My Summer at the Movies
Back in May I came up with a crazy plan to see a lot of movies this summer. My list started with 19 movies, grew to 23 at one point and was scaled back to 20. On Labor Day I saw the last one and declared my project complete. I’m still trying to digest the whole experience but I promise this is the last post on the subject. For reference, these are the movies I saw:
- The Raven
- The Avengers
- Dark Shadows
- Men in Black III
- Snow White & The Huntsman
- Rock of Ages
- Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
- Spider Man
- The Watch
- Total Recall
- The Campaign
- Bourne Legacy
- Premium Rush
One thing I learned this summer is that the American movie industry is still kicking despite reports to the contrary. I saw a lot of full theaters this summer. The question of course is how many of those were movie fans that had seen multiple movies since May. Repeat customers are important and on that front polling suggests a drop-off.
I was aided this summer by two pieces of technology. The first was the Fandango app for my Android phone. Because I was seeing so many movies I would often fit them in at odd times of day. My wife would take a Saturday nap and I would quickly check movie times to see if I could catch a movie on my list. Fandango replaced the Flixster app I started with because the latter wouldn’t indicate if the movie was 3D or in the more expensive XD theater. I got burned on that several times this summer before I switched. Fandango reveals all.
The second piece of technology is the GTO Lite app that syncs with my Google Tasks list. I made a list at the start of the summer for all of my movies and the app allowed me to check them off one by one. Also unexpected was how much fun my fellow movie-goers had in pushing the button to check off movies for me. Every time I saw a movie on my list with my niece or nephew or one of my daughters, the person with me got to push the button. It was astounding to see how much they enjoyed this.
I saw some movies on opening weekends and that was always both stressful (crowds) and fun (shared experience with a lot of people). I saw most movies in my ‘home’ theater but I saw a few out-of-town on vacation and a few across town with my extended family. I learned that 3D still seems like a gimmick, not a real technological advancement. I learned that while I still enjoy the middle seats in the aisle, I also appreciate side seats for their privacy. In all but the most crowded theaters you can usually have a whole side row to yourself which means elbow room and you don’t annoy people if you get fidgety.
This summer I also dug out an old Gregory technical fanny pack from my hiking days. I checked my fashion ego so I would have somewhere to put all of my pocket contents during the movies and it was also a great way to sneak in my own candy. This greatly embarrassed my teenage daughters but that’s what dads are for. I wish I had saved all of the ticket stubs but I’ll settle for the memories.
My top 5 movies of the summer were:
- The Avengers
- Dark Knight
- The Bourne Legacy
The worst were The Raven and Dark Shadows. Surprisingly good were Savages and Battleship.
I have a fall movie list but I am not going to hold myself accountable to that one. I also doubt I will tackle a project like this again next summer though I am sure to be at the movies plenty. For me this has been a fun experience and one that would not have been possible if I had younger kids or a wife that was less tolerant than the one I have. On the horizon is all of those projects that got neglected while I was in dark theaters. And DVDs of the movies I missed.