Movie Night

Last night we went to the movies. That is, we actually went to a theater and watched a movie, in a chair, eating popcorn, sitting through countless previews etc. Since it was Tuesday, the tickets only cost $5 not including the Fandango service charge. I really want a business that charges a service charge.

We saw “Bullet Train” with Brad Pitt plus a couple gratuitous cameos from Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, and Channing Tatum. It was too long and wasted too much time on dialog meant to be clever. I’m sure the director would consider it an epic fail if you don’t compare the movie, or mistake it, for that matter, for a Quentin Tarrantino movie.

As an action movie, it was decent – full of cartoonish violence and implausible fight scenes. As a comedy it was terrible. The humorous through-line of Pitt being a zen-like hitman got old fast. We get it you’re Brad Pitt if Brad Pitt were a hitman.

The last movie I saw in a theater was “Downhill” with Julia Louis Dreyfus and Will Ferrell. That was about 2 weeks before lockdown. I loved that movie. It was dark, funny, and way to real. It reminds me of “The Descendants”, and I think there was some connection between the two movies.

As I scanned the posters in the lobby for upcoming releases I realized, I’ll be spending less time in theaters. It’s not because of COVID, but because everything coming out is a sequel, a prequel or some obvious attempt at creating the next franchise. The entertainment industry has forgone every other demographic and has decided the only one that matters is nerds.

This has been happening for years. It’s not new. It’s just that we’ve reached the saturation point. There wasn’t one movie preview of poster that I want to see.

I was never a big movie buff to begin with, but I did manage to watch “The Irishman” all three and a half hours of it in one sitting. That’s unheard of for me. I didn’t even make a plan. I literally saw Ray Ramano in the preview and thought, that’s interesting. So I watched it. Turns out a lot of Italian standup comedians make appearances including Sebastian Manascalco. What Italian doesn’t dream of being a Gumba in a Scorses movie?

Like “Bullet Train”, it’s so-so. I’d say it’s worth watching. It’s the movie I would tell people to watch if they were curious about Scorsese but didn’t have time to watch everything. It’s like buying the box set of the Rolling Stones instead of checking out all their albums.

I did find the CGI in “The Irishman” distracting. They used it on the faces of Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro to make them look younger and older. For Pesci, he looked like the old man in Pixar’s “Up” had he lost 80 pounds. De Niro’s flat expressionless face and blue eyes reminded me of Tom Hank’s cold dead staring conductor in “Polar Express”. This was not the kind of movie that needed CGI. We’ve seen those guys so much in mob movies no one would even notice they’re too old. Besides everyone in the 50s, 60s, and 70s looked like they were 55.