Sunday, February 23, 2014

Best Picture Nominee Marathon - Day 1

I spent yesterday sitting in a movie theater watching movies for over 10 hours.   If you had told 14 year old me that I would have thought that would be nothing but a slice of heaven.  As I mentioned in some posts yesterday, AMC has been doing these marathons for several years now.  I've always been interested but the stars have never aligned for me to take advantage of that before yesterday.

I was very cautious going in, to 43 year old me it sounded like it might be closer to hell than to heaven.  I had some ideas on how yesterday would go and as I documented, I was dead wrong on almost all of them.

I was surprised by the crowd.  There was a really good turnout in the biggest capacity screen in the theater.  I thought there were going to be like 12 people there.  I couldn't have been more wrong.  The people there were looking to have fun.  They came prepared and were in a very good mood.

I got a kick out of the fact that they brought pillows and blankets.  What I noticed later was that a lot of them had laptops as well.  I wasn't the only one blogging the event.  During Philomena the crowd was laughing a lot and I think that helped my enjoyment of the movie.  It was a lot of fun.

This experience is something that's been going on for awhile.  The laptops and stuff reminded me of what the Steve Jobs Apple presentations must be like.  Everyone there seems to be broadcasting to an unknown amount of people across the internet.  Movie marathons aren't new but they were to me.  The Ain't it Cool News butt-numb-a-thon that happens every December in Austin, TX has always intrigued me.  24 hours of all kinds of movies. 

I'm pretty sure I couldn't survive that but yesterday made me think I could.  One thing I had going for me was the movies themselves.  I hadn't seen any of them and they were all very good.  My buddy Ken Stevenson posted that this was nothing compared to a Star Wars marathon.  While he's right that 6 movies are longer than 4, my thought is, I've seen the original 3 so many times, I'm not sure I could make it through.  I love those flicks but watching on TV is much different than in a theater.  I can distract myself at home with phones, iPads, bathroom breaks, etc.

The theater is such a different experience, you have nothing to distract you so the movie has to be good and having not seen them is key for me.  I get bored quick these days.  I know I couldn't watch the newer Star Wars flicks back to back in a theater, those things drive me nuts.

I have to give AMC credit, they had some fun trivia games set up and the dinner break was really cool.  I was able to run to a bar next door and had a really good meal.  Oh, some beers too.  That was nice.

If the stars aligned again, there is no question I would do it again.  I'd need to have the time which is doubtful once I re-unite with my family.  I think it also helps that I hadn't seen any of them before.  Not sure it would line up like that again.  Also, I'd like for Angela to be there, it would have been really cool to discuss the flicks with her.  No offense to you lone blog reader but I would have preferred to debate the movies with her than type on my phone about them like I did yesterday.

So, with 2 nominees left to see - here is how I'd rank the 7 that I've seen:

1. Philomena
2. Captain Phillips/Dallas Buyers Club
4. Gravity
5. Wolf of Wall Street
6. American Hustle
7. 12 Years a Slave

I might have 6 and 7 as a tie, I'm not sure.  As I mentioned last night, I'm not sure 12 years got a fare shake from me but that's where I am with it now.  That surprises me to be honest, I really expected to love that one.

I'll probably see Nebraska in the next week since it's available to rent, not sure about Her though, it doesn't appear to be available to see in the week before the Oscars.

Overall, yesterday was a whole lot of fun, if you have the opportunity to do it, it's a lot more fun that I ever would have thought it would be.  I was expecting an Iron Man Triathalon type event for lazy movie geeks.  Turns out I was wrong about that too. 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Marathon Concludes

Going into these 4 movies I sat through today as part of the best picture marathon, had I ranked them based on what I thought I'd like, I would have been dead wrong.  Turns out, my list is completely opposite what I thought it would be.  I would have had 12 Years a slave as the preseason #1, hands down.

Perhaps it was because 12 Years began 8 hours and 15 minutes into my day in the aisle seat 4 rows from the top at the AMC Promenade in Weatminster, Colorado.  Perhaps it was because it was the 4th film of the day, maybe because it followed 2 beers and a hearty meal.  Perhaps it's because it was the movie that got the least reaction from the large crowd.  Perhaps it was the cat nap I took 2/3's of the way through the movie.  Perhaps it's the uncomfortable nature of a movie about the horrors of slavery.

I'm not sure exactly but the fact is, it was my least favorite movie.  Of course it's horrific and hard to sit through but for some reason it never hooked me .  This may be the ultimate best picture winner but if I had a vote, right now my vote would go to the one film I assume will get the least amount of votes, Philomena.  I dug that flick.

12 Years also was the first film of the day where my bladder couldn't take anymore.  45 minutes in I had to make a bathroom break.  That was probably more the beers than the movie.

One more observation, I noticed a half dozen people leave the theater during Wolf of Wall Street for what I assume was the obscene nature of the film.  All 6 of those people were back for 12 Years a Slave and they all stayed through the whole film.  I really wanted to ask them how on earth Wall Street was more offensive to them than what was occurring in 12 Years a Slave.

Overall, I really enjoyed the day.  I didn't like my chances of making it through all the films but it was actually pretty easy.  I'm glad I did it, that was a cool way to spend a "I have nothing to do Saturday". If the same was true next week, which it is not, I would consider coming back for the remaining 5 films.  I'm working so it's not an option, plus I've seen 3 of the 5 they are ahowing next week.  I lack only Nebraska and Her.  

Break time

Alright, I survived the longest flick of the day.  No exploding bladder and it went by pretty quick.  Once again color me surprised, maybe I'm not as old as I thought.  

I liked the flick even though there wasn't much to like about the story or characters.  Lots of boobs and stuff.  Didn't realize Matthew mconnaghy was in it, so I had a double header with him.  Couple those films with true detective and I've seen that dude snort a lot of Hollywood cocaine lately.  He's got to be an expert at that by now .

Several people left about halfway through the movie.  I'd like to say maybe they were just hungry but I think it has more to do with the fact that the content was pretty crazy.  I'm not sure how at this point that surprised anyone, the movie has been out a long time now.

We've got an hour between movies so I ran out quick and bellied up to the bar at rock bottom brewery next to the theater.  I got lucky and grabbed the last seat before the entire theater tried to get in.

So, I'm having a beer, burger and some clam chowder before 12 years a slave.  I've really enjoyed today, I'm guessing this next flick won't be so pleasant.

My rankings of all the nominees I've seen as of now:
Captain Phillips/Dallas buyers club
Wolf of Wall Street
American hustle

Getting hungry

I'm officially hungry after the 2nd flick, so I bought a snack after Dallas buyers club ended.  It was a much different movie from philomenia.  Darker but really good.  It was not what I expected.  It's actually a pretty good companion piece to philomena.  Surprisingly, they have some tie ins to each other.

The real test comes now, wolf of Wal street.  3 hours.  I'm expecting lots of boobs, my back is getting a bit sore so perhaps the boobs will help.  There is an hour break after this so ill probably go to the bar next door for some dinner when it's over.

The mood in the theater is much more somber than after the first movie.  I guess that's to be expected.

Let the madness begin

    1. I have to admit, I thought walking into a movie marathon that was going to take over 10 hours would be filled with nothing but loners and the biggest of movie geeks.  I also thought there would only be about 20 of us in the theater.  I was very wrong.

    2. At least about most of that.  There are over 300 people in the theater.  Most if who came armed with blankets, pillows and the extra large popcorn, which I just discovered have free refills.  I'm pretty sure I'm the only lone wolf in the joint.  Most people have found a like minded fool to do this with and everyone is in a pretty great mood.

    3. We all got cool lanyards and programs when we walked in.  There is an mc who announced there would be trivia between flicks.  The first flick, Philomena started right at 12.

    4. This one surprised me, the crowd is here to have a good time and really enjoyed the dry, Irish humor. I really enjoyed this flick.  I've now seen 4 best pic nominees.  I'm pretty sure my 3 favorites are this one, captain Phillips and gravity.  Pretty sure in that order.  American hustle is certainly #4 on my list.

    5. We have a 20 minute break before Dallas buyers club.  Not sure about this one but I hope it's good.

    6. Probably the best news from the first flick is I didn't fall asleep and my bladder held out.  I did have to rush off to the bathroom as the credits rolled, so I missed the trivia this time.  Bummer.  The movies only get longer from here, wish me luck.

What Else is there to do on a Saturday?

It's been quite awhile, almost 3 years since I've written one of these blog things.  So, it appears today I'm coming back with a vengeance as this may be the first of 5 posts today.

Here's a brief synopsis of why that may be the case:  I'm currently working in the Rocky Mountain region, spending most of my time in Denver.  My family is still back in Jacksonville until the school year ends in June. 

Today is the first Saturday I've had off in several weeks, I think maybe this year.  I already watched the US lose to Finland in hockey today and that was disappointing.  So, what else should I do? 

Every year AMC has a Best Picture nominee marathon.  Angela and I have always talked about going but life and kids have never made it possible.  Today with none of that in my path, I thought I'd give it a try.  I mean why not?

Well, some of the reasons not to do it all revolve around the fact that I'm not as young as I once was.  I'm not sure I can sit through 1 movie anymore much less 4.  My bladder, attention span and hind quarters all protest much quicker than they used to.

I've tried to talk myself out of going for a couple weeks but have decided with much pushing from Angela to go ahead and try it.  So, I'm about to head to theater to watch Philomena beginning at 12, followed by Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wal Street and 12 Years of Slave.  I haven't seen any of them, hopefully they are good ones.

My plan is to blog between movies.  They probably won't be much in the way of reviews, more likely they will be State of the bladder addresses.  Join me, won't you?