I am a freelance writer, musician and occasional tutor currently living in Fridley, MN. In the past I have written hundreds of articles on a number of topics such as healthcare, religion, music and literature for clients and employers such as MediaPiston, Textbroker and SR Education Group. I have also blogged at www.godoflamb.com and on my personal blog at www.burning-around-the-edges.blogspot.com. I possess a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Minnesota, and I enjoy writing editorial blog posts as well as informational articles.
|EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts - English from University of Minnesota - College of Liberal Arts||BLOG: Burning Around the Edges|
|CERTIFICATIONS: None provided||CURRICULUM VITAE: None provided|
With the release of The Avengers, I think it’s safe to say that the 2012 summer movie season has officially arrived even if summer itself isn’t quite here yet. Going to the movies has always been a popular pastime in our country, but interest in new movies seems to ramp up every summer. Kids are out of school and have much more time for movies, and people are more likely to want to leave their homes and go out even if that means sitting in a dark theater for a couple of hours. This is also the time when studios bring out their big guns, or their “tentpole” releases, and this year filmgoers have a lot to be excited about. Studios do seem to have their usual offering of comic book movies, sequels and remakes, but at least they look like interesting comic book movies, sequels and remakes.
The reason why I’m talking so much about summer movies is because I’ve been thinking a bit about the traditional American moviegoing experience and what the future holds for it. With so much new technology that allows us to watch movies practically everywhere for a cost much lower than a movie ticket, will the grand tradition of sitting in a dark theater surrounded by strangers to watch the latest Hollywood releases die out? Some people have said as much. After all, why would you want to sit in a crowded theater where people are talking on cell phones and trying in vain to quiet their screaming children to watch a movie when you could just stay home and watch something on Netflix?
Well, it turns out that there are still a lot of good reasons to go to the movies in the 21st Century, and if you ask me they’re the same reasons why people have always gone to the movies. I don’t see a lot of movies these days, but I did go to see The Avengers twice last weekend, and both viewings made for great moviegoing experiences. The movie was a lot of fun, exactly the kind of spectacle that needs to be seen on the big screen while providing enough humor and character moments to make it worth watching at home on DVD or Blu-Ray. I don’t think there’s a lot I can say about the movie that hasn’t already been said, but I will say that it made me believe that one can still have a great time at the movies in this day and age.
Granted, going to the movies can be annoying if you find yourself going at the wrong time to the wrong theater with the wrong crowd. I’ve already touched on the high prices, the jerks with cell phones and the screaming children, and I’ve had plenty of bad experiences thanks to all of these factors. And yet, there are still ways to avoid most of this if you know how.
First of all, if you’re going to see a movie in the summer, consider going to a matinee during the week. I know that may not be an option for everybody since it would interfere with a work schedule, but a movie in the middle of the afternoon can be a great way to spend a day off. Ticket prices are a lot cheaper, and some theaters even offer drink and food specials during their matinee hours. Check the theaters closest to you and see what they have to offer. You may be pleasantly surprised.
A matinee will also have the benefit of a smaller crowd. Most people see movies in the evening and on weekends; not many people see movies on weekday afternoons. Some of the best moviegoing experiences that I’ve had have involves sitting in a nearly empty theater at about two o’clock in the afternoon. It was quiet, and all I had to worry about is enjoying the movie. It was perfect.
Another thing everyone should remember when it comes to seeing movies is that technology is not everything. A couple of years ago, it seemed like every movie that was coming out was in 3D, and while there are still a lot of 3D movies out there it looks like people have grown cold to the fad. Every once in a while someone comes along with a movie like Avatar that makes great use of 3D technology, but most of the time what you get is a murky picture where a few things stick out at you, mostly during the action-packed climax of the movie. It doesn’t add a whole lot to the viewing experience after all is said and done, and I don’t feel like I’m missing much when I see a movie in garden-variety 2D. Try reading reviews of a movie that’s been released in 3D to see what critics and others have to say about the experience before shelling out those extra bucks for a pair of glasses.
Finally, the third tip I can offer to ensure a good time at the movies is to turn your cell phone off. I don’t just mean not talking on your cell phone; turn the thing off. A good movie should be an escape from reality, and it’s kind of hard to escape when people keep trying to call you or text you. Also, you don’t want to be that jerk who ruins the movie for everyone else with a loud phone conversation or constant texting, do you?
As you can probably guess from this post, I still believe in going to the movies. I may be kind of old-fashioned in that I’m fine with experience a movie on the big screen without any modern frills or the ability to update Twitter constantly during a film, but I’d like to think I’m not the only one. Movie magic is still very real, and you can experience it for yourself this summer without breaking the bank or putting up with annoyances that so many people attribute to modern theaters.