Twilight Saga: Eclipse Best Buy Screening, Grown Ups, Knight And Day, Toy Story 3, Jonah Hex


 My Spartan Phoenix Movie Marathon Man yearlong experiment continues to roll along quite well. As June ends and July begins I’m coming up on my half waypoint and it’s exciting to reflect on what’s happened so far. As June ended it was nice to know that I broke another movie record for myself. I saw 19 movies on the big screen in the month of June 2010. This breaks my previous record of 18 in May 2010.

Knight And Day, Toy Story 3, Jonah Hex

Thursday, June 24, 2010 

            In my last blog entry I shared my awesome Star Wars “Screen on the Green” experience at Piedmont Park in Atlanta GA. That was so much fun and one of the best movie experiences I had ever had. Prior to that event on the same day, I did a 3-movie marathon that started at 10am. I went to one the smaller AMC Theater; well it has less than 20 screens. This is the theater that still makes me a little nervous when I switch from screen to screen cause it is a smaller set up with less theater staff. That’s means it’s more of a chance to be seen. But the movie schedule worked so favorable for me I had to do this theater. Like most multiplex theaters it has half the screens on the left and the other half on the right side of the theater. Well when I got there and scouted which theaters my movies were showing on I was elated to find out that all three were being shown on the left side of the complex which made the chance of been seen much lower. Woo hoo! I bought my large size #1 combo of popcorn and diet coke and started my glutton of “funisment” day.

            The first movie I saw today was Jonah Hex (2010) starring Josh Brolin, John Malkovich and Megan Fox. Jonah Hex is based on a comic book series based in the old west after the Civil War. The movie is about a scarred bounty hunter with warrants on his own head who takes an offer from the US government he cannot refuse: in exchange for his freedom, he must stop a terrorist who is ready to unleash Hell on Earth. Josh Brolin plays the title character very well. He was a perfect fit. John Malkovich plays the bad guy and did a great job, as he always does. Megan Fox plays the typical “hooker with heart” role. But her role could have been given to any other good-looking actress with better acting chops. She looked hot as expected in this film. Unfortunately I think Megan Fox has been way over exposed lately. The screen stealer of this film was actor Michael Fassbender who portrayed John Malkovich’s #1 henchman Burke. Burk was a good villain to watch. Overall I liked Jonah Hex. My only problem with the film was it was too short. It was only 80 minutes. I thought another 10 minutes of the film based on character building could have been done.

            The second film I saw was Toy Story 3 (2010) starring the voice talents of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack Ned Beatty, Don Rickles, John Ratzenberger and Michael Keaton. This was a 3D presentation of the film. As usual I brought my own 3D glasses, er I mean I smuggled my own in. I really enjoyed the 3rd installment of this series. It was a lot of fun and it introduced many great new toy characters. Woody, Buzz, and the rest of their toy-box friends are dumped in a day-care center after their owner, Andy, departs for college. This movie tackles the subject of “moving on” very well. If this is the last of the series it ended perfectly. This movie was very funny and paced well too. I didn’t want to see which new actors lent their voice talents to the new characters introduced to the film prior to the films release. I wanted it to be a surprise to see if I could figure it out myself during the film, cause that’s half the fun in animated films. These films in CG always look great on the screen even without 3-D. It was nice to see this one in 3-D, but I don’t think its necessary to see this film in 3-D. Save the extra 3-D charge to your Toy Story 3 movie ticket and see this in 2-D. Visually this movie is great in any dimension

            The third and last film I would see in this AMC complex was Knight and Day (2010) starring Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Peter Sarsgaard. Its about an average but of course good looking woman played by Cameron Diaz who finds her everyday life tangled with that of a secret agent played by Tom Cruise who has realized he isn’t supposed to survive his latest mission. This was one of those movies were the trailers didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of action and humor in this film. Tom Cruise did most of his own stunts, which was fun to watch. This movie had a good supporting cast too. What made this movie was the onscreen chemistry between Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. It’s a good date movie too; it’s got something for everyone. One interesting tidbit I found out after seeing this film, Tom Cruise’s character in Knight and Day is named Roy Miller, which happens to be the same name as the character that Matt Damon played in Green Zone (2010). Weird. I know too much useless pop culture information.

Grown Ups

Saturday, June 26, 2010

            A few days later it was “date day” at the movies with Jane. I didn’t have to be at work till 4pm later that day. So Jane had expressed interest in seeing the movie Grown Ups (2010) starring Adam Sandler, Salma Hayek, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider. This movie just opened nationally the day before. The trailers for this film made this movie out to be a very funny one, especially, which this great former Saturday Night Live cast reuniting on the big screen. Well, this wasn’t the case. This movie was a disappointment when it came to how funny it could have been. It seems the funniest scenes where the ones you saw over and over during the trailers. This was disappointing due to the fact about how funny the main cast of the men starring as the Grown Ups have been in past films. Honestly, the funniest characters in the film were the women who played the wives of the leading men. The better halves were played by Salma Hayek, Maria BelloMaya Rudolph and Joyce Van Patten. In this case they were actually the better halves, of the movie. My other disappointment of this film was that there was no blooper reels shown during or after the credits. While this movie was ending you felt that you should have been treated to this especially which this type of film and this usually funny cast. But no, the disappointment continued till the credits ended. Jane felt the same way I did. She thought the girls were funnier and expected some bloopers too. Save this movie for a rental or pay TV. Hopefully the DVD release will offer something better.

Twilight Saga: Eclipse Best Buy Screening

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

            During the middle of June I got an email form the Best Buy Reward Zone people. As you may know from reading my past movie blogs I’m a Best Buy junkie. Tuesdays are my Sabbath, cause at Best Buy its new DVD, Blu-Ray and CD release day. The email I got was an invite for me and a guest to see a special screening at 9pm on June 29th, 2010, three hours before the cross county midnight premiere of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse movie (2010) starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. I got this email because I became a Silver Member over the last year. What a great perk. I signed up immediately and secured my invitation for me my guest who would be my girlfriend Jane. I have entertained the idea of not doing this for one reason. I knew that there was also a “Twilight Experience” being shown that same night in many participating theaters. This would include a three-movie marathon showing the first two Twilight movies prior to the midnight showing of the new one. Although that may have been fun to do I knew that it would mean that I would do it alone. Well I really wanted to experience this exclusive screening event with my girlfriend instead cause I knew she and I would enjoy the opportunity together. We saw the second one together and had a great time, as it was early in our relationship. This third installment I new would be special, and it was.

            We planned a date night. I was working till 5pm the night of the show so we had time for dinner too. On a side note, it was her appreciation day a couple of days later. I introduced “appreciation day” for myself back in the early 90’s. It’s a day you pick to treat and spoil yourself about 6 months after or before your birthday. So Jane picked her appreciation day to be on July 1st. I believe that appreciation days and birthdays also get a weekend to celebrate too. I thought this would be a good start to treating her for her upcoming appreciation weekend. After dinner we headed to the theater.

It’s a Regal Theater that I hadn’t been to before. I think it was 14 to 16 screens. When we arrived there was a line starting for the midnights premiere of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. As expected most of the waiting patrons were teenage girls, some of them dressed up in their best Goth gear. Many were wearing their Edward or Jacob shirts. The electricity of opening night was in the air. Its fun to people watch at times like this. Once I showed my movie invitation Jane and I were directed to the screening theater where we passed the lined up fans for the midnight show. There was a small line when we got to the screening theater. There was a table outside the door with a few of the Best Buy employees checking the invitations. They asked my name and it actually showed up on their invitation list. After they crossed off my name, Jane recognized one of the female Best Buy employees. Turns out Jane had gone to the same high school as her. When we walked into the theater it was pretty crowded already. Most of the good seats had been taken. However I noticed that there were two seats in the good section two rows behind the main front isle between two groups of people. It looked like they were being saved. The first thing I did was shouted out to the alpha male looking dude “Are those two seats taken?” He said no, so Jane and I scooped them right up.

Just before the movie started the Best Buy woman who went to the same high school as Jane addressed the audience with a microphone and thanked all of the Silver Best Buy Reward Zone Members. After here speech the lights dropped. We only got one preview for the movie Red (2010) starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich. It looks like a funny action comedy about retired CIA agents who can’t stay retired. When The Twilight Saga: Eclipse movie actually started we weren’t sure it started cause we were expecting more previews, not just one. OK now onto the movie itself. I must say that I do enjoy these Twilight movies. They can be a little cheesy at times, but they are very entertaining. I’ve always been a vampire movie fan since I was a kid. I also enjoy True Blood and Vampire Diaries. By my fondness for Vampire movies goes way back. I liked the original The Lost Boys (1987). But by far my favorite vampire film of all time is Near Dark (1987). With the recent resurgence of vampire movies and TV shows I would like to state that I didn’t jump on the vampire bandwagon. The new The Twilight Saga: Eclipse was a fun movie and is the best out of the three so far. What made it the best for me was the back-story and flashbacks you get to see with some of the vampire Cullen Clan and the Werewolves. I also enjoy the Twilight version of “vampire lore”. I have never read the books; I don’t have plans to do so at this time. I want to enjoy the movies for what they are. I also enjoy the humor in these Twilight movies. I’m glad they poked fun at the fact that the Jacob character doesn’t seem to own a shirt anymore now that the actor Taylor Lautner who portrays him worked very hard for his six pack abs. The crowd was very into this screening. There was a lot of girl gasping going on too. The movie was very good. I recommend it if its your type of movie.

After the film Jane and I took our time leaving the theater. The line for the midnight showing extended out to the parking lot from both sides of the theater. As were leaving the theater parking lot I noticed there were some clothing donation bins near the entrance to the parking lot. I’ve had this black trash bag of clothes I’ve been forgetting to unload or donate. There were some leather jackets I had second thoughts about giving up. So while Jane was still in the car I did and impromptu fashion show in front of the car headlights to see which ones she approved of. I saved two jackets from elimination. They live to see another winter. It was a great date night. I’m lucky that Jane gets to share my passion for movies.

– Spartan Phoenix

Total movies seen in the theater to date since February 1st 2010:  79

  • February           2010: Movies Seen: 12
  • March              2010: Movies Seen: 14
  • April                 2010: Movies Seen: 16
  • May                  2010: Movies Seen: 18
  • June                 2010: Movies Seen: 19

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