Privilege Blog

The Moving Picture Show, Or, Saturday Morning at 8:38am

Here’s something I haven’t done in ages.

Go to the movies.

So, I think we’re going to remedy that today. Maybe. Plans often change.

I was pleased at how quickly I could figure out a) what’s playing nearby b) what critics think of the various offerings. Google and Rotten Tomatoes, I forgive your sins of advertising and tasteless graphics, although Google, you’re still in trouble for what you do to privacy.

In any case, this morning, I know what movies to think about.mI’m torn between Trainwreck, Inside Out, Ant-Man, and Mission Impossible Number I’ve Lost Count. Seems that these days movies are as gendered as the aisles of Toys ‘R Us. But, if we go to one movie today, perhaps we’ll go to another one another day.

Optimists have an easy time making decisions, we always assume we’ll get another chance. I didn’t say we had an easy time deciding correctly, but, as optimists, we then assume bad outcomes will get better. But I digress. We’re talking moving pictures, not life and its vagaries.

If anyone here has been more diligent in their movie-going than I, which, seriously, would not be difficult, please feel free to share your opinions. Otherwise, have a wonderful late summer weekend. May you experience a 6:46pm minute of glory as the world lets out its breath, and cools. You know what I mean? You can almost hear the click of release.

50 Responses

  1. My husband is a rather picky movie-goer and loved seeing Inside out with our daughter. I did not see it and it has been many years since I saw a grown up movie in a theater. It will likely be many more.

  2. May I add another to your list? I haven’t seen any of your choices, but Mr Holmes is the best movie I’ve seen in a very long time.

  3. We both enjoyed Mission Impossible (his choice) and Trainwrecked (mine) despite the probable gendering . . . Entertaining summer movies — lots of fun! (and we don’t even do popcorn!)

    1. I just want to add that we do get to movie theatres occasionally — when we’re in the city and the 10-minute walk and, often, a stop for a light late dinner or a drink on the way home make more of a date night than our usual eating-dinner-in-front-of-Netflix…

  4. The “Shaun the Sheep” movie by the same outfit that did Wallace & Gromit. It is sweet and innocent for small children, but also clever and witty for grownups. My best friend and I (in our 60s and 50s respectively) went last weekend and laughed our heads off!

  5. my mother and her boyfriend loved “ant-man,” but that’s due in part to their strong paul rudd bias: “he looks so much like joe!,” quoth mom. as you know, “inside out” has been getting near-universally fantastic reviews; were i you, of the movies you’ve mentioned, that’s what i would see.

    guessing its availability in northern california megaplexes is limited, but if you’re able to get to “the end of the tour,” i would suggest it – not as a compelling portrait of david foster wallace, which it isn’t, but as a compelling portrait of david lipsky, which it is. as a magazine writer who’s filed a few profiles, i can say that its nuts and bolts on the squirmier parts of the job were also bang-on. (mom and doug liked that one, too.)

  6. Frances said everything about your choice,so I’ll add that I enjoy going to movies and theatre,and always did. It is so different when you actually get ready, go out,watch the movie without any interruption,go for a drink….it is a pleasure,so I hope that you’ll like it and feel the difference and choose it again.
    We have also some european films,but the choice is alike here as in SF :-)
    My son invited me for dinner yesterday( he is going to London next week for a longer time), we were in a posh restaurant near the mall where is movie theatre,it is again hot,so terraces of restaurants and coffee bars are full of nice dressed people,babbling,laughter,it is nice to be out ( and we are nation who enjoy going out,drinking coffee,wine,coctails,spending time with friends……)
    So,have a nice evening :-)!

  7. I would second the nomination for Mr. Holmes. We both enjoyed it immensely, and it was lovely not to be assaulted by four letter words and gratuitous sex and violence.

    1. @kathy, As it turns out, we saw Inside Out. Us, and a whole bunch of cute children talking to their mothers. It was lovely. But, Mr. Holmes, maybe on my own. Thank you.

  8. I love seeing movies but hate going to the movie theater. I can’t see if a tall person sits in front of me, I hate having my chair kicked by someone behind me, not to mention glary cell phone texting, crunching, candy unwrapping.

    1. @AK, The only indignity I suffered was the chair kicking, which was easily remedied by turning around, as the small child’s mom noticed and shushed her;).

  9. After both daughters recommended it I went to Trainwreck and though it was plenty bawdy it was also smart and funny. Antman was just ok. Mr. Holmes is beautiful but slow. Would like to see Inside Out sometime given all the glowing reviews–maybe at home though. Enjoy! I’ll look forward to your review.

  10. from Susan (Dallas): My favorite movie of late was the Amy Winehouse documentary. If you can find it showing in your area, go see it. It is exceptional.

  11. So glad someone commented on Mr Holmes… I would really like to see that one. Stu and I haven’t been to a movie together in a couple of years. Too loud, according to him. Too many years teaching phys ed in an echoing gym to 30 screaming teenage boys, balls bouncing, squeak of sneakers, blast of whistles has made him hate noise. And I agree that films seem much too loud, these days. We were bemoaning the disappearance of drive-in theatres the other day. that’s a blast from the past!

  12. Lets see, going to movie, pay exorbitant price, listen to other people, see cell phone screens, get chair kicked by annoying adolescent. Or, pour glass of wine, sit in comfy chair in TV room with dog on lap, watch Netflix or Amazon Prime. No contest for me, although hubs loves movie popcorn.

    1. @Mary Anne, All of what you say is true. However, I like the absorbing quality of the movie theater. I can’t jump away from a movie on my laptop, or tv, just to “check” some social media or email channel.

  13. Another vote here for “End of the Tour,” starring Jason Segel as David Foster Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as his ever-so-slightly-unethical interviewer, David Lipsky. Oh, and Joan Cusack has a small but indelible role as Wallace’s author escort in Minneapolis.

    And if “A Borrowed Identity” is still playing in your area, don’t miss it. It’s about a Palestinian boy selected for admission to an elite Hebrew-language Israeli school. A remarkable film.

    “Mistress America” has been highly touted, but I found it insufferable. Its cause was not furthered by the director Q&A I attended afterward. He was inarticulate and annoying.

    “Mr. Holmes” was an inoffensive way to pass the time.

  14. We just got back from the movies, which we haven’t done in so long. We’re awaiting the overdue arrival of a grandchild, and I needed something to distract me. We saw The Gift, which was entertaining and smart, a good thriller.

    I think it’s all the good TV, sitting through endless previews, traffic, etc. that has turned us from people who saw everything to rarely going to an actual theatre anymore.

    1. @kathy, I thought about The Gift too. I am sure the good TV, and the on-demand access to it via the Internet, that has made me far less likely to go to the movies. Good luck with the due date. May that baby suddenly realize it’s wonderful out here, and make a peaceful and happy entrance.

  15. “6:46pm minute of glory as the world lets out its breath, and cools. You know what I mean? You can almost hear the click.” I haven’t been to a movie in ages, but THIS, yes. That liminal moment is pure magic.

  16. Hello, Lisa. I am lurker of a few months who found you through a comment you posted on Girl of a Certain Age. I’ve been enjoying your blog, which I think is the next best thing to Lisa Birnbach’s original Preppy Handbook, which I read obsessively when I first came to the US in the mid 1980s. (And yes, I’m familiar with the 2010 sequel, and that’s all I’ll say about it;)

    If you’re able to make it to Shattuck Cinemas or the Piedmont Theater, I recommend you go see Christian Petzold’s “Phoenix”, which is worth the travel to see on a big screen because of the incredible cinematography and music of this historical noir movie set in post WW II Berlin. I have seen this director’s earlier works before and thought they were just OK so was a bit surprised about how great this movie was.

    The other worthwhile film I’ve seen this summer is a documentary called Homme-less, which is about a freelance fashion photographer for Dazed and Confused who was a model in the 1990s, and chooses to sleep under a tarp on a NYC rooftop in order to stretch his meager salary. I hope it gets distribution in San Francisco. The jazz soundtrack by Kyle Eastwood is terrific. As most fashion documentaries are about people in the top of their careers, this is rare one about the others in the fashion business who are mostly hustling in the margins. Shocking, but not sad, and quite inspiring.

    Count me as another one who was disappointed by Mistress America.

    1. @Christine, Very nice to meet you. And glad to hear you are enjoying the blog. Where did you come to the USA from, if I may ask? And thank you very much for the not-so-commercial movie ideas. It’s hard to get to the East Bay, traffic has become so intolerable, but that documentary just might show up around here.

    2. Yes, Phoenix is well worth your time and as many scenes take place in darkness it will show best in a theater rather than a home screen. I think Petzold is a terrific director, loved his recent film Barbara and just borrowed from the library a DVD of his first film, The State I’m In, which was riveting.

    3. @Christine,
      Hi, Lisa, my family came from Manila.

      I also had a chance to catch up on some recent movies on an airplane trip, and saw “Birdman” and “Get Hard” and thought “Get Hard” was delightful. Worth renting even if you’re not a Will Ferrell fan.

  17. For me, going to the movies is something I never knew I’d even missed in my life until that next time I’m at the cinema. It’s not quite the same watching online, on your television or on the plane (where most of my movie watching takes place these days).

    Somehow I always seem to feel the escape to the setting of the movie in question is more complete in the darkness of a cinema, filled with strangers travelling to the same place.

    SSG xxx

  18. I loved Inside Out, haven’t seen the others yet. They may end up waiting for me to watch them on Netflix or something. I love the escapism of seeing a film in a theater, and although I’ve gone alone, I prefer sharing that experience with someone else. Somehow it is easier to settle in at home, or I don’t have to roust myself out.

  19. My husband and I adored “Trainwreck.” The audience which were professionals even clapped at the ending. That’s a big deal. It is kinda raunchy but delightful if you like Bridesmaids you’ll love this.

    We also saw a very tense and intriguing movie “The Gift.” It will leave you thinking. All I know is that I jumped three feet in the air at one point. You’ll need a drink when you get home.

  20. I wanted to see the Minions movie, but missed it’s run at our local theater and won’t drive to the second run place, since it sucks up another hour plus of the night or weekend. I’m mostly in it for the popcorn. Once, the machine was broken and I almost cried (literally, how embarrassing!).

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