Moving pictures are America's contribution to world culture.
When I moved to Payson there was no Sawmill Theatre and the
little storefront theater on Bonita had recently closed.
Eek. Gasp. Faint.
Would I, who lived for 10 years with the tall white letters of the Hollywood sign in my sights, survive a couple of years without popcorn, a soda and the experience of a story shared with an audience?
Did I mention shared QUIETLY with an audience?
Movie industry audiences are quiet except when some person's name they know comes up on the credits-- be they fx miniaturist or dolly grip -- then they yelled or cheered.
Comparing Sawmill's screen sizes to the massive screens of the Chinese Theater or Phoenix's very-fine-but-now-torn-down-in-the-name-of-progress Cine Capri would be unfair.
I've whined about screen size, then thought better and let "gratefulness" prevail.
I love movies.
I pay my hard-earned dollars not just to see them but also to hear, so my pet peeves are adults who talk during them. Especially on cell phones.
They are rude, inconsiderate, and if I were queen I would have an eject button that sent them to a theater in Hades to watch Paul McCartney's "Give My Regards to Broadstreet" (the only movie I ever walked out on) in an endless loop.
Two-and-a-half hours sitting through "The New World" might be enough punishment. It was a movie I looked forward to.
The cinematography was perfect. I now want to visit the coast of Virginia. Q'Orianka Kilcher, who played Pocahontas, made the character come to life.
But I am sending the sound editor a ticket for "Give My Regards to Broadstreet." (It was awful but at least you could hear the actors speak.)
"The New World" was also abominably s...l...o...w.
(American movies are generally faster paced than foreign films and maybe that fast-paced action has spoiled us for the story.
Well, what woman doesn't like to be spoiled?)
I am sad that Planet Video is gone, but really, I can wait to rent the summer's romantic comedy releases in the fall.
Give me "V for Vendetta" (opens March 17), "X-Men III" (May 26), "A Scanner Darkly" (July 7... maybe), even "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown" (March 31)!
"V for Vendetta" is author Alan Moore's story of a man whose mission is to overthrow a totalitarian state. The first installment of the graphic novel hit the shelves in 1981; it was illustrated by David Lloyd.
A cheeky, cheery vision of the world it is not, but when protagonist V rescues Evey from the secret police he finds an ally.
"V" stars Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman. The Wachowski brothers of Matrix fame produced.
Marvel's "X-Men" comics are read worldwide. The first two movies grossed over $700 million and some minute percentage of that came from the three times I had to see "X-II" on the big screen. This time, I want to see if visual effects supervisor John Bruno made Angel's wings look as believable as the flying hippogriff in "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."
"A Scanner Darkly" is based on science fiction writer Phillip K. Dick's story. The movie bills itself as the first animated film for adults.
More than 50 animators used computer software to digitally scan over the live action of stars Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder (sans handcuffs). The director bit off more of the new technology than he could comfortably chew and the movie went over schedule and over budget, but should be visually interesting.
While those are films for mature audiences, "Ice Age 2," rated PG, will be a show parents can meltdown with laughter along-side their children if it is half as good as the first show.
The ice is starting to melt, which will destroy Diego, Manny and Sid's valley. They must unite to warn everyone.
And of course, Scrat is still after his acorn. (Could he be the ancestor of Wile E. Coyote?)
One thing I have noticed is that children at the Sawmill Theaters are quite often better behaved than the adults.
Shared laughter, shrieks of fright and, occasionally, tears are all a part of the movie-going experience. And a quick, soft-spoken comment to one's seat-mate is fine.
But please, turn your cell phones off and, in the words of cartoon mega-star Elmer Fudd, "Be vewy vewy quiet."