinking that it was one of my favorite movies of the year. Sometimes they go together, sometimes they don’t. Example: last year Away We Go was tied as my favorite movie of the year. I would never in a million years claim that it was one of the best movies of the year. It just happened to click with me in a very personal way. The other movie it tied with, Moon, was, I think, one of the best, or at least, most interesting movies of the year, even though it was very low budget and by a first-time director. It happened the year before too. The Fall was one of two favorite movies, not one of the best of the year but oh boy did I adore it so. It was tied with Milk, which I and many others think was one of the best movies of the year.

I also like fun movies, that don’t claim to be anything great and I wouldn’t call one of the best of the year, but that work with me. Kick-Ass is probably the best example from this year. Winter’s Bone, on the other hand, will be a favorite still come December 31, and it will be considered by others besides me as one of the best of the year. I’m still convinced it will be nominated for several Oscars.

I don’t know what you mean by pattern. There aren’t any critics that I consistently agree with. In general, I mainly only pay attention to critics if they like something. Most, certainly not all, critics do have good taste in movies. If they find something worthy about a movie, it piques my interest. If they don’t like a movie, I don’t listen half the time, because, to answer your question, I like a LOT of movies that critics didn’t like. Ebert is a good example. If he likes something, chances are I’ll almost certainly like it too. Not that I see everything he likes. He likes some movies I’m not interested in. If he doesn’t like something, I don’t care. I don’t even read him before I go see something I want to see. His unreasonable hatred of Kick-Ass is the best example. He didn’t like Raising Arizona, for goodness sake! Still, he’s steered me to a lot of great films I might not have otherwise seen.

Critics are only accurate if they agree with me. :smiley: Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t.

I like all three, if they’re good (to me). I have very eclectic taste in movies. My list must reflect that. I suppose I prefer dramas though.

Oh absolutely, I’m a director nut. There are a ton of directors I feel that way about. I don’t care what the movie is, what it’s about, who’s in it, anything. If they did it, I’ll see it. Quentin Tarantino, David Lynch, the Coen Brothers, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Todd Haynes, Tarsem Singh, John Sayles, Terrence Malick, Guillermo Del Toro, Peter Jackson, Pedro Almodóvar, Christopher Nolan, Terry Gilliam, Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog, David Fincher, Tim Burton, Steven Soderbergh, Edgar Wright, Michel Gondry, Anton Corbijn, David O. Russell, Gus Van Sant…I know there’s more. Oh, recent additions to the list are Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Ben Affleck (no kidding, I loved Gone Baby Gone and can’t wait for The Town), Matt Reeves (Cloverfield), John Curran (The Painted Veil), Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton), Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig (Daybreakers), Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass), others that I’ll think of later.

I just wish there were more women I could put on that list.

I haven’t decided what I think of The White Ribbon yet. It certainly was beautiful-looking, and very interesting. I think it’s a movie I’ll have to see again. I agree wholeheartedly with you about A Prophet. In my opinion that should have won the Oscar. Unlike you though, I though Secret was fascinating and fully worthy of the Oscar, though I expected A Prophet or The White Ribbon to win. I hadn’t seen any of them yet, and was just guessing. After having seen them, I can understand why Secret won over A Prophet, which was too gritty and convoluted (a plus, in my book) and The White Ribbon, which was too damn weird (also a plus). Without those two as competition, Secret would have been a bold and interesting choice. It’s just by comparison that it seems like an average crime thriller.

I like having eclectic taste in movies. It’s fun.

I was reading comments for Winter’s Bone elsewhere, and over and over again I saw variations of “If the critics like it so much, I know I won’t.” My face started hurting from the half smile, half grimace continually on my face.

I didn’t much like it. It was an interesting story that, in my opinion, was sabotaged by being too cryptic. There’s no narration at all, and no opening scrawl with vital information that would have made the film much deeper and more poignant. I thought I was just watching a bunch of sheep ranchers do what they do. Fine. Ok, that’s what sheep ranchers do. Then come to find out, at the very end of the movie, that this would be the last time these sheep ranchers would do what they do. Oh really?? If I’d known that at the beginning I would have had a completely different outlook on what I was seeing. Either the filmmakers thought it would make more of an impact to give that information at the end, or they figured everybody had read all about the story and knew that was the case from the beginning. Maybe I’m just too weird in that I try to know as little as possible about movies before I go see them. I hadn’t read any reviews. I only knew it was about driving sheep up into the mountains, then bringing them back down prior to shearing, and all I’d ever seen of that before was in Brokeback Mountain. I still don’t know why they do that. Or did that, since they don’t do it anymore, and since there’s no narration or info, I still don’t know why they don’t do that anymore. Did the national parks close their (our) mountains to sheep farmers? I have no idea. No explanation was given.

I would have liked to know more about sheep farming, and the history of it. But then the movie wouldn’t have been as arty I guess. I go to documentaries to learn about things I didn’t know about. If I just wanted mountain scenery I could put on a Windham Hill DVD. Or Brokeback Mountain.

If nothing else though, it did give me a lot of respect for sheep farmers. The whole process is hard work, HARD, and I vowed to give a nod to them next time I ate lamb chops.

Great scenery though. If you lived near there, wow. You had a helluva view!

I’m going to see** Avatar: The Last Airbender** tomorrow, and I’m wondering what you thought of it!

I just finished re-watching the entire TV series on DVD, and I always loved the show. But apparently, according to the general consensus on Rotten Tomatoes, that movie was absolutely horrible. I’m wondering how much of that is because of the movie, and how much was because of M. Night Shamalan’s heavy hand. I’d hate for a beloved TV series to be ruined by a bad TV show; only my video games are supposed to be butchered on the big screen (I’m thinking Super Mario Bros. and Hitman, to name but two…). :smiley:

Regarding Inception - I see you have seen it twice.
As I mentioned on that Inception thread, I didn’t think it was a waste of money to see it, but didn’t love it nearly as much as others (or critics who have raved about it). It was an interesting concept, but I found the dreams to be mundane and thus the film to be no better than Bourne films - action adventure, but with an ever so slight twist.
I think they could have done LOTS more fun things with the dream aspect, and less with the simple shoot-'em-up action scenes.
For me, it was a missed opportunity.
Am I missing something?

What’s the most annoying thing you’ve heard or seen in the theater this year while the movie was playing?
Where do you usually sit in the theater?
Do you go to the movies alone or you usually with someone?
Do you usually buy concession stand food/candy/drinks? If so, what?
Have you ever walked out of any movie?

Do you have time for any other hobbies besides movie watching?

So what exactly draws you to the theater?
For me it’s mainly in the cinematography. It’s not so much about the positives of the theater, as it is about the negatives of DVD or even Blu-Ray. Older Blu-rays and DVDs especially suffer from black crush, lack of film grain, lack of resolution, and they just in general don’t look good. Film being a primarily visual medium, I very much prefer it to look as good as was intended by the creators.

You’re not going to hear it trashed by me. 1) I’m someone who likes or loves just about everything M. Night Shyamalan does (except The Happening), and 2) I have a particular fondness for Chinese Wuxia films. We own dozens of DVDs from the genre. (aside: favorites being The Bride With White Hair, Green Snake, Zu, Warriors From The Magic Mountain, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Shyamalan is no Tsui Hark, but I was still happy that he tried the genre. It wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, and I expected it to be pretty great, but I still liked it. I would see it again.

Shyamalan is one of those people where I would NEVER listen to critics, ever ever. Or anyone else, really. I make up my own mind. People have it out for him. Sometimes it’s deserved (uh, The Happening again), often times not. He hasn’t done anything as brilliant as The Sixth Sense, IMO, but he’s always interesting and weird, and I like that.

I can’t say if you’ll like it. You’ll have to judge for yourself.

3 times!

Yep. :smiley:

I can’t think of anything, because…

I sit in the front row center 9 times out of 10. The only time I don’t is if I’m at a brain-damaged theater where the screen is way too close to the front row, and then I sit in the 2nd, once in a blue moon, the 3rd. The only time that wasn’t the case is when my husband and I went to see Trilogy Tuesday (the extended versions of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, and the first showing of Return of the King). That was an all-day thing, and we sat in the first row center of the stadium section so we could climb over the railing if we had to go in and out.

I don’t like seeing heads in front of me. I like my field of vision to be completely taken up by the film. I don’t like seeing exit signs. I don’t like being distracted by other people walking in and out for popcorn or to go to the bathroom. Sitting in the front row usually takes care of all those problems. That’s a big reason why I never encounter all the things others complain about. The most common problem I ever have are other people who have to sit in the front row because the movie is sold out, and I’m subjected to them bitching that “it’s too close.” I have a story about this but it’ll have to wait until I get home from work.

Luckily my husband is the exact same way. It was one of the things that showed us we were soul mates when we first met.

Either with my husband, or if he’s away on business trips, which is quite often, I go alone. I never go with friends. Going to the movies is not a social thing for me.

Not anymore. I used to be fond of AMC nachos and cheese, and Sno-caps, and occasionally popcorn, but now I don’t eat carbs because of my diabetes so I stay away from the concession stand. I have to bring my own snacks. I know it’s against the rules of most theaters but I do anyway. They simply don’t have anything I can eat.

Yes. The Producers with Matthew Broderick. I’m very much against walking out of films, and I don’t take anyone’s opinion seriously if they say a movie was so bad they walked out, but that was one that my husband and I just could not stand. It’s something we never do, but we were in agreement and did that night. I’m not going to say the movie was bad, because I haven’t seen it. I can say that I hated what I saw of it, and finishing it didn’t interest me. Btw, I liked the original, and I like comedies, and I like wacky movies, and I like Nathan Lane, and I like Uma Thurman, and I like the concept. But something just clicked off my brain that night, and I simply could not stand it. Who knows, I might feel different some other time. I’m a big advocate of giving movies second or even third chances. But it’ll be a long long time.

Thanks for the questions all!