RA Movie Thread (Read 5582 times)

    My best experiences at the cinema. 

     

    What are yours?

     

    Time for a long post...

     

    My best movie theater experiences

     

    To start this off, my first-ever memory of being in a theater was when my parents took me to some Benji movie when I was probably four years old or so.   The sight of a dog on a massive theater screen freaked me out at the time.  For a long while after that, I kept having nightmares where I would be playing in the front yard, I would hear barking, and I would see a giant three-story-tall Benji running toward me.  It's funny how something so seemingly innocuous can traumatize a kid.  Anyway, moving on...

     

     Star Wars, during its second theatrical run in 1978

    I was only six years old, but I remember this experience as clear as day.  I'll never forget seeing the massive underbelly of that Star Destroyer in the opening scene.  The entire Mos Eisley sequence rocked my world back then as well, because I loved all of the strange monsters.

     

    Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

    The Imperial Walkers on the Hoth ice planet on a big theater screen.  Yeah, that made a lifelong impression on my 1980 summer-after-second-grade self.

     

    Flash Gordon (1980)

    I was in third grade, and Ming's daughter, Princess Aura, was my first cinematic crush.  I did not know what I wanted to do with her, but I just knew that I wanted to do something, and I knew that she was amazingly hot.  The prettiest girls are usually the ones who have mean fathers, and I guess that Princess Aura is the epitome of this.  I mean, if you meet a hot girl and her father is Emperor Ming the Merciless...

     

    Clash of the Titans (1981)

    I saw this during the summer after third grade, and Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animation creatures rocked my face.  To this day, I still think that this film blows away present-day computer effects movies.

     

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

    I got a kick out of seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark at the theater a few years earlier, and I believe that it is the better movie, but the experience of seeing this second film in the theater stands out on my memory even more simply because I loved watching it on opening night with the reactions of a sold-out audience.  The sheer over-the-top nature of this movie just worked its charm full force in a crowded theater.  I mean, they jump out of a plane on a rubber raft, they slide off a snowy cliff, and they brave river rapids at the bottom.  Haha.  The crowd was just cheering like crazy.  The reactions to all of the gross dishes at the dinner scene were so fun to experience, as well.

     

    The Goonies (1985)

    I was 13 years old, and I went to see this movie with a large group of friends from my neighborhood who were all my age.  We had spent the entire summer building forts in the woods, exploring new areas, and finding creative ways to have fun.  We were basically The Goonies going to see a movie about ourselves at the theater.  This was a golden experience that I'll always treasure.

     

    Rambo: First Blood Part II

    This was the first R-rated movie that I ever saw in the theater, and I was accompanied by my father during the summer of 1985.  I think that my father later regretted taking me to see a movie that was so violent, but I had a blast.

     

    Stand By Me

    Some of my neighborhood friends and I saw this movie in the fall of 1986.  It was basically a similar golden experience to the time when we all went to see The Goonies a year earlier, except that, like the kids in Stand By Me, we were starting to become adults.  This is an example of how the timing of certain movies in our lives can sometimes be just right.

     

    Platoon 

    I saw this Oliver Stone movie with a friend during the winter of 1987, during my freshman year of high school.  For years, my friends and I had played Army in the woods, we had collected G.I. Joe toys, I obsessed over the Rambo movies, over Top Gun, and over TV shows like The A-Team, Airwolf, or Blue Thunder, and I could wait to go into the military when I was older, because all of the media that I was exposed to at the time made being a soldier in a war seem like so much fun.  I wanted so much to be a soldier and to go around the world shooting things and blowing up things with cool weapons.  The experience of seeing Platoon in at theater changed all of that, and my 14 year-old self walked out of the movie saddened at how people could do such horrible things to one another for no reason.  This was probably the transitional bridge between my pre-teen self who loved playing war in the woods and my teenage self who was preoccupied with R.E.M., The Smiths, and The Cure.

     

    The Living Daylights

    By this time, during the summer of 1987, I was already a huge James Bond fan, by way of seeing the movies over and over again on television, but this was my first theatrical Bond experience.  This is one of the most underrated James Bond movies, Maryam d'Abo is one of the most beautiful Bond women, and Timothy Dalton is underrated, but awesome.

     

    The Silence of the Lambs 

    When I was a freshman in college in 1991, some friends and I went to see this movie near the campus.  I went back to my dorm room and spent a couple of hours just pacing back and forth around the room thinking about what I had just seen.  Intense!

     

    Alien

    This 1979 Ridley Scott movie is, by far, the greatest of the Alien films, and it is one of the best flicks ever made.  I saw it on a big theater screen at a college campus showing in 1991, and was blown away at how much more impact the movie had on the big screen as opposed to my earlier viewings of the movie on a small television screen.  Alien is meant to be seen in a theater with a big audience and the crowd reactions.  It's sort of a middle finger to home video technology, and there's no substitute for a theatrical showing.

     

    Jurassic Park

    My college friends and I went to see this on the day of release in 1993.  The scene with the Tyrannosaurus Rex going through the electric fence and attacking the kids in the Jeep owns all.  It's like that scene is the steak, and the rest of the movie is just forgettable appetizers and side dishes.  This Tyrannosaurus Rex scene has to be viewed in a theater at least once.

     

    The Shawshank Redemption

    A college friend and I saw this on opening night in 1994.  The theater was only filled to about a third capacity on opening night.  Little did everyone know how amazingly popular this flick would become later on.  I had read the Stephen King story, so I knew all along how the ending would play out, but I loved seeing the reaction of the audience.

     

    Pulp Fiction

    Opening night at the theater in 1994, once again.  My friends and I were blown away, and the movie forever after solidified the lexicon of our college conversations.

     

    Saving Private Ryan

    I went to see this in a crowded theater after work one day during the week of its release in 1998.  After the movie ended, the entire crowd walked out of the theater in absolute silence.  One elderly man, who looked to be about the age for a WWII veteran, was sobbing loudly as he exited, and everyone else cleared the way for him.

     

    The Matrix

    Opening night in 1999, and I saw this with a crowd of friends.  I was living in an apartment with two friends at the time, and this movie prompted me to buy my first DVD player a few months later.  These two friends and I watched this DVD of The Matrix about a million times, and we played it every time we had friends over.  One of my roommates was engaged at the time.  Today, he lives in Baton Rouge with his wife and two children, and he recently told me that, even now, 15 years later, his wife still forbids him to buy his own copy of The Matrix, because she became so sick of sitting through it at our apartment so many times back in the day.

     

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

    Once again, a big group of friends and I saw this movie on opening night, and this experience was just pure awesomeness across the board.  Yes, it's a flawed movie, and it's cheesy in a lot of ways, but....hey....it was a new Star Wars movie!

     

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    These movies are noticeably dated now, because of the computer effects, but the experience of seeing them on the big screen, especially the first one, was grand.  I have a theory that The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings was an important healing experience for America in the months that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, because it gave everyone an escapist vent.

     

    Casino Royale (2006)

    This one is memorable because I saw it at the theater four times.  I couldn't get enough of it, and still cannot.  It's my favorite movie of the 2000s so far.

     

    The Tree of Life

    This 2011 movie was the most remarkably beautiful theater experience that I had enjoyed in ages.  I was awestruck by Terrence Malick's visuals at one of the biggest independent theater screens in the city.

     

    Dr. No and From Russia with Love

    I saw theatrical showings of these movies this past summer at the Plaza, the oldest theater in Atlanta.  Such a pleasure to see two of my all-time top 10 movies on a big theater screen, especially with John Barry's music score in From Russia with Love on the theater's new sound system.

     

    Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds

    I saw this one at Fox Theatre over the summer this year.  With the sound system at Fox, it sounded as though birds had actually surrounded the outside of the theater.

     

    I had fun writing this post.   A great little trip down memory lane.


    Interval Junkie --Nobby

      I don't think the question was "what movies have you seen in the theater", Jason.

       

      Wink

      2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon 

      Current Status 08/28: Slowly working back up from a pelvic stress fracture.  4mil distance PR w00t!

      jimmyb


        Saving Private Ryan is also on my list. It's the only war movie that really gave me an inkling of how surreal it must be to invade a beach in war like that.

         

        The Matrix, and The Shawshank Redemption were also transcendent experiences for me. I left the theater after The Matrix wondering if this reality was some sort of matrix! Strange feeling. And Shawshank was just one of the best stories I had ever seen. Totally engrossed.

         

        One more for now. Sex And Zen. A comedy out of Hong Kong I think. Saw it at The Avon, a full theater. It bordered on porn, but transcended it because it was just so funny. The audience was howling.

        Log    PRs

        mab411


        Proboscis Colossus

          I just got back from seeing A Beautiful Mind 2.  Poor John Nash...the hallucinations are much more intense and elaborate in this one.  Crowe and Connelly still have great chemistry, though.

          "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

          jimmyb


            I just got back from seeing A Beautiful Mind 2.  Poor John Nash...the hallucinations are much more intense and elaborate in this one.  Crowe and Connelly still have great chemistry, though.

             

            I thought the full name was A Beautiful Mind 2: Vegas Non Cooperative

            Log    PRs

              Thor: The Dark World

               

              I rented this movie from a Redbox booth earlier today to gear myself up for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  I also revisited my Blu-ray of The Avengers earlier in the week.

               

              I'm at the point now where I cheer for Loki in all of these movies.  I mean, we should just hand over Earth and the rest of the Universe to Loki, because he's so relentlessly persistent and he just keeps getting up after getting knocked down.  He just tries so hard each time, and it's like watching Charlie Brown try to kick the football over and over again.  I have a soft spot for persistent people with an abundance of spirit, and that's why I want to see Loki pull through someday.


              I'm back!

                The Matrix, and The Shawshank Redemption were also transcendent experiences for me. I left the theater after The Matrix wondering if this reality was some sort of matrix! Strange feeling. 

                 

                I left the theater after The Matrix very disturbed. Not because I was wondering whether reality is some sort of "matrix" (?), but because a movie like that was big and successful. To my mind it represents a turning point in movies, where style triumphs absolutely over substance. That is what we get nowadays, post-Matrix, and nobody complains. More, it was fun, and I enjoyed it while hating it. It also disturbs me that it is still brought up as a philosophical reference point. It was just a typical action movie, with some novel effects (now clichéd), wrapped in a thin veneer of "isn't this deep and meaningful". Uh, no. The concept and the story fail in so many ways if you try to take it seriously. And to the extent that there *is* a deep and meaningful philosophical issue raised, it is not remotely novel, or dealt with in an interesting way. Oh, we might be living in a simulation? OK. Where have I heard that idea before... why, it's not even four centuries old.


                A Dance with Monkeys

                  Eh. There are no new stories and there really have not been for all of recorded history. Why then place Matrix against a higher standard.

                  jimmyb


                     

                    I left the theater after The Matrix very disturbed. Not because I was wondering whether reality is some sort of "matrix" (?), but because a movie like that was big and successful. To my mind it represents a turning point in movies, where style triumphs absolutely over substance. That is what we get nowadays, post-Matrix, and nobody complains. More, it was fun, and I enjoyed it while hating it. It also disturbs me that it is still brought up as a philosophical reference point. It was just a typical action movie, with some novel effects (now clichéd), wrapped in a thin veneer of "isn't this deep and meaningful". Uh, no. The concept and the story fail in so many ways if you try to take it seriously. And to the extent that there *is* a deep and meaningful philosophical issue raised, it is not remotely novel, or dealt with in an interesting way. Oh, we might be living in a simulation? OK. Where have I heard that idea before... why, it's not even four centuries old.

                    Good post.

                     

                    Was I fooled by the movie? I don't think so. I was into it. Style over substance or not.

                     

                    As far as Keanu Reeves films go, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure is far superior to The Matrix. A time travel movie. Also not a new idea. I don't need  movies to be deep and meaningful, I just want them to draw me into a state of engrossment, and not throw me out of it. That the world is an illusion, a false reality, is not a new idea, it goes back further than Descartes. Eastern religions. And probably further than that. The idea will always be around, since it's probably true,  at least in the basic fact that the 3-d world you experience is a reconstruction in your brain, routed there by a slow nervous system (compared to the speed of light), and perhaps even further than that. It's tough to say, since experience is soooooooo subjective).

                     

                    I thought The Matrix took an old idea and updated it nicely. I had never thought of the world before in terms of an alien-maintained matrix. Most importantly,  it succeeded in not throwing me out of my trance. Where The Matrix 2+3 were not so successful in that matter. Did not like those at all.

                     

                    Is there a movie that  takes the idea of the world as complete illusion, and succeeds in its execution?

                     

                    P.S. Bill & Ted took the old idea of time travel concept to a whole new level. Love when they needed something, they would say "we'll just go back in time later and put it there! So, it must be there!" And it worked. Brilliant idea.

                    Log    PRs

                      I saw Captain America: The Winter Soldier last night.

                       

                      Captain America is, by far, the best character in these movies (imo). I've enjoyed his movies more than any of the others.

                      They just speak to me, I guess. There is something about his hope and goodness that makes me root for him.

                       

                      I'll leave the details to those more eloquent than me (looking at you, Jason), but I really enjoyed this movie.

                       

                      (side note, is anyone else getting tired of the Stan Lee cameos? They're just getting a little tired and don't add anything to the movies at all. It just seems like an ego thing for him. I get it Stan, you created assisted in the creation of many of these characters. Can't you just cash your checks and show up to comic-con?)

                         

                        I left the theater after The Matrix very disturbed. Not because I was wondering whether reality is some sort of "matrix" (?), but because a movie like that was big and successful. To my mind it represents a turning point in movies, where style triumphs absolutely over substance. That is what we get nowadays, post-Matrix, and nobody complains. More, it was fun, and I enjoyed it while hating it. It also disturbs me that it is still brought up as a philosophical reference point. It was just a typical action movie, with some novel effects (now clichéd), wrapped in a thin veneer of "isn't this deep and meaningful". Uh, no. The concept and the story fail in so many ways if you try to take it seriously. And to the extent that there *is* a deep and meaningful philosophical issue raised, it is not remotely novel, or dealt with in an interesting way. Oh, we might be living in a simulation? OK. Where have I heard that idea before... why, it's not even four centuries old.

                         

                        Funnily enough, The Matrix initially struck me as an inferior clone of a movie, Dark City, that I had seen the previous year.  Dark City was more cerebral with regard to the story, but it featured similar visual styles.  When my friends and I were walking out of the theater after seeing The Matrix, I told them about Dark City and about how The Matrix seemed to copy it.  My friends did not care, and, in all honesty, neither did I.   The Matrix is a good example of eye candy over substance, but it was nonetheless quite glorious to see on a big theater screen on opening night.

                         

                        Looking back, The Matrix is drawn from a blatant collage of influences, ranging back to John Woo's The Killer (1989) and Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita (1990), but also going further back to classic era film noir movies, which set a good standard for placing priority on cool visuals.

                         

                        I have no need for either of the subsequent sequels to The Matrix, but that first movie was quite sensational on opening night, and it's still fun to revisit.  I upgraded it to Blu-ray last year, and I simply pretend that the sequels and the ensuing mythology never happened.


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          Is there a movie that  takes the idea of the world as complete illusion, and succeeds in its execution?

                           

                          What about inception?

                           

                          (which I hated)

                            Here's the review that I just posted on my Facebook wall...

                             

                             

                            Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my favorite Marvel Comics film to date. This latest Marvel entry, which scales back on the use of flashy computer effects to place the emphasis on live action and plot structure, invites comparisons to some of my favorite conspiracy thrillers from the 1970s, namely Marathon Man, The Conversation, and The Day of the Jackal. It's probably no accident that Robert Redford, who starred in the 1975 espionage film, Three Days of the Condor, has a prominent role in this new movie as an official with SHIELD and the World Security Council. Like those old conspiracy movies, Captain America: The Winter Soldier caters to the attentive viewer, and draws its strength from contemporary political paranoia. Without revealing any specific spoilers, I will say that I loved the grand scale plans of the main villains in this film, and my imagination now runs wild with regard to what a malicious entity could do with our individual web-browsing data, our online banking histories, our social media posts, and our online quiz results. If you are creeped out by the idea of Facebook ads on your newsfeed that are based on your surfing habits, then you will probably find a lot to enjoy with this story.

                             

                            Chris Evans gives his most impressive performance yet in the title role, and I enjoyed watching the efforts of his character to adjust to present-day after the events in the first Captain America film and in The Avengers. I have long been a fan of Scarlett Johansson for so many reasons, and I am glad that her Black Widow character has a key role in this movie. Robert Redford continues his winning streak after starring in my favorite film of last year, All Is Lost. Samuel L. Jackson is always fun to watch as Nick Fury. I enjoyed a surprising scene involving a World Security Council member played by Jenny Agutter, because I love her work in a few older movies, especially Walkabout (1971), Logan's Run (1976), and An American Werewolf in London (1981). To say anything more about certain roles would risk revealing the many surprises that this movie has in store for Marvel fans. I was never hugely immersed in the Marvel universe during my childhood, but I like how these films increasingly weave together and allude to one another. Keep your eyes open for many subtle references to other Marvel superheroes.

                             

                            Despite its focus on relatively cerebral plot elements, Captain America: The Winter Soldier still delivers in spades when it comes to explosive action and visually spectacular showdowns. The day of seamless computer effects has finally arrived, and I enjoyed how the few sequences that are heavily reliant on digital bells and whistles did not make me feel as though I were watching a cartoon. Captain America: The Winter Soldier also excels at maintaining a light-hearted sense of humor in the midst of its intricate story developments, unlike the overbearingly somber Dark Knight movies or the recent Superman reboot, Man of Steel.

                             

                            Captain America: The Winter Soldier has set the bar pretty high for spring and summer blockbusters of 2014. Well done!

                            FSocks


                            Gramps

                              Rented Inside Llewyn Davis last night from the Redbox by the Coen Brothers.  I'm sure everyone knows when watching a Coen Brother's movie is sort of like the proverbial "box of chocolates..."  The story follows a week in the life of a folk singer in downtown 1961 New York City.  Superb performance by Oscar Isaac as the title character; how he didn't get an Oscar nomination is beyond me.  Good performance, as usual, from Carey Mulligan as a friend/ex-lover.  John Goodman makes his usual appearance but, meh, he could have been left out of this one.  I'm not much of a folk music fan but I'll say that every song that Llewyn sang had me longing for more of his singing; powerful stuff.  The cinematography was excellent as it superbly represented 60s NYC.  My fellow family members thought the movie dragged at times.  Perhaps it did but I thought the additional lead character insights were excellent.  Though I can see this film necessarily wouldn't suite everyone.

                               

                              7/10 Socks.

                              Running is dumb. 

                                I was trying to remember what I said about this movie a few pages ago. I disagree with you on John Goodman, I thought he stole all the scenes he was in. Not sure of the rationale for including his character, but the movie really had no plot anyway, so I guess it's just because they felt like it. I agree Isaac's voice was very impressive.

                                 

                                 

                                Finally saw Inside Llewyn Davis. I had been wanting to see it ever since the first previews came out. When it came to the theaters it was on very limited release for a long time, nothing too close to me. Went to wider release & didn't get around to it, then before long it showed up on On Demand.

                                Overall I enjoyed it, although probably does not rank among the Coen Bros best. My wife did not like it too much as it was very depressing, and the story didn't really seem to go anywhere. John Goodman was the highlight of the film.

                                The music side of it was really cool. Oscar Isaac did a really nice job, he did all his own music. The main song "Fare Thee Well" got really stuck in my head. I had heard it in the trailers, but didn't realize it was actually a duet between Isaac and Marcus Mumford (of Mumford & Sons), who is the voice of Llewyn's former partner (on the song, but nowhere else in the movie).

                                Dave