I don't go to as many movies as I used to.
Mostly it's because I used to go to a lot of movies with my dad, and he's in Maui now.
But price plays into it too. Ticket prices have fucking skyrocketed, outpaced pretty much only by comic books.
This week, I went to Tempe Cinemas a couple times. It used to be what we called the dollar theater, but now it's $3, or $2 on Tuesdays.
But on the plus side, the place has improved. They've fixed up the bathrooms, the theaters are in better shape, and they appear to have switched to digital projectors, because the picture is fucking clean. Digital projection gets rid of one of the major drawbacks to seeing a movie at the cheap theater: you no longer find yourself looking at a print that's been viewed a few hundred times and is covered in scratches.
Anyhow, I caught two very different movies this week: The Pirates: Band of Misfits and Cabin in the Woods.
Pirates is Aardman. And I love me some Aardman, and have since I first saw The Wrong Trousers close on 20 years ago.
It's got a great cast (and #2 even looks like Martin Freeman), a ton of sight gags and one-liners that fly by fast, and a swordfight with Queen Victoria. It is recommended viewing for all ages!
Cabin in the Woods is not recommended viewing for all ages, but it is recommended viewing! I went into it cold, knowing nothing about it beyond "cabin-in-the-woods horror movie co-written and produced by Joss Whedon", and I think that is the optimal way to see it, so I will say nothing about it except that I love that there is actually a plot explanation for all the clichés, all the archetypes, and why the teenagers keep doing stupid shit.
Now, there was something a little odd about it: I'm pretty confident it was another digital copy, because the print was crystal clear for the most part, but there were a couple of spots, lines, and pops over the course of the movie. I'm curious: were these artificial and intentional? Like, did anybody else see it and notice a big black spot on the print right after the girl takes off her top? Because I'm tempted to believe this was some kind of Grindhouse-style deliberate fuckery, but I can't say for sure.
(Failing that, is there any other possible explanation for a few analog artifacts on an otherwise pristine, seemingly digital print? Like, is there a digital-file-to-analog-projector thing going on and the projector occasionally hiccups, or what? Or did I just see a film print that was in really, really good shape despite being at the cheap theater?)
Now, despite my gushing about the picture quality, which is better than I've ever seen it at Tempe Cinemas previously, the projection left something to be desired. Pirates had a couple of edges cut off, and about the right 1/8 of the picture in Cabin was out of focus.
Still and all, the seats were nice, the picture and sound were great, the audiences were well-behaved -- I had a better experience at the cheap theater than I usually do at the regular theater, and I suspect I will be making this a more frequent habit. There are plenty of movies coming out that I'd like to see in the theater but not pay full price for.
And they had a promo going: a new restaurant called Pizza 'n Greens opened a few doors down from the theater, and they're offering a $1 pizza slice if you bring a ticket stub in (or 10% off your whole bill). We went in after Pirates, and each ordered a slice. Instead of a slice, they made us fresh little miniature pizzas, and the service was great. We decided to come back and spend more -- which we did, after seeing Cabin. This time I tried a calzone and my lady tried a fatoush (Mediterranean salad) -- because as it turns out the menu is a sort of interesting mix of pizza and middle-eastern food. (I was tempted to have a chicken shawerma but decided I was in the mood for a good calzone at the last minute.) Anyway, once again, good food, great service, look forward to going again, recommend them, and oh by the way they deliver until 5 AM so if you need delivery at all hours of the night they're a good option for that.
And then we went to Changing Hands and I found a used copy of The Art of Ditko for $15, so I had to pick that up. And I also found that Stross's Rule 34 is out in paperback, so I grabbed me one of those too.
All in all, good times. And man, there are a lot of links in this post! My post probably looks like I ran Intellitext over it, except the links actually useful and pertinent and (hopefully) not just fucking obnoxious.