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Tag: Movies

One Year of AMC Stubs

I generally always feel like I want to see more movies. A year ago I decided that if I signed up for an all-you-can-eat movie theater membership I might actually see more movies. Mostly thanks to the sunk cost fallacy. Accordingly, I signed up for AMC’s version of the program and waited to see what would happen.

This cost me $21 a month. In order to avoid having to make a spreadsheet, I decided my break even target was 2 movies a month. In Seattle, the average ticket runs around $12, but matinees are like $6, so I figured 2 movies a month would be a simple target.

As it turned out, I saw 28 movies at AMC theaters in the following 12 months. Definitely worth the while! July was my most rapacious month, in which I saw five movies. I saw nothing at AMC in February, cause it’s a bad month for movies and I was busy watching noirs, and I saw nothing at AMC in September, because I spent two weeks on vacation and then got sick.

I only really regret one of them, The Hustle, not to be confused with Hustlers which I just saw and really enjoyed. Even the relatively bad movies like Glass or Godzilla: King of the Monsters — I mean, I’d take those four hours back but it was worth the risk. (I knew The Hustle was gonna suck and I saw it anyhow. I don’t know why.)

And man! I would not have stumbled across the dark slice of neo-noir, Destroyer. I would not have caught Overlord. I probably would have put off going to see The Favorite and it’s one of the best things I saw all year. The slight sense of wasting money pushed me to take more chances. That worked out perfectly.

Overall? Well, I’ve watched 51 movies this year and it’s not over yet. Last year, I watched 49 movies total. Year before that, just 37. That was about typical, so looks like the membership paid off in general. That’s a happy ending!

Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising

This is a perfectly good movie about fighting giant monsters, even when judged on an absolute scale. There is a plot with an interesting twist. Steven S. DeKnight has a good feel for action; the fight scenes play out clearly, even the ones in the middle of dense urban centers. I never lost track of where the combatants were.

There are no characters really. I apologize to John Boyega for this but he really doesn’t have much to do. He’s kind of a bunch of swaggering dialogue and charisma draped on top of a mannequin. He does what he can with the role, it’s just not a convincing part.

Our leftover trio from Pacific Rim is the exception. They’re all fine.

The big flaw is that the jaegers and kaiju don’t have any personality either. This is a fatal flaw. In Pacific Rim, it was a huge deal that there was one three-pilot jaeger. It fought differently, the pilots had a different relationship, it was cool. There’s a three-pilot jaeger in Uprising, which gets no exposition. “Oh, that’s where they’re sticking the extra pilot.” Very unfortunate.

On the other hand you get a decent number of fights, which are well filmed and satisfying. The plot is good, as noted, and it sets up a third movie well. I am happy I saw it even if it reminded me that it took Guillermo del Toro to make such a goofy concept awesome the first time around.

Object of Dreams

Should you ever happen to be in Singapore and desirous of spending a thousand bucks or so on me, this is what I want. It’s the nearly complete Shaw Brothers collection, 668 films, on one set-top box. Presumably there’s a hard drive in there. HDMI output, 720p picture quality, from the Celestial Pictures remastered rereleases. Man, that would be awesome. At a thousand bucks, it’s reasonably priced on a per movie basis, too. Alas, they won’t ship outside Singapore.

Film Festival

I like film festivals a lot. The minimum number of movies means I can’t finish this off by just hitting the Boston Film Festival once; I have to do the festival thing, read film listings, and participate.

I would count Harry Knowles’ Butt-Numb-A-Thon for the purposes of this, although it’s unlikely. More likely candidates: Fantasia, the Boston Independent Film Festival, maybe the Tribeca Film Festival if I get ambitious, or the Boston Fantastic Film Festival (which didn’t run this year).