Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Cheap-o Theater: Revisited (Literally)

To recap my current general opinion on movies: most of them are rubbish, and I'm not willing to spend money on just about any non-Pixar movie. On the other hand, Amber and I felt like going out on Saturday night, and we haven't "gone to the movies" in a while. Good thing we still have that $1.50 theater in Raleigh! The Garner Towne Square 10 reverted back to first run movies and $7 tickets, but Blue Ridge 14 is still $1.50/ticket, all day, every day.

There wasn't one movie in particular that I wanted to go see. We just thought going to Bob Evans (we still had $30 in unspent Bob Evans gift cards) and then to the cheap-o theater was a cheap way to spend a few hours with each other away from home. (We used to just go for a scenic drive in situations like this, but I think we're saving our driving for the Alaska trip.)

So, anyway...we had a decision to make. What movie do we want to see? Looking at the Blue Ridge 14 movie lineup, nothing stood out, and I had never heard of most of the movies that were playing. (I don't watch commercials, so I don't see too many movie advertisements.) So, that day, I went to Rotten Tomatoes and researched each of the 13 movies that were playing at the Blue Ridge 14 that day, both in terms of premise, and quality. In the order they appeared on the Carmike Cinemas web site:

Option #1: Green Zone (Rotten Tomatoes score: 54%). This is apparently a Matt Damon Bourne Identity-type action movie, except it isn't as good as the Bourne series was. Put this in the "maybe" pile.

Option #2: She's Out of My League (RT score: 54%). A teen romatic comedy of sorts. I think we've outgrown these. Next...

Option #3: Our Family Wedding (RT score: 16%). I didn't do a whole lot of research on this one, because when the Rotten Tomatoes score is under 20%, that means I'm wasting my time. My rule of thumb with Rotten Tomatoes is that when the score is high, that doesn't necessarily mean I'll like it; it depends on the genre. But when the score is low, then it's almost guaranteed I won't like it. Given that we don't go to the movies all that often (once or twice a year) and haven't seen any of the 13 movies that were playing that night, there's no reason to even consider spending money on any of the very poorly reviewed ones.

Option #4: Alice In Wonderland (RT score: 51%). Now...I gave Amber the right to declare this movie the "winner" if she really wanted to see it. She declined that right, however. As for my opinion on this...when I go to the movies, I want to see something new, not something I'm already familiar with. I think that's the biggest problem I have with Hollywood these days. Most of the big-budget films are remakes of older movies, or based on something people are already familiar with. Sure, that's a decent way to ensure a profitable movie - and Hollywood is a business, after all - but it doesn't mean I have to spend any money on it myself. Unless it's based on something I'm really interested in, I'd rather see something new. That, and the reviews seemed to indicate that this movie was mostly about the visuals and less about the "plot", and that's not the type of movie I felt like seeing that night.

Option #5: The Crazies (RT score: 72%). We don't do horror movies.

Option #6: Shutter Island (RT score: 68%). This is a Martin Scorsese psychological thriller of sorts. It has decent reviews, and I like the "psychological thriller" genre, so...hmm. This movie isn't anything to get real excited about, but nevertheless, this movie is the leader thus far.

Option #7: The Wolfman (RT score: 33%): Reviews aren't good enough to make me consider it. Besides, how many werewolf movies have there been over the years? Too many, if you ask me.

Option #8: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (RT score: 50%). A Harry Potter-style kids movie. Amber likes Harry Potter, but I don't think she cares for all of the knock-offs. At least, she hasn't given me any indication that she does. Maybe she just didn't want to make me sit through another one of those weirdo magic movies. Harry Potter is enough for me.

Option #9: The Tooth Fairy (RT score: 14%). NO FREAKING WAY.

Option #10: The Spy Next Door (RT score: 12%). The name alone makes this sound like a bad kids movie that we wouldn't enjoy.

Option #11: The Book of Eli (RT score: 46%). Again, might have considered it if the reviews were better. I haven't seen most of the post-apocalyptic movies that Hollywood has cranked out lately, so I'm not as tired of the genre as most people probably are, especially if the movie is more thought-provoking and less special effects. Don't get me wrong, special effects are cool, but I don't think a movie can get by on special effects alone. (Are you listening, Roland Emmerich?)

Option #12: Sherlock Holmes (RT score: 69%). Eliminated for the same reason as Alice In Wonderland: I wanted to see something new, something fresh.

Option #13: Avatar (RT score: 82%). I'm going to try and explain why neither one of us has seen Avatar yet, and why we ultimately decided to pass on the opportunity once again, even for $1.50/ticket. I think my thing with Avatar is that I'm just sick of the hype, and I don't like "giving in". We've been hearing about this movie for months now, and all indications I've seen are that this is yet another special effects-driven, plot-deficient movie. I'm sure this movie isn't as plot-deficient as, say, Transformers, but still. Besides, I already know how Avatar ends. I've heard and read so much about this movie, I don't think I could have possibly enjoyed it as much as some of the other movies that were showing, despite the fact that this movie did get a better Rotten Tomatoes rating than any other movie showing at Blue Ridge 14 that night.

So, anyway...we decided to go see Shutter Island instead. My verdict? Meh. Not bad, but not particularly memorable, either. Which, given how cynical I am towards Hollywood these days, I'll take that.

1 comment:

Nick said...

I had no idea that Garner went back to regular price. That sucks. That also shows how often we go see movies...not very.