Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Summer I Stayed Home...

An exchange from earlier in the week

Me: So… Pirates 3.
Him: Yeah, I’ll probably wait a week for the crowds to die down then I’ll check it out.
Me: I don’t think I’m going to go.
Him: (genuinely surprised) Really?
Me: I didn’t like the first two so… why would I throw more of my money at them?
Him: You don’t like Pirates? What’s wrong with you?
Me: They’re 2.5 hour movies about one of group of dead people fighting another group of dead people wondering why they can’t kill one another. And when they’re not doing *that* they’re standing around explaining this utterly indecipherable plot. How did we get to this point from a 5 minute ride at Disney Land?
Him: (chuckling) Harsh, harsh. No, you’re right though. It is what it is. And the last one wasn’t great. But what am I gonna’ do, not see it?

Here’s the thing: The person I was talking to was in his mid 30’s and of above-average intelligence. And I’m not including it to belittle the person (lord knows I didn’t include it because it’s riveting; rereading it now makes me realize just how dull I am around other film people) either. This is the mindset I’d subscribed to almost my whole life, a sort of dutiful resignation that I was going to plunk down money to see whatever this week’s big, dumb blockbuster was simply so I could feel like part of the collective discussion. I feel like this is the reason I’ve seen every single Michael Bay film (all but The Rock in a theater no less) and why I’m intimately aware of the collected works of Ratner, Shadyac and Sommers.

So this summer I’ve decided to do something a little bit radical. I’m actually going to apply common sense and my own better judgment and I am going to try and avoid films that I know I’m not going to like. I know shocking right? Most adults live their lives in this way and I’m only just coming to the realization.

This is actually a two-pronged tactic because not only will I not be giving my money to the assembly line crap put out by the big studios, but I will also be using this time to seek out smaller, more deserving films and seeing them instead. Not only am I taking money away from those who I feel are undeserving, but I will actively promote those which are being undernourished. Why just last week while the unwashed masses helped Shrek 3 gross 120 million dollars in its opening weekend, I went to a shitty mall theater to watch Lucky You (at only one of two venues in the city a mere two weeks after it had opened). Granted Lucky You was produced by a little company called Warner Brothers and its status as runt of the litter had more to do with corporate cowardice than its lack of a budget, but you get the idea. Currently playing in Los Angeles right now, I have the option of seeing:

Paris Je Taime
Away From Her

All which sound a heck of a lot better than the latest ass-numbing adventures of Captain Jack Sparrow. We’ll see how well this particular gambit goes. I’ve already pledged to see Live Free of Die Hard (my house mate Jay would probably stop talking to me if I didn’t go with him) and the magnetism of Transformers, a huge-budget blockbuster that if I were still seven would probably be my favorite film of all time, may be too much to ignore. In the end, it is the summer and I do like to have fun at the movies. Hopefully that won’t require me to help Brett Ratner pay for another sports car.

1 comment:

bloomerang said...

I admire your dedication here. Foregive me if I don't entirely think it's possible. I have matered the art of not seeing movies I won't want to see. Remember, I am the guy who still has not seen Episode 3. I will not be seeing Pirates, nor Shrek, nor Die Hard 4, and maybe not even Transformers. Actually, fuck it I'm seeing Transformers. But those other 3 look shitty. Super duper shitty. As good as Transformers is going to be, that's how bad those other ones are.