I binged on movies last weekend. Which for me means that I watched one on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I don’t like to watch back-to-back films in the same day. Or even watch a TV show after an afternoon movie. In fact, if the film I’ve watched was good, I don’t even like to read before I go to bed.
Cinema is an event. Not as much as it once was, perhaps, but that’s because we choose to jump right into the next thing. I far prefer to sit with a film. Let it sort of wrap around me. Contemplate its story, theme, and emotion. There’s plenty of time for the rat race tomorrow. I’ve never understood how someone could want to know the end before the beginning or have a conversation/play a game during the movie – you are going to miss something and you are making me miss it too. (Nothing against those people, I also don’t understand why people chose to eat mushrooms.)
First up was Prisoners, the script I wrote about a few weeks ago. The film didn’t disappoint. I don’t think there was a single funny line in the entire thing. Even the “fun” scenes where the actors seemed to be enjoying themselves was underscored with ominous music and a style that tightened your gut. It was a methodical unraveling and well done. My wife, however, was a bit perturbed that the “best scene in the script” was cut from the final film. That’ll learn her to read scripts. On the other hand, it was filmed exactly the way we both envisioned it.
Next up was The Eagle which, I believe, was added to my Netflix queue by #2 because Channing Tatum is in it. I enjoyed it. Also a serious drama, but this one was Action Drama rather than Thriller/Crime Drama. Nothing pretentious at all, it was about story. A gory story. It was almost on the nose about how awful the Romans were and how pointless war is. I don’t disagree, it’s just… I didn’t want to watch a civics lesson rife with editorial. But don’t let that dissuade you. If you have the stomach for decapitation, primitive surgery, and UFC style bludgeoning contests – or you like to see Channing Tatum without a shirt – feel free to watch it. The story was good. It also passed my Donald Sutherland test. (Short parts = good movie. Big parts = bleh.)
Then #3 and #4 convinced me that I should take them to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Okay, it was my idea and they thought it was a good one. I wanted to go because it’s about the only non-sequel, non-R action movie out this year. I also wanted to feel old by complaining to myself about the $9.50 matinee ticket price. That’s alright, you can still get a popcorn and to sodas for under $20. A nickel under $20. But the complaining will give you the wrong idea. It was much, much better than I thought it would be. If you liked the first Iron Man you will like GotG. What struck me most was that story took prominence over CGI. There was lots of CGI, but it wasn’t distracting. And the dialogue. Oh my. I want to write that sort of repartee. Awesome. The best lines were all exchanges.
And they were good lines. My boys are still quoting them which they NEVER do. I haven’t seen them that excited after watching a movie in a long time. The studio worked very hard to make sure that when they kicked off this franchise they did it well. I was disappointed by some of the content choices, but relatively speaking they did show restraint.