by Timothy Parfitt
The two closest movie theaters to me offer two different experiences. One is a bit stuffy, and shows foreign and art house movies that I theoretically want to see, but rarely actually go to. They also sell cocktails and the audience is often on the elderly side. Then there’s the mall multiplex, which shows all the blockbusters and is full of kids and teenagers.
Never had a ventured to the third farthest, the one unconnected to any upscale shopping establishment or quaint faux-downtown area. Deep in suburban no man’s land I found what I had been missing all along: the dingy run-down theater. The girl selling tickets is sixteen. The man ripping tickets belongs in a Peter Jackson movie. There’s barely anyone working there and twenty screens showing a mishmash of first and second run attractions.
The night in question, I was in an inattentive mood, so I ended up skirted the law and watching bits and pieces of four different movies. I watched a smidge of While We’re Young, which felt plodding and stiff. Then I sat through the first thirty minutes of the movie I had paid to see, It Follows, which I wanted to like, but it felt polished in a distancing way. Then I snuck into Get Hard, which seemed painfully unfunny. Why Will Ferrell had decided to go with his innocent-baby-schtick instead of his arrogant-asshole schtick, I’ll never understand. Finally, I watched a bit of Danny Collins, which looked painful from the previews, but ended up being the best of the bunch. Al Pacino in full hoo-hah mode can be a little much at times, but here he’s put to good use.
So I thank the run down theater for letting me pick at these different movies like a buffet table. It wasn’t a balanced or refined meal, but boy did I leave satisfied.