Watching movies in theaters takes up a lot of time in my life, and it has for a very long time. So much so, that an appreciation of movies, ranks very high on my list of preferable traits in a girlfriend, even more so than that of music, which is a little weird, now that I’m writing it down. That’s not to say said woman has to have the same opinion or tastes that I do when it comes to films, just a healthy appreciation for them, in general, is all I look for. In a normal year, I see on average between 30 to 40 movies in theater, and that doesn’t include the films I see multiple times (I’m looking at you Avengers). From 2004 until 2010, I only worked Friday through Sunday, so you might think most of my theater visits took place during the week, and many of them did, but I’d also see the first showing, the day they opened. Fridays I worked at night, so I would spend the afternoon before my shift either at the theater, or sometimes the barbershop, when necessary.
Suffice it to say, I’ve seen a lot of movies solo. I don’t say that begrudgingly, with a sense of shame, or even as a point of discussion, really. In fact, I’d say it’s the exact opposite, for me. I actually really
enjoy being in movie theaters by myself (I enjoy going with others just as much). For me, a dark and relatively empty theater, with comfortable seating and a gigantic screen, has always offered me a place of relaxation, and escape, that I think we all need from time to time. For me, it’s less about the actual movie, and more about the atmosphere. If I know what I’m getting beforehand, I have no problem watching awful movies in theater, though I do prefer to enjoy them, of course. I’ve noticed that I’m more likely to pay money to watch a film I know I’m not going to enjoy, in theater, than I am to watch that same movie, at home for free. Home doesn’t offer me that same sense of immersion that the theater does. As we’re essentially at the start of a new year, here’s a list of 6 movies, I’d like to immerse myself in for the first 6 months of 2013. They’re listed in order by release date.
LUVRelease Date: 1/18/13Director: Sheldon CandisStarring: Michael Rainey Jr., Common, Meagan Good
I’ve never been much of a Common fan. I recognize him as an above average emcee, with an excellent single here and there but he doesn’t have an album that I love, or even like a lot, in his discography. When it comes to his acting roles, they’ve been less than stellar too. By my calculations, between his roles in ‘Wanted,’ in 2007, and ‘Terminator Salvation,’ in 2009, I estimate that Common had about 50 words of dialogue. For the record, I just pulled that number out of thin air, but I bet I’m not far off. His characters were always one dimensional beings, that didn’t offer much of anything I cared about. He looks to change that in this, his most recent role. I didn’t come to learn of ‘LUV’ existing until about a month before it was released, and I still haven’t seen it, but the trailer is very promising. Set in Baltimore, ‘LUV’ tells the story of a day in the life of recently released ex-con Vincent (Common) as he decides to take his 11-year-old nephew Woody with him for a day of general life-lessons on everything from driving, to dressing, to the identity of Jesus. Things quickly go awry, though, and young Woody ends up learning much more than his uncle had planned to teach him. As a future-dad (hopefully) from Baltimore, with a huge interest in raising a young man, this is a definite must watch for me.
G.I. Joe: RetaliationRelease: 3/29/2013Director: Jon M. ChuStarring: The Rock, Channing Tatum, RZA
Let’s just get one thing out the way, before I go on. We all know for a fact that this movie will not be good, right? In fact, it will be pretty bad. When you take in to account the fact that it was supposed to be released 9 months ago, but was pushed back at the very last minute. At the time we were told it was to give them time to add and perfect the 3D, but we later learned it was so they could shoot more scenes with Channing and re-cut it, essentially they decided to make it a different movie at the very last minute, because of some focus group results. Retaliation is directed by Jon Chu, who’s helmed a few of the ‘Step Up’ films and the Justin Beiber documentary, so clearly he’s been showing himself to be capable of tackling G.I. Joe for years now. I think a good G.I. Joe movie is possible, but I doubt we’ll ever get one, and oddly, I’m fine with that. As a little boy, G.I. Joe was everything that was right in the world to me. I loved it, despite it’s flaws–or possibly because I was oblivious to them. Who knows, but this film comes out the day after my 32nd birthday, that’s one thing I do know, and knowing is hal…I won’t do this.
Star Trek Into DarknessRelease: 5/17/13Director: J.J. AbramsStarring: Christopher Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Salda
Not much needs to be said about my excitement for this one. This and one other film duke it out weekly for the title of my most anticipated film this year. My history with Star Trek goes all the way back to the original series. Being born in 1981, I obviously wasn’t around to catch it during its first run, but I can still recall quite clearly, my uncle sitting me down, shoving a stale doughnut in my hands, and letting–possibly making–me watch his Star Trek VHS cassettes. He only had a handful, but I remember ‘The Menagerie’ being the episode we watched that day because there were two of them. I couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5, as I was still my mom’s only child, so I’m not sure why or how I remember the word “menagerie,” but whatever. Ignoring that I was only a small child, and it probably didn’t make much sense to me, and I can’t recall if I even got to finish it that day (I have, several times, since), I remember enjoying the opening music and eating a doughnut. When J.J. rebooted the franchise back in 2009, I didn’t know what to expect. At the time, the most recent movies–The Next Generation films–had squandered the hope I had for a great film, in the trek universe, which was really bothersome, because TNG is the best long-running series the franchise has produced to date. I didn’t know how I felt about yet another Star Trek theatrical release touching on time travel, as it’s been done many times within Trek lore, and going back to the original series, gave me much to doubt. I can say with no hesitation, that Abrams and company put all of them to rest in 2009, and in turn I have high hopes for this movie. Just watch that trailer, it looks fantastic. Like I said, not much needs to be said.
Fast and Furious 6Release: 5/24/13Director: Justin LinStarring: Vin Diesel, The Rock, Michelle Rodriguez
I’m going into this movie, much like I’m going into G.I. Joe, only this time the director really has shown that he can effectively handle the source material. This is the 3rd consecutive film in the F&F universe that Lin’s helmed, and I think he’s already signed on to do several more. It helps that the first film in the franchise that I liked a lot(Tokyo Drift) was the first one he directed, and oddly enough, the one that’s a bit of an outlier, in that it’s the only one that doesn’t feature the normal cast from the films before it–excluding the cameo by Diesel in the final shot of the movie. I’m not much of a racing fan, and have never been into car modifications, so I don’t absolutely love these films, but for some completely unbelievable, yet fun, sexy car chases, and sometimes-funny banter between characters (Lin has directed several episodes of Community, including the ‘Modern Warfare’ episode), it’s more than acceptable.
After EarthRelease: 6/7/2013Director: M. Night ShyamalanStarring: Will Smith, Jaden Smith, Zoe Kravitz
Contrary to what you might think from me being a big Star Trek fan (I refuse to say trekkie), I’m not much of a science fiction fan. My dislike of Star Wars is well documented, hell space travel in general, bores the crap out of me. I read a lot of fantasy books, and I’ve been known to lament that bookstores lump fantasy books in the science fiction section; they could just label it speculative fiction, but they don’t. Suffice it to say, ‘After Earth’ was not on my radar at all, until I saw the trailer. I’d see news blurbs and headlines flyby, mentioning a new Smith and son sci-fi project, and would essentially ignore it, until I saw the trailer. Then the news dropped that M. Night was directing it, and I stopped not only ignoring it for lack of interest, but prematurely hating it, until I saw the trailer. Seriously, just watch the trailer. It has potential.
Man of SteelRelease: 6/14/13Director: Zack SnyderStarring: Henry Cavill, Russell Crowe, Amy Adams
I said that these weren’t listed in any particular order, and that wasn’t entirely true. They’re not ordered by preference, but they are by release date. However, if I had listed them by preference, ‘Man of Steel’ would still fall in this spot. This is the movie I’m looking forward to the most, I know I alluded to this and Star Trek being a toss-up, but in my heart of hearts, I know it’s this. The odd thing is that I’m a much bigger fan of Star Trek than I am of Superman, but something about this trailer appeals to me. I know for sure that I’ll be seeing this movie at least twice in theater–hell, I’ve already watched this trailer more than any other in my life. I know trailers are almost always cut by a different production company than the team working on the film, but besides the trailer, I like the director, the producer and the star of the film. It’s not often you can say that about all three. People have a accused it of looking too emo and down, and I see what they’re talking about, but I don’t agree. It looks like a great direction to take Superman, to me. I can not wait, for this film.