Wednesday, January 14, 2009

At the Movies

I wrote on my hand today that I should write about movies, so I'm going to go ahead and do that now. Otherwise I'll take a shower and will no longer have this brilliant idea documented anywhere. So here's my movie post.

My parents watch more movies at the theatre than anyone I know. Granted, I don't know that many people, but they watch lots of movies. My dad will watch pretty much anything. He's a big fan of the Action Summer Blockbuster genre. You know, those movies that used to be comic books back when there were comic books. But he'll also see anything that my mom wants to see. She was a librarian and watches everything that was based on a book that she read. Based on those two rather broad categories, they pretty much have 12 of the 16 screens at the theatre covered. Oh, my mom will also watch anything that features Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, or any other male lead who could be named the AARP Sexiest Man Alive. Just had to get that in there, even though I know I'll get an angry phone call or email tomorrow morning. Sorry mom.

I think the data point that best explains my parents' dedication to the movies is the fact that they used to wake up at 4:00 AM on Sunday mornings (back before DVR) to watch 'At the Movies' with Siskel and Ebert or Ebert and Roper. That's dedication. They also have a very stong relationship with Netflix. Since they see everything that makes it to the theatre, their constant pen pal relationship with Netflix usually covers everything that  doesn't make it to the theatre (documentaries, etc).

Netflix probably loses money on their relationship with my parents. It more than makes up this loss with us (mostly Kate). Kate is very particular about the type of movie that she will watch. Here are Kate's rules. I'm making these up as I go, but have about six years of data or so to support this:

1.  Has to be a romantic comedy. I've found that most movies in this genre are neither romantic or funny, so I'm not sure how they came up with this label, but I digress.

2. Running time under two hours. There are some attention span issues that are the culprit here. I believe those were mentioned in a previous post about road trips if you're scoring at home.

3. Either the male or female lead has to be someone who starred in another movie that she has previously seen and enjoyed. This one is difficult, because it rules out anyone starring in their first major motion picture.

4. The male or female lead cannot have starred in a romantic comedy that she disliked. This rules out a lot of movies.

5. Movie cannot have a 'bad' ending. Bad = any loose ends. Funny story on this one. Now that Kate is back in Indy, I'm going to a lot more movies (with my parents, of course). We saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button the other day. Instead of asking me questions like "how was the movie" or "would I like it" her first question was "How did it end?" It's a three hour movie and her only real question was about the ending. So yeah, I think this rule is valid.

6. Movie cannot have anything to do with Angelina Jolie. This is probably the most important rule. So you can copy and paste it into the #1 spot if you want. I think this rules out Brad Pitt movies, Billy Bob Thornton movies, and Jon Voight movies. It actually rules out movies that have trailers for Angelina Jolie movies.  Kate likes pretty much everyone. She's the nice one. But there's something about Angelina Jolie that really makes Kate angry. When a trailer for an Angelina Jolie movie is on TV, it is usually followed with "ugh, that freak, go drink some blood" or "ugh, what is she doing in another movie, doesn't she have like 18 babies to take care of" or "ugh, gross. I don't like her. I think she's a vampire." Not a big fan.

So those are the rules for new movies. For DVDs, we're pretty much limited to John Hughes movies made between 1983 and 1993. So my choices are cinematic gems like Uncle Buck, She's Having a Baby, Home Alone, Curly Sue, and a handful of other movies that I've seen a dozen times. Our Netflix queue pretty much looks like it would if I was in a coma for the past 15 years and was from Chicago. Awesome. 

My movie tastes are somewhere between those of my wife and my parents. But I'm usually too busy to go to the movies. This TV isn't going to watch itself.


MaryBe said...

I think I would like your Mother a lot! She has great taste in men!
And I am glad to see that I'm not the only one who doesn't care for Angelina Jolie, although we are outnumbered. There's just something about a woman who steals another woman's husband...grrrr

neimanmarxist said...

see, i think Kate's rules are great. especially the angelia jolie rule. i mean seriously, the woman went from wearing a vial of tommy lee jones' blood on a chain around her neck to saving Africa and depicting marianne pearl. why is memory so short in celebrity culture?

Amanda said...

I'm that way about Tom Cruise. I hate him. He makes me feel violent towards all mankind. I won't see any movies with him in it. (Though I did find out Eddie Izzard is in that new Nazi movie... so now I'm torn. Does my hatred for Tom Cruise outweigh my love Eddie Izzard? Dilemma!) I also dislike Katie Holmes because of her ties to him, but my love for Christian Bale let me safely watch the first new Batman. (Though I was quite happy when she was replaced with Maggie Gyllenhall.) Nicole Kidman is spared, though in general I dislike movies she is in because they suck (and involve Baz Lurhman).

I watch a lot more movies in netflix. If I see a preview for a movie I want to see, I'll save it in my queue. For actually going to the theater, I have criteria:

1. Group Mentality: I'm with other people who want to see a particular movie I am interested in and/or it wasn't my idea to go, but I'm being sociable. (This is my #1 reason for seeing films in theaters).

2. Brand Loyalty: There is someone I love very much in the movie, and I feel like I should support them. This also goes with directors, authors, franchises: I love the Watchmen comic books, so I will be seeing the movie in the theater. I saw Stardust because Neil Gaiman is my favorite author of all time ever.

3. Animal Cruelty: No dogs (most animals in general, but dogs specifically) die. (I am eternally grateful for your Marley & Me spoiler). I hated I am Legend for this (and the fake zombies).

There are more, but I can't think of them offhand.

Cindy said...

Love your blog! Found it through KERF (another favorite) and love your writing style.
I'm all for Netflix, how else would I be able to revisit all seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager?